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An Edward VII Royal Presentation Naval Inkwell, 1904
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An Edward VII Royal Presentation Naval Inkwell, 1904

Measurements: Height: 10cm (4in)



Silver. Modelled as a cable wrapped capstan, with hinged lid opening to glass liner, the base inscribed 'Presented to Captain Welch R.N by His Majesty King Edward VII, Christmas 1904', mounted on a square base modelled as a planked deck, fitted with pen stand, the whole raised on four ball feet.

Captain Sir David Robert Nairne Welch, K.C.V.O., R.N. (1820-1912) was a trusted member of the Edward VII’s inner circle and is believed to have recorded the details of numerous scandals involving Edward VII  when Prince of Wales in a daily journal. Sir Merton Russell-Coates recalled Welch’s diary in his autobiography. ‘He [Welch] never allowed anyone to see it, not even King Edward, who often expressed a wish to see and obtain possession of it. I gleaned, however, that it was practically the secret history of the private life of the Royal family, but more especially of the Royal guests on board the yacht.’  In 1875 Staff-Captain Welch was serving in the Solent as navigating officer on the Royal Yacht Alberta under the command of the Queen Victoria’s cousin Prince Leningen when it ran down and sank the schooner Misletoe with the loss of four lives. The coroner’s court returned a verdict of manslaughter against Welch and the Prince, but neither were punished after Admiralty voluntarily agreed to pay compensation for the loss of the schooner. Welch was appointed to the Royal Yacht Fairy in 1847-60. In 1863 he was given a grace and favour home known as the ‘Fishery Cottage’ or ‘Fishing Temple’, and the honorary post of ‘Keeper of Boats’ - a role that included the charge of Charles II’s royal barge. He was a favourite of Queen’s children and taught the young Prince Albert Edward (later Edward VII) to fish and sail.