Item of Interest

Published July 7, 2021 by A.J.B. Johnston

Mary came across this striking object hanging on a wall in a shop a while back.

The owner said it came off a French ship that was at Louisbourg during the siege in 1758.

What!?! Yes, that’s the oral tradition passed on by the owner of the item.

Mary told me to go in and take a look. I was impressed. On the other hand, I couldn’t see how such an object could have survived the events of 1758, when so many French ships were sunk and/or burned. And, the use of the tricolore theme—bleu, blanc, rouge—was not a color scheme associated with pre-1789 France. Yet if the object dated from the French Revolution, what is the fleur-de-lys doing there?

Nonetheless, viewed from across the room, the object did look like it originated a few centuries ago. It is certainly worth checking out.

I contacted a few friends still working for Parks Canada, and one came to see the object for herself. What happens next is still unwritten, but I’m hoping the object will be analyzed, and, if justified, end up in the care of an organization that can safeguard it. Maybe that will be the Nova Scotia Museum or the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

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