Luxury Design, Past & Present
A large circular silver-gilt footed bowl with two handles on either side in the form of a ship’s prow, one with a crowned lion, the other with a unicorn wearing a chain of office, the sides with four vegetal forms interleaved with acorn bearing oak sprays flanking, on the obverse the royal coat of arms surmounted by a crown, oak and laurel branches, and on the reverse a shield stating ‘The Gift of His Most Gracious Majesty William the Fourth to the Royal Yacht Squadron, 1835’ , below an anchor, chain and buoy, incised round the foot ‘Rundell Bridge et Co, Aurifices Regis Londoni’ , the interior with a sunburst, makers mark of William Bateman, London, 1835.
That year the winner was Irishman John Barry-Smith in his 90-ton yacht Columbine.
An account from the time stated how ‘his gracious majesty’s beautiful cup will for the first time find its way to the sister isle, and grace the sideboard of the hospitable and liberal proprietor of Cove Island in Cork Harbour’.
The Earl of Yarborough, later first commodore of the club, welcomed the Prince Regent as a member in 1817, in 1820, when the Prince Regent became George IV, it was renamed the Royal Yacht Club. However, King William IV could be considered the first Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron as it was he who renamed the club in 1833, and he constituted himself its head. Its association with the Royal Navy began early and Nelson’s captain at Trafalgar, Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, headed the list of naval members. In 1829 the Admiralty issued a warrant to wear what is now the navy’s White Ensign.
Rundells was Royal Goldsmith from 1797 until 1843. The firm was responsible for the Crown Jewels used at the coronations of George IV (1762–1830), William IV (1765–1837) and Queen Victoria (1819–1901), as well as for a wide range of banqueting plate and jewellery now in the Royal Collection.