A Regency sterling silver wine cooler Benjamin Smith II, London, 1814
With later inscription to Captain Fred Burnaby, weight approximately 73 oz troy height 11 in (28 cm); width 13 in (33 cm); depth 8 1/4 in (20 cm).
Frederick Gustavus Burnaby was born in Bedfordshire County in 1842. A man of towering stature and robust character, he joined the Royal Horse Guards in 1859. Captain Burnaby was a skilled swordsman and linguist which facilitated his travels throughout Europe, Asia and Africa during the middle of the 19th century. It was on these expeditions that he penned his two journals "A Ride to Khiva", 1875 and "On Horseback through Asia Minor", 1876. Burnaby subsequently served in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
He returned to England and married Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed in 1879. His adventurous spirit carried him on a hot air balloon crossing of the English Channel in 1882, as a special foreign correspondent for The Times and as an intelligence officer during various North African military campaigns. Colonel Burnaby met his end in hand to hand combat during the Battle of Abu Klea, Egypt, in 1885. It is said that when informed of the Colonel's demise, Queen Victoria was so overcome that she fainted.