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Made From a Piece of The Royal George. God Save The King

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Snuffbox, made of oak salvaged from the Royal George, the original label pasted to the interior with the provenance 'made from a piece of the Royal George which went down with a 100 guns & nearly all hands at Spithead in 1782. God Save The King'. The lid inlaid with a disc of horn finely inlaid with gold coloured metal letters and the exclamation 'GOD SAVE THE KING'.

dia:3.5 in x .75 in

When launched from Woolwich Dockyard in 1756 HMS Royal George was the largest warship in the world. She was immediately deployed in the Seven Years War and was Sir Edward Hawke's flagship at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759. Laid up at the end of that war in 1763 she was reactivated for the American Revolutionary War in 1777. At the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, Royal George was the flagship of Rear Admiral Robert Digby. 

HMS Royal George was sunk in 1782, anchored at Spithead off Portsmouth, when being careened in order to clean her hull. 800 lives were lost making this one of the most deadly maritime disasters in British territorial waters. As a hazard to shipping through the Solent, and for the potential reward of salvage, several attempts were made to raise the vessel. In 1782, Charles Spalding recovered 15 bronze cannon using a diving bell of his own design. Between 1834 and 1836, brothers Charles and John Deane recovered more cannon using a diving helmet that they had invented. Eventually, in 1839, a team of Royal Engineers under Charles Pasley began operations to break up the wreck using barrels of gunpowder and in 1840 they successfully destroyed the wreck in an explosion that shattered windows several miles distant in Gosport and Portsmouth. Souvenirs were made from materials recovered following every attempt at salvage; the present snuffbox being a good and early example of such things.


Item Code: 5008

£ 1500

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