Nautical Instruments & Tools
Price = n/a
Lord High Admiral of Great Britain Original Desk Seal with Royal Associations
If only this one could talk! We have just purchased this seal from a private collector here in the West Country, South West England. Whilst looking like a fairly well used and mundane desk seal we have deciphered the Latin inscription of the seal which reads :- 'SIGIL:OFFI:MAG:ADMIR:MAG:BR & C' and enclosed within is the fouled anchor device of the British Royal Navy. In translation the wording reads:- 'The Seal of the Lord High Admiral of Great Britain'. Further detective work indicates this office of state dates back to 1405 and the Lord High Admiral of England, Great Britain and then the United Kingdom is the titular head of the Royal Navy. Most holders have been courtiers or members of the Royal Family and include the Duke of York, Charles11, King James 11 and Queen Anne. The incumbents were mainly not professional Naval officers and the office of Lord High Admiral remains one of the nine English Great Officers of State. The position has remained extant until finally abolished in 1964 when the functions of the Admiralty were transferred to the Secretary of State for Defence and the ancient title of Lord High Admiral was transferred to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11. The Queen held the title for 47 years up until 2011 when she conferred the office upon her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, as part of the celebrations for his 90th birthday and he remains the current holder. The Queen chose this title to honour her husband with as he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, and gave up a promising naval career to support her as consort.
The seal handle is made from an ebonised hardwood and judging from the wear it has had significant usage during its working life, that just adds to its charm. The metal seal remains in perfect condition and is not worn and would work today as well as it has done during a long service life. We would estimate it dates from the first half of the 20th century. Sadly its significant history has been lost down the years but it is probably safe to speculate this modest item has served to seal documents of state over many years and could well have spent its working life at Buckingham Place; we can almost smell the distinctive aroma of hot red sealing wax here in the Oldnautibits HQ today! Certainly a one off item and we are unlikely to ever find another. With a clear connection to the British Royal Family grab it whilst you can! Measures 3.75" (9.5 cm)