Western European Metal Artworks

Nave-ship (table decoration)

    Nave-ship (table decoration)

    Germany, Hanau

    early 20th century

    Neresheimer & Co

    Silver; casting, chasing, engraving

    69.2 х 16.5 х 16.5 cm

    Hallmarks: "Neresheimer", city of Hanau, London import mark 1911,"925"


    Table decoration in the form of two-masted ship with fluttering banners and seven hoisted goosewing and gaff sails. The engraved images are on the sails, the Order of the Garter coat of arms among them. The baskets (the so-called "mars" or "crow's nest") with looking out sailors in them are on each mast. The ship's hull has a textured surface that resembles wood panelling. The cordage (rigging) of the ship, its crew and cannons on the deck are reproduced in the smallest details. They are visible through the apertures located on both sides of the board. An observation basket shaped as a lantern and a rudder (steering wheel) decorated with an image of a dolphin are on the nave's stern. The bowsprit with a descending anchor is on the ship's snout. The nave is fixed on four openwork wheels. The Noble Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III, the King of England on the April 23, 1348. It was the highest chivalry order in the United Kingdom for loyalty and valour. According to one of the legends, this award was established in order to commemorate the British victory over France at Crécy in 1346. It was then that the King Edward signalled for the beginning of the battle with the blue ribbon from his suit that was tied to the end of the spear. The other popular legend involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Many of you will be happy and proud, putting on such ribbon once. Shame on those who thinks badly." The phrase became the bearing of the Order (''Honi soit qui mal y pense"). Since that time the knights began to wear the garter blue ribbon on the left calf over the armor.