Menu holder

Chinese silver menu holder used in Royal Navy wardroom, 1937.

The menu holder is shaped as a naval crown on a flat silver base with canted corners. There is a Chinese inscription on the base and English inscription 'Tai Hua'.

The original paper wrapping in which the menu holder was purchased is printed in English: 'Wen Hua Shun, Silversmith, North Street, Wei Hai Wei City. Silver ornaments with or without enamel a speciality':

Lieutenant Commander David Waters, the donor of this menu holder, who served in China wrote: 'it was customary on occasion for an officer to present a piece of silver to a gunroom or wardroom, perhaps as sub lieutenant of the gunroom, or on leaving the ship during a happy commission to the wardroom. Menu holders, which you had engraved with your name, date and the ships name, were always acceptable and were used on dinner nights. The silversmiths would come on board at lunchtime or at 4 o'clock with their wares in baskets and spread them out on the deck on mats. They would make anything to order'.

Object Details

ID: PLT0729
Collection: Decorative art
Type: Menu holder
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Wen Hua Shun
Date made: 1937
People: Royal Navy
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 35 mm

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