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Vintage Silverplate P&O Oceanliner Water Pitcher

Vintage Silverplate P&O Oceanliner Water Pitcher


"This vast empire on which the sun never sets, and whose bounds nature has not yet ascertained."

The British Empire during the nineteenth century was one that truly spanned the globe, that reached all four corners of the earth and that left its mark on every continent. The expansive reach of the United Kingdom is perhaps best symbolized by her mighty shipping lines, flying the Union Jack across the high seas to far-flung ports in lands that were all but unknown.  And of all the British shipping lines, the one that most captures this expansive spirit is the great Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company - known simply as P&O.

P&O's roots can be traced back to 1822 when a ship broker and a sailor joined forces and began offering service between England and the Iberian Peninsula: the countries of Spain and Portugal. By 1835 their regular steamer service operated under the name Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, with the colors of their house flag a combination of the white and blue from the Portuguese flag, along with the red and yellow of the Spanish flag.  Two years later, in 1837, they won a contract from the British Navy to deliver mail to the Iberian Peninsula and by 1840 they also won the contract to deliver mail to Egypt. Traditionally, the countries of the Middle East were considered part of the Orient and thus in that same year, the company changed its name to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

In the early 20th-century, P&O made its money with lucrative mail delivery contracts, acquiring several other British shipping companies including the British India Steam Navigation Company (at the time Britain's largest shipping line), the General Steam Navigation Company (the oldest established steamship company), as well as the Orient Line among many others.  By the mid-1920s, their fleet had grown to almost 500 ships, they were the largest shipping company in the world and their reach was truly global. By the end of World War II, they were not only a major player in commercial shipping, but also passenger service, offering luxurious service to virtually anywhere in the world.

From the glorious P&O oceanliners, we are proud to offer this extremely rare, magnificent Silverplate Water Pitcher. Produced by Mappin & Webb, this glorious piece represents the apex of passenger amenities from the Golden Age of Travel. Lovingly restored in Sheffield, England, this one-of-a-kind pitcher is side-marked with P&O's Art Deco-era logo.  A gorgeous piece of historic oceanliner silver from one of the most storied shipping lines, this beautiful pitcher is sure to be the centerpiece of your collection.

Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. 9 1/4" x 7 1/2"

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