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War ship model made by POW to fetch thousands at auction in Derbyshire

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: September 02, 2014

The war ship model to fetch thousands later this month.

The war ship model to fetch thousands later this month.

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A RARE model of a war ship is expected to fetch thousands when it goes under the hammer at auction later this month.

The two-hundred-year-old model war ship made from old cattle bone discovered in a Lichfield attic is anticipated to sell for up to £5,000 at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire on Saturday, September 27.

A model of a British naval ship dating from circa 1800-1810 and constructed from recycled cattle bone and box wood has been uncovered in a Lichfield loft.

Charles Hanson, manager of Hansons Auctioneers, said the model ship would actually have been carved by captured French prisoners who had served Napoleon.

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He said: “The war between Napoleon’s French navy and the naval forces of King George III of England had lasted so long that the captured French prisoners had to find resourceful ways to spend their imprisonment, sometimes lasting more than eleven years”

The retired couple who own the ship were reportedly delighted to learn its anticipated value, commenting: “Despite being in land-locked Derbyshire, we hope the wind will blow and the ship will set sail with a gale behind it!”

The price guide on the ship is £3,000 to £5,000, and is expected to create international interest.

Mr Hanson described the intricacy of the detailing on the item, housed within a glass and walnut case, as superb.

He said: “The fine carved work and symmetrical hull and deck is remarkable together with the delicate rigging.

“The prisoners who made such works of art were not treated like convicts, they were confined to the likes of prison hulks in naval dockyards, old castles or purpose built prison camps such as Norman Cross or Dartmoor.

“On the encouragement of their captors, they formed their own guilds to produce small objects d’art to sell in the camp’s periodic civilian open market.”

For further information contact Mr Hanson at Hansons Auctioneers on 01283 733988 or email charleshanson@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk.

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