An early 19th century sailor’s hand painted turtle shell with hand painted Royal Standard
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A rare example of a sailor’s piece - an early 19th century turtle shell which has been painted with the Royal Standard.
In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries it was far from usual for sailor’s to catch turtles as food on their voyages to supplement their diets. In 1740 Admiral Anson was sent to the Caribbean with a squadron of eight ships to attack the Spanish possessions in the Caribbean. During the journey many of his crew suffered from scurvy or starvation. Anson’s account of his voyages was later published and in there he described sea turtle as being a wholesome dish that nourished sick sailors back to health.
The wonderful hand painted decoration includes the Royal Standard and the Union Flag crossed with a blue and red flag. This would have most likely painted on a voyage aboard ship. The paint is beautifully time worn.
A truly rare piece that came into being at a time when catching turtles was clearly a necessity for sailors - unlike today. We make no judgement about this, we simply recognise the need at the time which most of us could not appreciate in modern society. Now we just appreciate the fact that such a rare piece has survived.
This piece is only available for shipping to the UK.