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Royal National Lifeboat Institution - A Presentation Reverse Crystal Intaglio, 1882

Gold, crystal, polychrome and enamel. Of convex circular form, exceptional size and mounted within a twin border of R.N.L.I. livery in red and blue enamel, the reverse crystal intaglio deeply carved and painted with a dramatic rescue scene in which a rowing life boat crew fights the elements to effect a rescue from a distressed three masted barque on the horizon. The gold reverse inscribed ‘Presented to / Lady Isabel F. Clayton / By The / Royal National Lifeboat Institution / in recognition / of the many kind services / of her husband / Colonel Fitzroy Clayton / 1882’. Contained in its original fitted velvet lined case.

The present pendant was presented to Lady Isabel Clayton, daughter of the Marquis of Headfort and wife R.N.L.I. chairman Colonel Sir Fitzroy Clayton, K.C.V.O., J.P.

Fitzroy Augustus Talbot Clayton (1834-1913) was a gentleman yachtsman, friend of King Edward VII and the inventor of the drop keel for lifeboats. In 1848 while still at Eton he owned a Plymouth-built, fifteen foot fully-rigged schooner which he sailed on the Upper Thames. He was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards in 1853, and took up yachting seriously after his return from the Crimean War. His yachts included a 12-ton cutter kept at Ryde on the Isle of Wight; Triton, a 26-ton cutter, and Mabel, a 19-ton yawl. He sailed for many years as an amateur hand on board the racing schooner Egeria, and also on the 60-ton cutter Vanguard. He acted as helmsman with marked success in the 30-ton cutter Xenia. In later life he wasa J.P. for Berkshire, and Deputy-Chairman of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

© The Armoury of St James's 17 Piccadilly Arcade London SW1Y 6NH