RA Collection: Art
This ivory disc is the ticket or 'bone', as they were often called, admitting George Phillip Reinagle to the Royal Academy's Antique School. These tickets were given to RA Schools students from the early 19th century onwards. The Rules of the RA Schools stated that:
'When a Student is admitted, he shall receive an Ivory Ticket, marked with his name and the date of his admission.
When he attends the Schools, the Lectures, or the Exhibition he shall produce his Ticket to the Doorkeeper, or to any of the Officers of the Academy who may require it, to identify him as a Student.'
Ivory tickets were introduced after a committee set up in 1799-1800 to look into 'confusion and disorder' in the Schools. They were also used as season tickets in other venues including theatres. The Antique School was the first stage of education at the RA Schools—only after demonstrating proficiency at drawing from casts of classical sculpture in the RA collection could students progress to drawing from life.
George Phillip Reinagle (1802-35) was the son of Ramsay Richard Reinagle and grandson of Phillip Reinagle, both Academicians. According to a letter in the RA archive, his father 'would not allow him to draw as a study till he was 16. His forte was shipping'. Reinagle studied with his father and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1822. He painted scenes which he had witnessed during the Greek War of Independence and sailed to Portugal in the 1830s with the fleet commanded by Captain Charles Napier.