The 'Old Shirburnian Society' & Its Link To My Antique Pokerwork Box

Favourite Finds


Hello, ahoy there and welcome.  This week's instalment of 'Blog Post Monday' is upon us!

I was out and about again this week in search of interesting pieces for you lovely lot and I was fortunate enough to pick up a couple of items, one of which I've decided to dedicate this week's blog post to.  This little find appears to be a late 19th to early 20th century wooden trinket box and it has some fascinating pokerwork around the outside which appears to link it to a rather significant society...

So, as always, get that kettle on, get your mortarboards out and lets pay a visit to an establishment which boasts some of the finest brains Britain has ever produced...


Image:  my antique pokerwork box find


While on my search for treasures this week a little trinket box caught my eye.  Dating from around the late 19th to early 20th century, this little box was covered in beautiful pokerwork which included a crest to the top of the lid and some text to the front side which read, "EDV. VI. SCHOL SHIRBORN REGAL".  Fascinating, I know, right...?!


Image:  my antique pokerwork box find


I started my research on my walk home from the boot sale and very quickly discovered that the crest to the lid was in fact the crest of King Edward VI and that there was an Edward VI school in Sherborne, Dorset.


Image:  my antique pokerwork box find


Upon getting home, I began digging deeper and discovered that this was no ordinary school...


Image:  Sherborne School


Sherborne School is an independent boarding school for boys located beside Sherborne Abbey in the parish of Sherborne Dorset.  The school has been in continuous operation on the same site for over 1,300 years.  It was founded in 705 AD by St Aldhelm and, following the dissolution of the monasteries, re-founded in 1550 by King Edward VI, making it one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom.


Image:  pupils at Sherborne School


Sherborne was founded as a Cathedral School when, in 705 AD, King Ine of Wessex instructed Aldhelm, a churchman and distinguished scholar, to found a cathedral and college of clergy at Sherborne to relieve pressure from the growing see of Winchester.  Alfred the Great, King of the Anglo-Saxons, is said to have been an early pupil of the school.


Image:  pupils at Sherborne School


When a pupil joins the Sherborne community, he becomes a member of the 'Old Shirburnian Society' (OSS).  The OSS is the means by which an ongoing connection with Sherborne is maintained.  By the time they leave, boys are automatically enrolled as members – giving them an ongoing sense of belonging, a ready-made network of contacts, and friends with shared experiences.


Image:  Alan Turing OBE, a former pupil and member of the OSS


Some of the finest brains in British history have passed through this establishment, including the late great 'Alan Turing' OBE, the Second World War codebreaker.  What's interesting is that I emailed the school's historical archives department and they informed me that my little box may have actually been made by one of their students in the school workshop during the late 19th to early 20th century...


Image:  pupils at Sherborne School


So, who made it...?  Well, unfortunately, without a name or any initials to give us a clue, we will likely never know.  But, by jove, there were many notable 'Old Shirburnians' of that period, which makes you think, this just might be the handy work of one of them...!


Image:  my antique pokerwork box find


You'll be pleased to hear that this wonderful piece of history is currently available to buy HERE 

Anyway, that's it for this week folks!  I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into the fascinating history of the 'Old Shirburnian Society'.  As always, let me know what you think in the comments section below. 



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So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!




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