Original British 19th Century Naval 1/2 GILL Brass Rum Measure for Grog - G.R. and V.R. Marked
Original Item: One only. We've all heard of Scurvy the terrible decease contracted through lack of Vitamin C. The decease was rampant in the BRITISH NAVY in the 18th Century. Even barrels of "fresh water" stored for a long ocean voyage developed the most awful scum from algae.
In 1740 the British Vice Admiral EDWARD VERNON who was overall commander of the West Indies Station ordered that every English seaman should receive a ration of RUM everyday. This amounted to a HALF PINT. When issued neat it led to problems of abuse with sailors saving rations to be consumed all at once leaving them insensible to their required tasks. It was resolved therefore that the HALF PINT Rum Ration should be mixed with TWO PINTS of fresh water creating what we now know as "GROG." It had been intended for Lime and Orange juice to be added but was very rarely available.
Thus started a tradition that stood in the Royal Navy for more than 200 years.
Being GR and VR Proofed this dates to the Period of 1820-1830 (King George IV), and was then used through 1830-1837 (King William IV) and into Queen Victoria's reign which started in 1837. The second proof mark was most likely applied when the ship was in for a refit.
This bulbous shaped measure is made of Brass and stands just 2 1/2" high, the outer edge carries proof marks showing 1/2 GILL and and the proof marks of firstly King George IV and then Queen Victoria. The side of the measure is engraved with a large Anchor which is still quite clear but next to this is what we believe to be the name of the Ship which we cannot quite read.
Even for the Grog nobody wanted to be an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy in those just terrible times. Ready to serve or just display.
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