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Old 13th June 2019, 04:30 PM   #17
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Originally Posted by batjka
The ensemble is definitely put together in recent times - the script is contemporary Russian Cyrillic, put in place after the orphography reform of 1918. However, it does not mean that the items are not authentic. So-called "black archaeology" is widespread in Russia with people digging up items from passed wars and selling them as souvenirs. So it's plausible (if not likely) that the balls and the grenade are authentic ordnance from Crimean War.

Very well noted Batjka!!! The inscribed plate is most pertinent, as you say that its manner of Cyrillic is a manner post 1918. Indeed, this does NOT suggest any inauthenticity of the items used to fashion this poignant memento. ..which is what it is, NOT a contrived marketing item.
The fact that the plate simply notes 'IN MEMORY OF SEVASTOPOL' strongly suggests this notion, rather than elaborately detailing date, event etc .
While the 'black art' possibility is compelling, it is possible this assembly might have been put together many years ago from a survivors memorabilia and likely by the family who did not know details of its circumstance.

When I mentioned 'trench art', this referred to many items which were fashioned by soldiers using items of ordnance, and other battle related materials to fashion interesting assemblies in the manner of this cannon ball display. What comes to mind is candle holders etc. made from shell casings (much of this was WWI),

When I illustrated the photo of the 'Valley of the Shadow of Death', the intent was to convey the powerfully dramatic effect that artillery had on the men in the Crimean War, the relentless shelling and the foreboding feeling that went with the photo. The reason I brought forth the fact that it had been 'staged' was to establish transparency and emphasize this was the artistic effect the photographer wished to instill.

Clearly, whoever assembled this almost chilling memento of Sevastopol had intended to convey similar notions.

While I know that in the original post there was apparently a genuine hope of this relic/art having Waterloo provenance, however, the battles and events in the Crimea in 1854-56 were equally important. The 'Charge of the Light Brigade', mostly through the words of Lord Tennyson, is one of the most famed, and fateful, cavalry charges in history. It is remarkable that his poem, as well as this famed photo with title phrased from it, carry the dramatic nuance of this relatively little known war.
This 'memento' does much the same, regardless of when and why it was assembled.
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