Vallejo Gallery

Launching Commemorative Set for Kaiser Wilhelm's METEOR

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Oak Case 18⅜ x 12½ x 5¼
February 25, 1902 Framed

Launching Commemorative Oak Cased Set with Gorham Silver-Bottle Sleeve, Hatchet, and Hull Steel Wedge from Kaiser Wilhelm's Schooner Yacht METEOR of 1902

An exceptional commemorative launching set from the christening ceremony of Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm II’s Schooner Yacht METEOR, preserved in a custom rich blue velvet-lined oak box. Performed on February 25, 1902, the launching was attended by several dignitaries, including President Theodore Roosevelt and Prussian Prince Henry, the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm. President Roosevelt’s daughter Alice presided over the christening, smashing the Gorham-silver covered bottle of Moet & Chandon against the hull and cutting the line to drop the A. Cary Smith-designed schooner yacht into the water of Greater New York Bay with the ceremonial hatchet in this presentation box. The entire event was recorded on film by Thomas Edison, and is part of the Edison Catalog. It is said to have been the most prestigious crowd ever assembled for a launching.

The Kaiser was Queen Victoria’s grandson and had other British relatives and relationships, including membership in yacht clubs, and sponsoring international racing events. Hard in 1902 to predict the worldwide hostilities that would reach all of these political and social factions in World War I. Still when the Townsend & Downey Shipbuilding Co. of Shooter Island finished the royal yacht, several ceremonial events were planned, including a Presidential luncheon and the formal launching. Despite the pedigree and expense, METEOR proved to be a rather unspectacular racer and sold in 1909, and sold several more times until being retired in the 1940s. The luxurious yacht is well matched with this superior launching commemorative objects of Gorham silver set in the blue-velvet lined oak case, the original hatchet, covered champagne bottle and chain added to with a sample of the folded hull metal, engraved with the events details. This is a one-of-a-kind launching commemorative set of the highest quality and historic context.

Cased Oak Box Case with Blue-Velvet Lining with Silver Commemorative Plaque: "Souvenir of the Christening of the German Emperor's Yacht Meteor by Miss Alice Roosevelt February 25 1902".

Measures 18⅜ x 12½ x 5¼, contains:15 Inch Engraved Silver Hatchet13 Inch Moet & Chandon White Star Champagne Bottle (shattered)with Engraved Gorham Silver Cover attached to Spooled Silver Chain4 Inch Spike of Steel Engraved: "Basic OH Steel Manufactured by Tidewater Steel Co., Chester PA for H.I.M. Kaiser Wilhelm's Yacht METEOR February 1902"