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A Duke and Duchess of Connaught Presentation Table Cigarette Box, 1913
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A Duke and Duchess of Connaught Presentation Table Cigarette Box, 1913

Measurements: 19cm (7.5in) x 14.2cm (5.6in) x 6.5cm (2.5in)



Silver, silvergilt and enamels. Of rectangular form with rounded corners and engine-turned panel decoration, the hinged lid applied with an enamelled coronet of a prince of the blood over the interlaced cyphers of Prince Arthur William, the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and his wife Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, the front inscribed 'From Their Royal Highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Connaught to Dr. Walter W. H. Tate April 1913.' Cedar lined interior. Maker’s mark of Sampson Mordan & Co. Hallmarked London 1912.

The present box was presented by Queen Victoria’s favourite son Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn to the affable London physician Walter Tate. At the time of the presentation the Connaughts were in Canada, the Duke having taken up his role as the tenth Governor-General in 1911 after his long and distinguished military career. The Duchess is known to have suffered ill health during the Connaughts years at Rideau Hall and it is possibly in this connection the present box was given in recognition of services rendered by Dr Tate.

Walter William Hunt Tate, M.D., F.R.C.P. (1865-1916) was a highly respected London physician. In 1893, too, he obtained the newly-created post of obstetric tutor and registrar at St. Thomas’s Hospital, and three years later was elected assistant obstetric physician on its staff; he was made obstetric physician in 1901. He was a noted lecturer and skilled operator who paid detailed attention to the after-treatment and comfort of his patients. He examined for Cambridge University, the Conjoint Board, and the Society of Apothecaries. He was a hospitable man, a lover of music and a regular theatregoer. His outdoor recreations were motoring and archery. He married in 1896 Flora, widow of Dr. Anthony Dalzell, but had no children. He died at his home in Queen Anne Street, London.