Not currently on display at the V&A

Cigar Piercer

1954 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The Government Hospitality Fund (GHF) was instituted in 1908 to provide official hospitality on behalf of Government when ministers acted as hosts for lunches, dinners and receptions. GHF was centrally funded and remained a semi-autonomous body attached to various departments until 1999 when it became a section within the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

The GHF cutlery and tableware has seen service at important government functions throughout the 20th century. Collectively known as the State Dinner Service, this piece was part of 19,500 items of silver, porcelain, glass and linen still in use today, for official ministerial hosted lunches or dinners. It is looked after by the Government Butlers at Lancaster House, and only used when there is a Butler to supervise and run the event, at Lancaster House, Downing Street, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Admiralty House and No 1 Carlton Gardens. It has also been used at Chequers, to host President Yeltsin in 1994, President Chirac in 1995, and at Cardiff Castle in 1998 when HM the Queen hosted a dinner for the European Council.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Cigar piercer, silver, engraved with the cipher 'ERII', from the Government Hospitality Fund tableware collection, Cohen & Charles, Birmingham, ca. 1954
Physical description
Cigar piercer engraved with the cipher 'ERII'
Dimensions
  • Length: 6.6cm
  • Diameter: 1.6cm (at open end)
  • Diameter: 0.8cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • Hallmarks of C&C, an anchor, a lion passant and a capital 'S' or 'E'. (Maker's mark for Cohen & Charles, city mark (Birmingham), standard mark (Sterling .925) and date letter (1954 or 1967).)
  • 'ERII' (Elizabeth Rex II)
Credit line
Given by the Government Hospitality Fund
Object history
Historical significance: tableware used by the Government Hospitality Fund when ministers acted as hosts for receptions.
Summary
The Government Hospitality Fund (GHF) was instituted in 1908 to provide official hospitality on behalf of Government when ministers acted as hosts for lunches, dinners and receptions. GHF was centrally funded and remained a semi-autonomous body attached to various departments until 1999 when it became a section within the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

The GHF cutlery and tableware has seen service at important government functions throughout the 20th century. Collectively known as the State Dinner Service, this piece was part of 19,500 items of silver, porcelain, glass and linen still in use today, for official ministerial hosted lunches or dinners. It is looked after by the Government Butlers at Lancaster House, and only used when there is a Butler to supervise and run the event, at Lancaster House, Downing Street, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Admiralty House and No 1 Carlton Gardens. It has also been used at Chequers, to host President Yeltsin in 1994, President Chirac in 1995, and at Cardiff Castle in 1998 when HM the Queen hosted a dinner for the European Council.
Collection
Accession number
M.50-2012

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Record createdOctober 16, 2012
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