Hand on History; MUSEUMS TAKE THE PICK OF SOCIETY'S COLLECTION
Byline: TONY HENDERSON
NAPOLEONIC prisoners of war were, by no fault of their own, bone idle.
To pass the long months of confinement, they made models from the bone leftovers from their meagre meals.
One such model, of a guillotine, ended up as part of the vast collections of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, which was set up in 1813.
The society has now moved from the Black Gate in Newcastle where it has been based since 1883, to the city's new Great North Museum: Hancock, taking most of its collections with it.
But the guillotine is one of a large number of residual items from the Black Gate which were offered on loan to museums across the North East. Museums staff took their pick from an array which included 50 First World War recruitment posters, many in mint condition, which were found in a drawer at the Black Gate.
Part of the line-up was the football used in the annual Shrove Tuesday game at Rothbury in Northumberland until 1867.
Also on offer was the ornately carved wooden Bible box which was given to the society in 1837 by the eminent North East mining engineer John Buddle. …