These days, ships are launched with a bottle of bubbly smashing into the bow. To judge by a lot coming up at Bonham’s, back in 1895 they apparently did it differently. Eight inches long, it is catalogued as a 15-carat gold and ivory launching axe for the Irish Ferry SS Ulster, the honours done by the Duchess of Abercorn in 1886. Bid for it at Bonham’s Marine Sale, Knightsbridge, London, April 12, estimate £600-£800; see...
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