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Whimsey carvings- Artefact Pick

Melissa Wakeling, the education coordinator at Glanmore National Historic Site, pulled out one of the many artefacts the museum has in storage.

Known as a Whimsey, the artefacts Melissa chose are part the museum’s regional collection, containing a large variety of artefacts from Belleville’s past.

The two artefacts she chose to highlight were made by prisoners in the Hastings County Jail in the early 1900s. Whittling and wood carving at the time became quite the craze, and many magazines would publish articles about how to make the pieces.

Incredibly intricate, the pieces have many moving parts. One of the artefacts has a miniature ladder, cross and a hand pointing towards the top of the bottle inside of it. The second artefact is a chain that was carved from a single piece of wood.

Glanmore National Historic Site is home to a large portion of artefacts from Belleville’s history.

Melissa Wakeling has a Bachelor of Arts from Trent University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship from Fleming College. Melissa works as Education and Marketing Coordinator at Glanmore National Historic Site in Belleville, Ontario.