"Xaipe!" is the Ancient Greek salutation that means "Rejoice!" It was used as a hearty greeting or as a appeal of "Godspeed" to a person heading-off on a dangerous mission. While the pronunciation varied over the millennia (Ancient vs. Modern Greek), one could roughly pronounce the word as "Kai-rrhay" (with a softly rolled "R").
This British Arts & Crafts tray is fashioned of hand-hammered brass. A circle of "bosses" surround a central dragon (who appears Welsh or Celtic). I found the piece in the South of England. I know that the piece is British, however, the rest is just conjecture. I suspect that this piece was made for a member of a special academic, military or social organization. The dragon suggest the piece may have been made in Wales. However, dragons (even Welsh Dragons) could be simply a part of the heraldry of a Wales-related individual or regiment (like the Prince of Wales, who is English, not Welsh). The salutation "Xaipe" suggest a heroic, somewhat macho dimension. Such a phrase could be the motto of a military division, a sporting team, or a highly self-confident workingmen's club. Whatever the origin—or inspiration—this tray is a very nice piece of metalwork, one with a mysterious history worth exploring. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
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