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1910s Antique Sterling Silver Unterseeboot / Military Submarine Inkwell


A exceptional, fine and impressive antique George V sterling silver inkwell modelled in the form of a German military submarine / unterseeboot; an addition to AC Silver's nautical related silverware collection. This exceptional and unusual, antique George V English sterling silver inkwell has been realistically modelled in the form of a German military submarine*. This antique submarine inkwell features hallmarked articulated parts including the bow plane and propeller shafts. The conning tower of this impressive U-boat is embellished with a variety of protruding features, including a communications antenna, periscope and steering wheel. The elongated surface of the submarine is encompassed with an impressive cable style rail. The body of the vessel incorporates engraved torpedo tubes. The hallmarked hinged cover opens to allow access to the original removable glass liner. This German military ship sits to the original painted wood presentation plinth fitted with a shaped rectangular plaque to one side embellished with the inscription: 'H. L. Marshall, Second Officer. Presented by the Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd and The Anglo Mexican Petroleum Products Co Ltd. As a memento of the escape of the SS "San Melito" from a German Submarine after being shelled 40 minutes, August 21st 1915.'*** The plinth is fitted with a leatherette covering to the underside. This exceptional inkwell was crafted by the renowned London silversmiths Charles & Richard Comyns. This style of submarine can be attributed to the German word "unterseeboot", otherwise known as u-boot/u-boat. It references a submarine used for military purposes, operated by Germany in the First and Second World Wars. This inscription could be erased upon request. The SS San Melito was a 12,286 ton merchant navy ship/shell tanker which was owned by The Eagle Tanker Company Ltd and launched onto the River Tyne. During the stated World War I attack this ship progressed to a speed of 15 knots and was struck by one shell, remaining afloat and only slightly damaged. The officers aboard were all presented with a decorative submarine inkwell to commemorate the attack. Dimensions Length 34cm/13.4" Width 11cm/4.3" Height 12.5cm/4.9" Reflections in photographs may detract from the true representation of this example of antique silverware. Maker: William Comyns & Sons Ltd (Richard Comyns) Date: 1916 Origin: London, England Video: A video of this fine piece is available upon request.  


  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
    Excellent. This antique submarine inkwell is an exceptional gauge of silver, exceptional quality and in exceptional condition. Full hallmarks struck to the surface of the inkwell recess, in addition to the part hallmarks to the interior..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 4.9 in. x W 4.3 in. x D 13.4 in.

    H 12.45 cm x W 10.93 cm x D 34.04 cm

  • Seller location
    Jesmond, GB
  • Seller reference number
  • Reference number

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About the Seller

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2015
Typical response time: 9 hrs
Located in Jesmond, GB
LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations
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