Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pen-case

  • Object:

    Pen case

  • Place of origin:

    England (French, produced England, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1797 - ca. 1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bone, carved and wood

  • Museum number:

    1549&:1-1903

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This oblong pen-case is composed of plaques of bone carved with leaf and other ornament; the curved lid is pierced with bust-portraits of Napoleon I and the first Duke of Wellington.

Arthur Wellesley, later the 1st Duke of Wellington, was Britain's greatest military commander. His brilliant tactics and leadership brought major victories over the French in the Peninsular War of 1808-1814 and, most famously, at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. The Duke then became a politician (Prime Minister from 1828-1830) and distinguished elder statesman.

This specimen of work was executed by French prisoners at Porchester Castle, near Portsmouth, and at Norman Cross, near Peterborough, during the Napoleonic Wars (1797-1815).

Physical description

The case is composed of plaques of bone carved with leaf and other ornament; the curved lid is pierced with bust-portraits of Napoleon I and the first Duke of Wellington.
It is oblong, with an upright at each angle forming a short moulded foot below and projecting above in the form of a dog's head. The broad edge is carved with rosettes united by a double wreath; on each long side is a similar rosette between two wing-like devices, and the lower edge is carved with lambrequins. The remaining space on the lid is occupied by a dolphin, with flags, guns and bayonets, while a projecting palmette forms a handle. Traces of colour.

Place of Origin

England (French, produced England, made)

Date

ca. 1797 - ca. 1815 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Bone, carved and wood

Dimensions

Height: 6.8 cm, Width: 18.5 cm, Depth: 9 cm

Object history note

Bought for £2. 10s. from C. Dack Esq., 4 Nene View, Peterborough in 1903.

Descriptive line

Pen case with lid, carved bone, lid with bust-portraits of Napoleon I and the Duke of Wellington, executed by French prisoners of war, French, produced in Britain, ca. 1797-1815

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Years 1903 - 1904. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, During the Year 1903, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition with Appendix and Indices. London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Wyman and Sons, Limited, 1907, p. 264
Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. Part II. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1929, p. 120
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 275, pp. 281, 2

Production Note

executed by French prisoners at Porchester Castle, near Portsmouth, and at Norman Cross, near Peterborough, during the Napoleonic Wars.

Materials

Bone; Wood

Techniques

Carving; Colouring

Subjects depicted

Palmette; Lambrequins; Rosettes; Bayonets; Guns; Plaques; Flags; Ornament; Dolphin

Categories

Accessories; Containers; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.