Tobacco box

An oval copper tobacco box. The hinged lid is engraved with a man smoking a pipe, sitting under a tree with mason's tools at his feet (a mason's trowel, a level and a mason's hammer). He is contentedly contemplating a house in the background, possibly one he has finished building. The design is personalised with the inscription 'Charles Robinson 1784'.

A depiction of the loss of the 'Royal George' on the base is inscribed: 'The Royal GEORGE Lost at Spithead Augt 29th 1782'. The first rate capsized at anchor while being heeled over to fit a cock below the waterline. About 900 lives were lost as a result of the disaster including that of Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt. The resulting court martial blamed the collapse of part of her decaying timbers for the accident. However as stores were being loaded through open gunports on the other side of the vessel, it is likely that water being washed onto the gundeck adversely affected the stability of the ship.

Object Details

ID: OBJ0262
Type: Tobacco box
Display location: Display - Atlantic Gallery
Vessels: Royal George (1756)
Date made: 1784
Exhibition: The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire; Trade and Commerce
People: Charles Robinson
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 20 mm x 120 mm x 70 mm

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