Price = n/a
Aeronautical Inspection Department Alloy Ashtray
Another scarce example from my own collection purchased in 2010 and we have not seen another since. The Aeronautical Inspection Department (AID) was formed in December 1913 for the purpose of inspecting aircraft and other supplies for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and effectively its function was to act as the quality control and airworthiness branch for all aspects of aviation. It was originally established by the War Office, and then passed successively to the Ministry of Munitions (1917), the Air Ministry (1920), the Ministry of Aircraft Production (1940), the Ministry of Supply (1946), and the Ministry of Aviation (1959). ByWW11 the AID was an engineering organisation, mainly staffed by civilians, but in part RAF, whose prime purpose was to ensure that all RAF and RN equipment manufactured or repaired by contractors and by RAF maintenance units was to approved designs and was fit and serviceable for issue to the users, be they Royal Air Force or the Royal Navies Fleet Air Arm (FAA).
This example carries a Kings Crown, so we believe would date from not later than WWII. Below the Kings Crown is the Air Inspectorate Department crest with wings, AID and the Latin motto 'Securitas Per Diligent' which roughly translated means 'By Diligence Security'. The crest stands out in relief whilst the tray, which could well be made from lightweight aircraft aluminium, has a hammered finish. It carries no makers marks and seems highly likely this was made by the AID themselves. It measures 4 1/2" diameter (11.5 cm) and represents an unusual item from and often overlooked yet critically important department.