Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Fitzjames' Demonic Companion




This enlargement from the engraving published in the Illustrated London News seems to show a grotesque face peering out from James Fitzjames' bedside table. The item is a type of candle lantern sometimes described as a 'chamberstick with storm glass'. I've looked at thousands of pictures of candlesticks and lanterns on the web but so far I have been unable to find a picture of anything similar. I've found a few examples with a pierced foliage pattern on the gallery supporting the glass but nothing resembling a face. Perhaps it was a souvenir of Fitzjames' travels, or maybe even it was never really there and is just a private joke by the engraver.

The Spirits of Erebus and Terror

No discussion of the victualing of the Victorian era Royal Navy would be complete without mentioning the rum ration. Beer, at a rate of ...