Late Victorian Royal Artillery Whistle

Sometimes an object comes up that you just fall in love with, this happened to me yesterday when I was accosted in Huddersfield Market by a man asking if I collected military kit. Strangely this is not such as unusual occurrence as you might think! From his pocket he produced this whistle and I instantly knew I wanted it for my collection:fullsizerenderaThe whistle is made from tin sheet, silver soldered together with a pair of Queen Victoria crown Royal Artillery buttons making up the two sides of the main chamber:fullsizerenderbA triangular wire loop is soldered to the back of the whistle to allow it to be attached to a chain:fullsizerendercInside the main chamber is a (very) dried pea. A lip has also been soldered onto the mouth piece to give something to rest the teeth again to hold it steady if you can’t hold onto it:fullsizerenderdThis piece is clearly handmade rather than being factory produced, but the quality of the work is excellent and I wonder if it might have been a show piece by an army tradesman to show his skill at tin-smithing. I don’t have an exact date for the whistle, but with the Queen Victoria’s crown buttons I would guess it dates from the late Victorian period, possibly the 1890s. It is a delightful little piece and despite costing me more than I would normally pay for this sort of thing, I am absolutely smitten with the little whistle and it has to be one of my favourite purchases of the year!

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