Many years ago I read a rather interesting book that tracked the life of two physical objects (a whip and a crown perhaps) over several centuries. The book was given to me as a child by my father, who read it as a child. Napoleon's invasion of Russia plays a role in the book with two characters surviving a winter using the remains of a horse for shelter. I am now trying to find the name of the book and if it is still in print.
I probably read the book back in the 1970s. My father probably read the book in 1920s/1930s. Does that help? Predictably, I read the book in English. Was it originally written in English? I really don't know. I remember it as a reasonably large book, but I am not sure.