Amassed by a Devon collector over many years there are bone work spinning Jenny’, domino boxes, an inkwell and even a model of a guillotine. However, the star lot is a bone model of the French Frigate La Bellone estimated at £3,000-5,000.
La Bellone was a 32 gun frigate built in St Malo in 1778. Captured at the Battle of Tory Island, off the northwest coast of County Donegal, in 1798 she was brought to Plymouth and re-named HMS Proserpine but broken up a couple of years later in 1806.
“Some possibly originated from Dartmoor Prison and rarely appear on the market,” commented auctioneer Richard Bromell. “They are all charming pieces which have incredible detail and were sold by the prisoners, with the proceeds most likely being spent on drink and to gamble with!”