A George IV Royal Yacht Club silver gilt racing trophy won by Menai in 1829 - Main ImageA George IV Royal Yacht Club silver gilt racing trophy won by Menai in 1829 - Main Image

A George IV Royal Yacht Club silver gilt racing trophy won by Menai in 1829

£ 22,500.00






Height: 10½ inches (27cm)
Diameter: 10½ inches (27cm)

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A George IV Royal Yacht Club silver gilt racing trophy won by Menai in 1829. This large and impressive cup is in the form of a classical urn set on a capstan flanked by two anchors. The lip and base are moulded and incised to represent foaming waves. The body of the cup is applied with two tritons with bifurcated tails holding large scallop shell basins. There are two inscriptions reading ‘Royal Yacht Club 1829’ and ‘Won by Mr Assheton Smith’s Menai August 3rd 1829’ above beautifully rendered panoplies comprising ropes, anchors, compasses and buoys. Assay marks for Benjamin Smith, London, 1829. 

Benjamin Smith (1764 – circa 1826) was a highly gifted silversmith who began his career as an “ingenious chaser”, employed by Matthew Boulton. He moved to London in 1802 and collaborated with Digby Scott, Paul Storr and the renowned firm of Rundell & Bridge. Independently he created pieces for the Wellington Presentation Plate, notably a huge pair of candelabra, 1816, the Wellington Shield, 1822 and the Wellington Vase, 1824-5 (all at Apsley House, London). On a smaller scale, excelling in the production of silver salvers, trays, Grecian sugar bowls and elegant tea sets, he created the Jamaica Service of 1803 for Lord Harewood (Royal Collection, Windsor). 

Thomas Assheton Smith (1776-1858) was a founding member, in 1815, of The Yacht Club, (from 1833, The Royal Yacht Squadron). Heir to a great fortune founded on Welsh slate, Assheton Smith was able to pursue his passions for hunting, earning the accolade as the ‘foremost fox-hunter of his day’ and, in his youth, for cricket, appearing on several occasions for the ‘Gentlemen against the Players’ at Lord’s. However, the greater part of his fortune was spent saltwater racing. His cutter Menai, 163 tons, launched in 1826 and named for the stretch of water overlooked by his Welsh estate, took part in the inaugural Gold Cup race the same year, coming third. In the 1828 Cowes season Menai won the magnificent Southampton Ladies Regatta Cup which featured on pages 88-89 of Britain on the High Seas: From Nelson to Churchill (Wick Antiques, Lymington, 2019) and is now in the Royal Yacht Squadron. This cup from the subsequent year is evidence that Menai successfully defended her title. 

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Wick Antiques was established by Charles Wallrock in the early 1980s. Having grown up in the Antiques world Charles has developed an extensive wealth of knowledge and is extremely passionate about the antique world so please feel free to contact us with any queries or questions.

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