A Fine and Rare Lloyd's Patriotic Fund Sword Of £100 Value To Arthur Farquhar Esq., Commander Of H.M. Bomb Acheron
Lot 116Y
A Fine And Rare Lloyd's Patriotic Fund Sword Of £100 Value To Arthur Farquhar Esq., Commander Of H.M. Bomb Acheron
Sold for £79,250 (US$ 133,125) inc. premium
Auction Details
A Fine and Rare Lloyd's Patriotic Fund Sword Of £100 Value To Arthur Farquhar Esq. A Fine and Rare Lloyd's Patriotic Fund Sword Of £100 Value To Arthur Farquhar Esq.
Lot Details
A Fine And Rare Lloyd's Patriotic Fund Sword Of £100 Value To Arthur Farquhar Esq., Commander Of H.M. Bomb Acheron
Dated 23 March 1805
With curved single-edged hollow-ground blade (very minor areas of rust patination) richly etched and gilt against a blued ground with foliage including roses, thistles and acorns, dolphins, naval and martial trophies, figures of Britannia, Victory and Hercules, crowned royal arms and cypher of George III, the recipient's monogram in a starburst above a phoenix, and the presentation inscription, stirrup hilt of ormolu, the quillons formed as a fasces, the knuckle-guard as the club of Hercules entwined by a serpent, the langets cast with acanthus foliage and naval trophies, the back-piece of the partly chequered ivory grip (minor chip) cast as the skin of the Nemean lion, in its original foliate engraved scabbard of ormolu decorated with naval medallions along each side cast and chased with the figures of Britannia with the inscription 'Acheron 1805' above, Hercules with the Hydra, and the Nemean lion, the open panels with cast, pierced and chased naval trophies on navy blue velvet grounds, the two suspension loops in the form of coiled serpents, the chape with a border of graduated beads, the top edge of the locket engraved 'R. Teed, Sword Cutlers, Lancaster Court, Strand', and in fine condition retaining virtually all its original blued and gilt finish
76.2 cm. blade

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The recipient and thence by descent

    Literature:
    Commander W.E. May, R.N. and P.G. Annis, Swords for Sea Service, 1970, p.70

    The presentation inscription reads: 'From The Patriotic Fund At Lloyds, To Arthur Farquhar Esqr. Comdr. Of H.M. Bomb Acheron, For His Noble Support Of The Honor Of The British Flag, & His Successful Protection Of A Convoy From The Mediterranean Under His Care, & That Of Captn. Vincent In The Arrow Sloop, When Attacked On The 3d. Of Feby. 1805 By Two Large French Frigates, As Recorded In The London Gazte. Of The 23d. March.'

    Arthur Farquhar was born in 1772 and joined the Navy in 1787. Having passed his examination he entered service on board an East India Company ship but on arrival in India he heard news of the war with France and rejoined the Royal Navy. He served as lieutenant on various ships until promoted to commander in 1802 and in January 1804 he took command of the bomb Acheron

    At dawn on the 3rd of February 1805, in the company of the sloop Arrow, he was escorting a convoy of 35 merchant ships from Malta to England when two large ships were sighted. After a series of manoeuvres and signals the ships were identified as two French frigates, the Hortense (40) and Incorruptible (38). After an exchange of fire which considerably damaged the Acheron's rigging and sails, night fell. Dawn the following day saw the action continue and by 8.30 a.m. the Arrow, who had been totally disabled, struck her colours to the Incorruptible. Twenty minutes later the badly damaged Acheron hauled down her colours to the Hortense. The action of these two greatly out-gunned and out-manned ships allowed all but three of the convoy to avoid capture and proceed safely to England. At his court-martial on the 28th of March 1805 (see following lot) Farquhar was honourably acquitted and the action was described as 'highly meritorious and deserving imitation'. On the 8th of April he was promoted to post-captain and later awarded a sword by the Patriotic Fund and a piece of plate by the Merchants of Malta. He continued to see active service in the Baltic and North Sea, capturing numerous privateers. He commanded naval operations in the Weser, the Ems and the Elbe and was present at the capture of Glückstadt in 1814. For these services he was made a Knight of the Sword of Sweden and also of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order. In 1815 he was made a C.B. From 1830 to 1833 he commanded the Blanche (48) in the West Indies as commodore and for his services there during the slave revolt received the thanks of the House of Assembly of Jamaica, and a sword of £150 value (see lot 118) and a piece of plate from the merchants. He was knighted on his return to England, attained the rank of rear-admiral in 1837 and died in 1843
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