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Knockaloe smoker's companion, desk tidy

Date made: 1919

Description: A carved smoker's companion or desk tidy made of beef bone, with a plain trefoil shaped wooden base, made in Knockaloe Civilian Internment Camp by an unknown internee. The smoker's companion or desk tidy has a trefoil shaped wooden base with three carved bone containers. The largest bone piece is similar to a small bone vase and is carved all over with a fine hatched textured pattern and has an eagle or bird of prey carved in bas relief on the front of it. The second smaller bone piece is smooth all over with a circular cameo of a classical male head (Roman or Greek soldier wearing a helmet) carved in bas relief on it. On the side is a carved slot to put emery paper in for striking matches. The third smaller bone piece is smooth all over with a circular cameo with a three legs design carved in bas relief on the front of it. Incised on reverse is 'I.o.M. 1919'. The large bone piece is attached to the base with a wooden peg, but is loose, while the other two smaller bone pieces fit into slots carved into the wooden base. The two smaller bone containers have fitted wooden bases.

Internees were held on the Isle of Man in two camps, a requisitioned holiday camp in Douglas and a purpose built camp located at Knockaloe near Peel on the west coast of the Island. These held at their peaks over 4,000 and 23,000 men in some cases for nearly five years between opening in 1914 and final closure in 1919. Over 30,000 men passed through Knockaloe between 1914 and 1917 more than the population of Douglas the largest town.

Measurements: overall: 14 cm x 17.5 cm x 12.2 cm

Materials: mammal bone, steel, wood

Object name: smoker's companion, desk tidy

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1980-0091



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