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Stock No. 6028


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R.N.A.V. Presentation Chalice won by No1V Battery HMS Avon - Click for the bigger picture

R.N.A.V. Presentation Chalice won by No1V Battery HMS Avon

A silver plate prize goblet marked on base Mappin Brothers 222 Regent Street London ; this predates Mappin & Webb who are not recorded until 1889. The cup is finely worked with a tapered stem is finely engraved on the base 'R.N.A.V. Presented by Lord Ashley for Heavy Gun Firing at Sea Won By No 1V Battery HMSAvon 1884. Gunner Hammond No 8'. Lord Ashley (1801-1885) was Anthony Ashley Cooper 7th Earl of Shaftesbury who had an illustrious career and was a politician, philanthropist and social reformer. This was the fourth "Avon" to serve with the Royal Navy, being a 4-gun twin-screw gunboat, launched at Portsmouth in 1867. She weighed in at 603 tons with a 530 horsepower engine and a maximum speed of 10 knots. She was 155ft long and had a 25ft beam. She was a fine looking transitional ship having both sail and stream power. On August 5th 1873 Parliament passed an Act "to provide for the establishment of a Royal Naval Artillery Volunteer Force" - this was Britain's first truly volunteer naval reserve. The volunteers were unpaid, they had to buy their own uniforms and pay for their own travel and meal expenses; despite this the RNAV attracted many willing volunteers and were recruited from either keen amateur sailors or those who were in the merchant service. The R.N.A.V. was killed by official neglect and was disbanded in 1892, but when it was gone its value was realized and in 1903 the R.N.V.R. was formed to take its place. In view of the fact the RNAV was only in existence for 19 years any relating artefact is now extremely rare and our chalice would sit happily in any serious marine or specialist RNAV collection. HMS Avon had a full an interesting service career, including piracy repression operations, which is all fully documented on line. She was sold out of service in 1890 and broken up at Charlton. Sadly we have no history on Gunner Hammond but if any visitors can add anything on his service career please get in touch. Measures 8" high (19.5 cm)

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