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A Victorian shellwork diorama, in the shape of a heart. Inside the glass 'porthole' is a chromolithograph of Grace Darling in a rowing boat, in front of which is an artfully arranged display of shells and seaweed, creating a 3D effect to the view. Some minor damage to lower legs but overall in good condition.


Grace Horsley Darling (1815–1842) was an English lighthouse keeper's daughter, famed for participating in the rescue of survivors from the shipwrecked 'Forfarshire' in 1838. The paddle steamer ran aground on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland. Nine members of the crew were saved.


These shellwork dioramas were produced in the late Victorian/early Edwardian period as souvenirs of coastal towns and seaside locations, and were often bought by sailors as presents for their sweethearts.

NOW SOLD - Victorian sailor's shell valentine - Grace Darling

SKU: KS6875
  • Date/period


  • Dimensions (h x w)

    21 x 23cm

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