Civil War Carved Pipe from Union POW Danville, Virginia Prison

Our Price: sold 

A great looking Civil War relief carved pipe bowl made by a prisoner of war at Danville, VA. The aperture for the stem is ringed by raised carving of an officer's hatcord that extends down either side of the back and curves up to display its typical acorn ends. The motif is repeated in smaller form by a second officer's cord that encircles the owner's initials "JHC" on the very front of the bowl, with its ends, also with acorn tips, curving down under the front of the bowl. On either side of the circled initials is a star, repeated at the upper edge on either side near the stem. An arc of raised letters along the upper front of the bowl reads, "PRISON No. 5 Danville Va."

Danville's P.O.W compound consisted of 6 former tobacco warehouses, one of which still stands. In use from 1863 to 1865, the prison population reached 7,000 at points, some held there permanently and others on the way to other facilities, but crowded conditions, short rations, sickness and disease cost some 1,300 their lives in the course of the compound's operation. Research might narrow down the owner from the initials, but this is a telling piece of folk-art and soldier carving in any case, both visually pleasing and historically important.

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