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HMS Emperor of India Trench art Tray
Emperor of India was a dreadnought battleship of the Iron Duke Class built at Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness. She weighed in at 30,000 tons and was 622' l from stem to stern. She was intended to be called HMS Delhi but it is reported the change was to honour HM King George V who was 'King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India'. Launched in November 1913 HMS Emperor of India joined the 4th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet, based at Scapa Flow. She took part in numerous sorties into the northern North Sea to enforce the blockade of Germany but missed the Battle of Jutland as she was in for a refit. Post war she was sent to lend support to the White Russians and Allies in the Russian Civil War which had by mid-1919 reached the shores of the Black Sea. HMS Emperor of India was finally paid off in Portsmouth in January, 1931. The ship provided one final service to the Navy by serving as a gunnery target, along with HMS Marlborough. The tests included firing destroyer armament at the upper works at close range to test their effectiveness in a simulated night engagement and she finally sank off Owers Bank.
This brass tray appears to be of trench art rather than commercial origins but beautifully crafted. It is engraved with a Kings Crown with the cypher GRI below. Then enclosed withing a circular device is the legend 'Light, life and Glory' and withing two fish, one with scales and one without and to the centre is a swastika device. This is known as a right-handed swastika, which in Hindi, stands for wisdom, luck and riches. It was only when the Nazi's adopted it in 1933 that the swastika took on a completely different and more sinister meaning.
The final photograph attached shows the ships diving party with an identical plaque to the centre. The tray measures 5.75" diameter (15 cm) and would make an ideal gift for the Royal Navy collector in your life.