Prince Regent Royal Yacht Serving Dish, 1817
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Diameter: 28.5cm (11in)
Hand painted porcelain serving dish commissioned by the Prince Regent, for his new Royal Yacht, H.M.Y. Royal George, launched 1817 - the year in which Prince Regent indicated his desire to become a member of the Yacht Club; afterwards renamed, by royal command, the Royal Yacht Squadron.
Decorated at the centre with Royal crown, anchor and initials ‘P’ and ‘R’, the rim further decorated with a border of entwined rope and fruiting oak leaves. Mark: iron red Spode.
The Royal Yacht Squadron was founded on 1 June 1815 at the Thatched House Tavern in St James’s Street, London. Originally named The Yacht Club, it comprised forty-two gentlemen members, who agreed to meet twice a year, in London and Cowes, to discuss their mutual interest over dinner. Duke of Clarence (later King William IV) and their cousin the Duke of Gloucester (William Frederick) followed the Prince Regent’s lead and also enrolled as members. Judging by the signal flags recorded in the club’s signal book and the Prince Regent’s ever expanding waistline, it seems these yachtsmen made few concessions to the limitations of nautical life. Recorded signals between members included “Can you lend me your band?" and "Have you any ladies on board?" to the signal to shore, "One hundred prawns, a soup tureen and three hundred oysters."
Interestingly Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, Nelson’s flag captain at Trafalgar, was among the early Honorary Naval members.
Pugh, Surgeon Captain P.D. Gordon & M., (1971) Naval Ceramics, The Ceramic Book Co, Newport.
Whiter, L. (1970) Spode: A History of the Family, Factory and Wares from 1733to 1833, Barrie & Jenkins.