Duke of Cambridge Mameluke Hilted Sword Apr 30, 2014 5:32:27 GMT
Post by Jack Loomes on Apr 30, 2014 5:32:27 GMT
An Historic Silver-Gilt Mounted Jewelled And Enamelled Mameluke-Hilted Sword Presented To His Royal Highness The Duke Of Cambridge K.G., Commander-In-Chief Of The British Army By The Corporation Of London
Retailed By C.F. Hancock, 39 Bruton Street, London, No. 8465, London Silver Hallmarks For 1857, Maker's Mark Of John Linnit.
With bright curved single-edged blade finely etched over nearly its entire length with symmetrical designs of foliated strapwork incorporating the arms and motto of the City of London on one side, and with the presentation inscription and crowned 'GR' monogram on the other, the forte with retailer's name and address on one side, hilt with silver-gilt guard cast and chased with foliage against a finely stippled ground, the outside with applied field marshal's crossed sword and baton each set with rose-cut diamonds against a red enamelled roundel (enamel damaged) within a wreath of small step-cut emeralds and rose-cut diamonds, the recurved quillons each cast with ribbonwork and set with an old brilliant-cut diamond between two cabochon emeralds on the outside, rounded ivory grip carved in relief with foliage and set with two cabochon garnets on each side, and retaining its original bullion sword-knot, in its original silver-gilt scabbard engraved with symmetrical designs of foliated strapwork along the inside, the outside cast and chased in relief with stylised foliage and branches of laurel and oak, all against a finely stippled ground, the locket with applied crowned 'GR' monogram set with rose-cut diamonds, a faceted ruby and two step-cut emeralds against a red enamel ground, the monogram within a gilt beaded border, a banner beneath inscribed 'Soldier & Citizen', the mid-section with the arms and motto of the City of London, the arms in cabochon garnets and red enamel on a white shield, a plaque inscribed 'London' above and with the devices of the City of London above and below, the chape with battle honours for 'Crimea', 'Alma', 'Inkerman' and 'Sebastopol', two rings for suspension, and in very fine condition overall: in original fitted mahogany-veneered case lined in deep blue velvet, the interior of the lid lined in blue silk with stamped gilt retailer's details, the exterior (some scratching and minor damage) with elaborate inlaid and engraved crowned foliate 'GR' monogram.
83 cm. blade
Provenance: By descent to the vendor
The presentation inscription reads: 'The Freedom Of The City Of London [Together With This Sword] Was Presented To His Royal Highness The Duke Of Cambridge K.G. Commander In Chief Of The British Army By The Corporation Of London In Testimony Of Their High Estimation Of His Distinguished Character And Services A.D. 1857'
The blade (No. 8465) is recorded as having been finished by Randall Row of Wilkinson Sword on 14 October 1857
Field Marshall His Royal Highness Prince George William Fredrick Charles, KG, KT, KP, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, KJ st.J, ADC, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden was a grandson of George III and a first cousin of Queen Victoria. Born at Cambridge House, Hanover, he was educated there and, following a short period of service in the Hanoverian army, he embarked upon a career in the British army. He received the rank of colonel in 1837 and became inspector of the cavalry in 1852. In 1854 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and commanded the 1st Division of the British Army in the East. He was present at the Battles of Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman (horse shot) and at the siege of Sevastopol. On 5 July 1856 he was appointed general commanding-in-chief of the British Army, a title renamed commander-in-chief in 1887 and one which he held until his resignation in 1895 making him the longest serving head of the British Army. He was most resistant to change in the Army and is generally held responsible for its stagnation between the Crimean and Boer Wars. He was once quoted as saying "There is a time for everything, and the time for change is when you can no longer help it." In 1847 he married in contravention of the 1772 Royal Marriage Act and on his death in 1904 the Dukedom became extinct. The Duke is commemorated by an equestrian statue in Whitehall, opposite the War Office.
The first sword presented by the City of London, together with the Freedom of the City, for distinguished service was awarded in 1797 and a total of sixty-three have been given. At first, a sword of two-hundred guineas value was presented to the overall commander of a major action or campaign and a sword of one-hundred guineas value to the second in command. This sword is the only one to have been presented to a member of the British royal family and, at a cost of two hundred and eight guineas, the most expensive of all the swords presented prior to the Second World War.