A Fine Indo-Persian Pesh-Kabz Presented To Field Marshall Lord Nicholson
Lot 432Y
A Fine Indo-Persian Pesh-Kabz Presented To Field Marshall Lord Nicholson
19th Century
Sold for £11,875 (US$ 15,658) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Fine Indo-Persian Pesh-Kabz Presented To Field Marshall Lord Nicholson A Fine Indo-Persian Pesh-Kabz Presented To Field Marshall Lord Nicholson
A Fine Indo-Persian Pesh-Kabz Presented To Field Marshall Lord Nicholson
19th Century
With finely watered curved blade double-edged over half its length towards the reinforced point and with medial ridge on both sides terminating at a gold-damascened panel behind the point, one side damascened in gold naskh script with a verse from the Qur'an, the spine of T-section with trefoil-shaped finial damascened with gold foliage, two cartouche-shaped panels behind each damascened in gold with a couplet in Persian nas'taliq script 'May the grip be always victorious' against a punched gold ground, the forte on each side damascened in gold with a shaped panel of foliage inhabited by two birds, a gold-damascened vase of flowers beyond, beaked iron hilt decorated in gold en suite with the forte and including a cartouche-shaped panel damascened in gold thulth script 'Made by Muhammad Khan' between the back of the blade and the grip, gilt suspension swivel, and rounded walrus-ivory grips of plano-convex section, one with applied paper label inscribed in ink 'Presented to Field Marshal Lord Nicholson by the Amier of Afganastan', in original wooden scabbard covered in tooled black leather with bud-shaped finial, and bound with its original suspension cord with tassel
28.7 cm. blade


  • Field Marshal Lord William Gustavus Nicholson, 1st Baron of Roundhay, GCB (1845-1918) was born at the family estate of Roundhay Park, Leeds. He entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in 1863, passing out first in his term and receiving the Pollock Medal for best cadet the following year. In 1865 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, and was employed on coastal fortification work in Barbados between 1868 and 1871 before being posted to India and serving in the Punjab Campaign of 1872

    In 1878 he was promoted to captain and served in the Second Anglo-Afghan War before accompanying Sir Frederick Roberts on the march from Kabul to Kandahar, being present at the battle of Kandahar. He was mentioned in despatches three times and promoted to the brevet rank of major

    In 1880, he was appointed Secretary to the Defence committee at Simla, but also saw active service with the Indian contingent that served in the Egyptian campaign of 1882, before returning to the post of Assistant Adjutant-General, Royal Engineers, which he also held whilst serving in the Third Burmese War, where he earned further honours and the rank of lieutenant colonel. Between 1890 and 1893 he served as Military Secretary to Lord Roberts, then Commander-in-Chief in India, being promoted to colonel and knighted during his time there. Nicholson saw service again on the North West Frontier of India, with the Tirah Expeditionary Force, receiving further mentions in despatches and being elevated to Knight Commander of the Bath

    He was appointed Adjutant-General in India in 1898, but at Lord Roberts' request was appointed his Military Secretary for the second time, serving in Africa during the Boer War, having involvement in Intelligence work as well as being Director of Transport, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-General by 1901, when he took on the post of Director of Military Operations at the War Office. During the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) he served as Chief Military Attaché to the Imperial Japanese Army, returning to Britain to become Quartermaster-General of the Forces the following year. In 1908 he was appointed as the first Chief of the Imperial General Staff and raised to Knight Grand Cross of the Bath. Two years later he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the newly crowned King George V, and became Field-Marshal shortly before his retirement in 1912, when he was raised to the peerage as First Baron of Roundhay

    After his retirement he served as chairman of the Commission into Indian Army Expenditure and, on the outbreak of the First World War, he returned to duty at the age of sixty-nine, serving on the Committee of Imperial Defence. In 1916 he was appointed Colonel-Commandant of his former regiment and he died only two months before the end of the war, at the age of seventy-three, having served for almost fifty-three years

    Probably presented by King Abdur Rahman Khan, the 'Iron Amir', who ruled from 1880 to 1901
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