A Vintage Gt. Yarmouth Marine Life Buoy / Perry Buoy from the 'Sea Quest'


Origin: British
Period: Early-Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1930
Diameter: 30 inches
Depth: 4 inches

Here we have an entertaining piece of nautical history, overpainted in a sandy yellow, with ‘Sea Quest YH16’ hand painted in black lettering emblazoned proudly across its front. There is also the ‘Perrybuoy – board of trade approved’ marked in raised lettering on either flank. In generally good condition for its age there is some crazing to the surface but this only serves to make the ring more desirable. The rope attached to the buoy is present but presumed later.

Seaquest are an operating fishing trip company in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk; though whether this ring came from their establishment is not known for certain but probable seeing as a YH16 is still bobbing about their harbour today.

Whilst the lifebuoy itself has many different names such as ring buoy, lifering, lifesaver, lifebelt, kisby ring or perry buoy, its purpose remains the same. Designed to be thrown to a person in the water, to provide buoyancy and prevent drowning, lifebuoys are usually ring-shaped or horseshoe-shaped and have a connecting line allowing the casualty to be pulled to the rescuer.

Britain's Royal National Lifeboat Institution started using life preservers in Victorian times. By 1855 the institution was using the Kisbee ring, the descendent of the ring we offer here, a type of ring buoy invented by Lt. Thomas Kisbee, and a cork life belt, invented by Navy Cmdr. J.R. Ward in 1854.

This is a rare piece of vintage nautical ware that doubles as a decorative treat and for that reason we love it; all it requires is a drop of that imagination of yours. How about starting with the bathroom eh?