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New York Yacht Club / Arthur Meeker


This banquet-weight saucer bears the burgee of the New York Yacht Club, on the left, and on the right, the flag of Armour & Co. meatpacking vice president and millionaire Arthur Meeker of Chicago (identified by Lloyd's Register of American Yachts, 1917).

With its 1920 James M. Shaw & Co. distributor backstamp it would have been made for Meeker's 193-foot steam yacht that he owned in 1920, Victoria.

Newspapers of the time had many stories about this boat under its previous name, Dolaura, which was the yacht owned by Lord James Dunsmuir of London and Victoria, B.C. and "one of the finest yachts on the Pacific Coast," according to the July 6, 1919 issue of The Daily Colonist in Victoria, B.C. The Daily Colonist noted in this story that "application has been made to change the name of the palatial steam yacht Dolaura to Victoria, under Canadian registry. Word is expected shortly that the application has been granted. The craft is now under British registry."

A story in the July 20, 1919 Chicago Tribune a couple of weeks later mentioned that the Dolaura was renamed Victoria by Meeker's wife upon their purchase of the boat.

After the Meekers' initial voyage to Vancouver, B.C. and on to Skagway, Alaska, the plan was for the Victoria to head to New York via the Panama Canal, and that would likely indicate its future connection with the New York Yacht Club. The Daily Colonist story mentioned that after "lying at Tarrow's plant for several months," the boat "has regained her old interior and exterior glory." And the "complement of the vessel" received "new uniforms" when they reached the Sound. And presumably, this overhaul would have shortly included this topmarked service of china.

Meeker had at least one other yacht before ownership of Victoria, the Arcady. He sold it to the US Navy in 1917, where it was used as a section patrol vessel during World War I. But its ownership would not have coincided with this china. Apparently Meeker sold Victoria in 1922 to James Shewan of New York, wherein it was renamed Patricia.

Update: Information provided by the New York Yacht Club confirms this information, with the addition that Meeker was elected on May 20, 1915 and resigned on Dec. 31, 1922. The club provided scans from the 1920 Lloyd's Register, shown at left. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Many thanks to Phil Lord, Harry Aycock and the New York Yacht Club for their research help on this pattern.


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