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Fly whisk with animal hair tail

Date: 1880-1910
Overall (laid flat): 60 x 1140 mm, 159 g
Other (length of handle): 428 mm
Other (diam of handle): 27 mm
Medium: Bamboo handle with woven animal hair handgrip, animal hair tail
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Dr Vivian Balmer
Object Name: Fly whisk
Object No: 00048006

User Terms

    This fly whisk is believed to have been collected by a member of the Claringbould family during their service overseas in the Royal Navy (RN), the Victorian Colonial Navy (HMVN) or the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
    SignificanceAn example of an unusual, exotic object which was probably collected and brought home by a serviceman as a souvenir of an overseas' posting.
    HistoryThis is a family heirloom handed down through the generations by either of two servicemen, Horace Sydney Claringbould Senior, or Junior. Claringbould senior was a petty officer in the Royal Navy who had emigrated to Victoria with his family in 1865. He then joined the Victorian Colonial Navy, serving from 1872 to 1898. Prior to his emigration from England, Claringbould Sr. served in the Crimea, and in India where he saw action in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny.

    Claringbould junior served as a gunnery officer in the Victorian Colonial Navy from 1882 and in the RAN from 1911 to his retirement in 1918. He also served as a member of the Australian Naval Brigade contingent sent to China to restore order during the Boxer Rebellion (1900-01).

    The fly whisk is almost certainly a souvenir of the overseas service of one of the two Claringboulds. The donor (Claringbould Jr.'s grandson) is able to relate that his family's lore regarding the whisk connects it to his grandfather. He remembers being told that his grandfather was wont to sport the whisk when on horseback on his way to the naval depot in Port Melbourne; hence his impression that it was "an officer's whisk". However, which Claringbould the whisk belonged to is unknown.

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