Piano-shaped cigarette case, England, 1920-1970
This piano-shaped cigarette case was made by a patient at Brighton County Borough Asylum, later known as St Francis Hospital. Whoever made it obviously possessed good wood working skills. Many individuals passed almost their entire lives within the confines of such institutions. Although the regimes could be strict and highly regulated, the maker of this object was clearly given time to indulge their artistic abilities. The hospital opened in 1859 and closed in 1995.
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Glossary: cigarette case
A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.