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Knockaloe Camp bone vase

Date made: 1915

Description: One of a pair of carved beef bone vases, with polished shaped wooden bases, made in Knockaloe Civilian Internment Camp by an unknown internee. A single flower (relatively ornate rose) is hand carved in bas relief on the front of the vase. There is a decorative border with a fleurs de lys pattern around the top rim and matching pattern around the base. 'Knockaloe Isle of Man 1915' is carved on the back of the vase. The hollow bone vase is attached to the base by a wooden plug screwed to the base.

Carved from the shin bones of a cow by a civilian prisoner interned in the Isle of Man during the First World War. They bear the name of the camp, Knockaloe near Peel in the west of the island, where he was held along with 25,000 other prisoners. Boredom was the biggest challenged faced by those interned, and the craft workshops which were organised to try to tackle this proved hugely popular. Raw materials came from whatever lay to hand, and when bones from the camp kitchen ran out, they were imported from Liverpool. Knockaloe Camp grew so large that it even had its own branch railway line to bring in supplies.

Donated in memory of the late William Duthie esq. Donor states: "Purchased from the estate of Wm Duthie dec'd of Northampton in 2002. He had purchased them c.1980-85 from Talent Pastimes of Northampton. The MD of Talent Pastimes (Martin Watts dec'd) was himself a collector of Nazi memorabilia and had acquired the bones with some Nazi artifacts c.1980. He had himself as a National Serviceman in the 1950s served in Germany. There is good reason to assume that the bones had at sometime been in Germany - possibly from World War 1".

Measurements: overall: 24 cm x 7 cm x 6.2 cm

Materials: mammal bone, steel, wood

Object name: vase

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2002-0147/2



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