Object ID
M973.14.1 a-b
Tools and Equipment for Materials, Woodworking T&E
Date Made
ivory; copper; silver; tortoiseshell; wood; felt; velvet
  1. Size: 16cm. Ivory handled axe. The head is 4cm. by 6cm. Copper engraved with the inscription "This axe used at launch of T.SS. MONTCALM, Clydebank, 3rd July 1920". Cap at foot of handle is copperplate on bronze. Head and cap are both loose (removable). Hallmarks on face of axe, same side as inscription read; RS 375, ?W9. Hallmark on opposite side reads; 9-375.
  2. Size: 23cm. by 13cm. by 9cm. (height). Silver plate, white, velvet-lined case. Lid has tortoiseshell insert top, pressed into place from below. This bears a silver inlaid image of Montcalm on the waves. Top is hinged at rear. Case sits on four legs set into a wooden base of 28cm. by 8cm. by 2cm. Bottom of base is covered with green felt. Case separates from base. On front centre of case is engraved "Souvenir of Launce T.SS. MONTCALM, Clydebank, 3rd, July, 1920". Hallmarks left top edge of case.
Related vessels
History of Use

This ornate silver and tortoise shell casket holds the ceremonial axe used to launch the Canadian Pacific Railway steamer Montcalm (see framed promotional image) at Glasgow's John Brown Shipyard on July 3, 1920. Lady Fisher held the gilded bronze and ivory axe to cut a thread that held back a champagne bottle. Released by the thread, the bottle crashed into the bow to christen Montcalm. Original ship built: 1920, 16,418 tons. Image of the Montcalm found in the collection 1939 converted to Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Wolfe, 1941 used as troopship, 1942 sold to Admiralty as submarine depot ship.