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Object: Presentation casket

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Title Presentation casket
Production Unknown, circa 1919, New Zealand
Medium summary carved wooden casket with silver plaque and metal kiwi and ferns on lid
Materials wood, silver, metal
Classification caskets
Dimensions Overall: 340mm (Width) x 260mm (Height) x 200mm (Depth)
Credit line Purchased 2012
Registration number GH022760

This presentation casked is associated with the battlecruiser HMS New Zealand, specifically the trip it made to New Zealand after WWI. The ship had been donated by New Zealand to the Royal Navy in 1913. It participated in key naval battles during WWI, including the Battle of Jutland. At the end of the war, the ship was detached to the Royal Navy to carry the Admirial of the Fleet, Lord Jellicoe to New Zealand on a trip he made to India and the Dominionions to advise their governments on naval defence matters.

HMS New Zealand was in New Zealand from 20 August to 3 October 1919. Jellicoe, who was to become the Governor General in 1920, and his wife were feted by govenement officials and members of the public. There was also a reprise of widespread public interest in the battlecruiser, much as there had been when the ship had visited in 1913.

The casket is notable because its recipient, Lady Liverpool played a major public role during the Great War. She led fundraising for soldiers' comforts and the outfitting of the hospitial ships, Maheno and Marama. The casket, filled with chocolates, was presented to Lady Liverpool at a ball held in the Wellington Town Hall on 26 August 1919. Viscountess Jellicoe was also presented with one.

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