Rare Pair of WW1 POW Carved Cow Bone Vases – Poppy Flowers – Knockaloe Camp IOM
Here on offer is a beautiful and very unusual carved pair of cow bone vases, made by a German WW1 prisoner of war (POW).
This pair of vases was almost certainly produced on the Isle of Man, by German POW’s held at the large internment camp at Knockaloe.
They used what materials they had to hand and cow bones provided an excellent carving medium and they where easily obtained from the kitchens.
I believe these pieces where sold for the benefit of the internees by various Prisoner of War relief organisations, such as the well known Society of Friends.
Some were obviously sold directly to the camp personnel and where personalised as such.
Each of these pieces is a unique carving and are now classed as works of art from that period, examples of which are held in the Imperial War Museum and the Manx Heritage Centre.
What is amazing about this pair of carvings is the delicate work that has been done on each of them to carve out the sweeping image of three poppy flowers with stems from one solid piece of cow bone. The vase body itself is also carved to such a narrow thickness (almost too thin!) they show signs of chipping and splits.
The smaller one does have a chunk missing and both have nibbles to the top rims.
The delicate poppy stems have been broken off on both of then at some point, but have been very well repaired, albeit with to much old glue!
They are not in mint condition but are the most delicate example of this POW work I have seen.
One vase is 4.75” (12cm) high and the other is 5.1” (13cm) high. They are both approximately 1.5” (4cm) diameter.
Combined they weigh 145g.
Please see my pictures for the details of the condition, which complement this description.
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