Decorative art, Plate

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Silver tea-urn

Decorative art

Object connections:

Collection Decorative art, Plate
ExhibitionsNelson, Navy, Nation
Gallery locationNelson, Navy, Nation Gallery (Floor plans)
PeopleDepiction: Tomlinson, Nicholas
Provenance: Corporation of the Royal Exchange Assurance
Provenance: Tomlinson, Nicholas
VesselsMorgan fl.1796 (French Privateer), Suffisante 1795 (HMS)

Object details:

Object ID PLT0181
Description Silver tea-urn presented to Captain Nicholas Tomlinson (1764-1847) by the Royal Exchange Assurance, 1796. Large plain vase-shaped tea-urn of octagonal form, standing on an octagonal base resting on four scroll feet. The two loop handles terminate in acanthus leaf decoration. It has an ivory-topped spigot and an octagonal lid with a round finial. On the back is engraved the arms of Tomlinson impaling Ward, with the crest engraved above it on the lid. On the front is the presentation inscription, surrounded by trophies of arms: 'TO NICHs TOMLINSON Esqr Commander of his Majesty's SLOOP LA SUFFISANTE; from the Corporation of the ROYAL EXCHANGE ASSURANCE, as a testimony of the sense they entertain of his activity and ability, in the capture of the MORGAN FRENCH PRIVATEER, and the recapture of Six Merchant ships on the 27th of June 1796'. Inside is a three-piece fitting consisting of a central cylinder covered by a round tray and lid with a ring handle. O'Byrne's 'Naval Biographical Dictionary (1849) reported that: 'on 30 November 1795 Mr Tomlinson, then in the 'Vesuve', was promoted to the command of 'La Suffisante' sloop of 14 guns. In her, after a chase of 11 hours and an action of 30 minutes, he made prize, 27 May 1796, between Ushant and the Main, of 'La Revanche' French national brig of 12 long 4 pounders and 85 chosen men; and in the following month, besides retaking 6 valuable British merchantmen, he captured 'La Patriote' and 'Le Morgan' privateers and an American ship and Danish brig [...] Of so much importance, indeed, was the capture of 'La Revanche' and the other vessels considered, that the Committee for Encouraging the Capture of French Privateers etc and the Court of Directors of the Royal Exchange Assurance, each voted him a piece of plate valued at 50 guineas'. The tea-urn is part of a set presented to the NMM by a descendant of Tomlinson, which includes another smaller urn, a teapot, sugar basin and cream jug.
Date made 1796-1797

Artist/Maker Salmon, Robert
Place made London
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials silver; ivory
Measurements Overall: 535 x 290 x 270 mm
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