The ‘Entente Cordial’ champagne cooler for the British Motor Boat Club, 1905The ‘Entente Cordial’ champagne cooler for the British Motor Boat Club, 1905

The ‘Entente Cordial’ silver champagne cooler for the British Motor Boat Club, 1905

£ 17,500.00






Height: 13 inches (32cm) Width overall: 20 inches (51cm) Diameter: 12 inches (30cm) Weight: 150oz

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The ‘Entente Cordial’ silver champagne cooler for the British Motor Boat Club, 1905. This deep cylindrical bowl by Charles Townley and John Thomas is of heavy gauge with a raised circular foot, two acanthus scroll handles and cut-card acanthus leaves around the base.  The inscription on the silver reads ‘The “Entente Cordial” Cup Presented to the British Motor Boat Club by Mrs Walker Munroe, 1905, won by 1905 Aug 7 “Napier II” J. Scott Montagu, Lionel de Rothschild, 1906 Aug 6 ‘Yarrow Napier’ Lionel de Rothschild.’  Assayed for Charles Townley and John Thomas, London 1904, retailed by F B Thomas & Co. 

Provenance: Lionel de Rothschild, Exbury and J Scott Montagu, 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu 

Edmund de Rothschild, Exbury.

The ‘Entente Cordiale Cup’ was the prize at the club’s race meeting at Burnham on Crouch in August 1905 in honour of a visit from the French Navy.  Lionel and John had great success in the new Napier II and Achillée millefeuille Napier motor boats.  The Napier II was fitted with the largest six-cylinder engine ever built by Selwyn Edge.  In 1905 the pair won a 35 mile race across the Arcachon basin, France, in a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes, 26 seconds.  The following year they broke Dorothy Levitt’s  world water speed record at 28.8 knots and in 1907 won the prestigious ‘Perla del Mediterraneo’ on Lionel’s boat, the ‘Flying Fish’.  Selwyn Francis Edge (1868–1940) was a British entrepreneur who successfully became ‘a motor car, cycle, launch, and flying machine manufacturer’.  He built and raced de Dion-Bouton, Gladiator, Clemént-Panhard, Napier and AC cars.  Realising the publicity available to a woman driver, he supplied Dorothy Levitt (above) with both motor cars and racing motor boats.

Rhinefield House in the New Forest, Hampshire passed into the hands of the Walker family, who owned Eastwood Colliery, (immortalised in the novels of D.H.Lawrence).  In 1885 their only daughter became engaged to a Lieutenant Munro RN, and her father´s engagement present was £250,000 with which to build a family home at Rhinefield.  After their marriage in 1887 the couple adopted the name Walker-Munro and supervised the construction of an impressive country seat comprising the Great House, a hunting lodge, stables, gardener´s bothy, a gate lodge and an impressive beach house which is known today as the White House at Milford on Sea. 

Dorothy Levitt with Napier 1903

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