A rare dedicated souvenir "Turban Shell" (Latin: Turbo Marmoratus) hand engraved, onboard ship, "with a penknife" by C H Wood.
This presentation piece was commisioned by the ship's Chief Engineer William Driver, for his brother Charles in 1866, to commemorate the laying of the transatlantc telegraph cable.
The Great Eastern, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was an iron steam sailing ship which, from it's 1858 launch until 1899, was the largest ship ever built.
The inscriptions, in addition to the ship's dimensions, read:
"A Present from the Gt Eastern (Lying in the River Mersey)."
"To Charles Driver from his brother William"
"As a gratifying remembrance of laying the submarine Telegraph Cable of 1866 from England and America, and recovering the last Cable of 1865. And with triumphant success accomplished the laying of that also"
"J Anderson Commander" (Sir James Anderson was Captain of the Great Eastern from 1865 to 1866)
"W Driver Chief Engineer S crew"
signed Eng "With a penknife by C Wood.
Condition: very good. There is a crack to the inside of the mouth which, for the most part, is not visible on the outside. There have been no repairs or restoration.
13cm / 5 inches long