An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Admiral William Carnegie, 7th Earl Of Northesk
Lot 469* Y
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Admiral William Carnegie, 7th Earl Of Northesk
Sold for £18,750 (US$ 24,326) inc. premium

Lot Details
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Admiral William Carnegie, 7th Earl Of Northesk An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Admiral William Carnegie, 7th Earl Of Northesk
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Admiral William Carnegie, 7th Earl Of Northesk
By Prosser, Manufacturer To His Majesty And H.R.H. The Duke Of Clarence, London, Early 19th Century
With tapering fullered blade (some surface patination) double-edged at the point, the forte on both sides etched and gilt against a blued ground with an elaborate crowned naval trophy, on one side above post-1801 crowned royal arms and mottoes, and on the other above a crowned fouled anchor within a wreath of laurel, regulation gilt stirrup hilt with langets each engraved with a fouled anchor, lobed rear quillon, pommel cast and chased as a lion-mask and extending to form a faceted back-piece, and ribbed ivory grip (chipped) bound with twisted copper wire and set on one side with a gilt plaque engraved with the crowned arms of the Duke of Clarence within the belt of the Order of the Garter, and on the other side with a gilt plaque engraved with the arms of the recipient incorporating 'Trafalgar', in original black leather scabbard (worn and damaged) with linear engraved gilt mounts and two rings for suspension, the locket signed in full on one side, and retaining much of its original gilding
82.5 cm. blade


  • The Duke of Clarence, later King William IV, was known as the 'Sailor Prince'. He entered the navy in 1779, attained the rank of Captain in 1786 and was best man at Nelson's wedding in 1787. He gave a number of swords to naval officers who had distinguished themselves in various ways. At first, the swords he gave were similar to those carried by certain cavalry regiments from the early 1790s and are sometimes refered to as 'coffin pommel swords' (see the example sold in these Rooms, Fine Antique Arms and Armour ..., 29 April 2010, lot 212). Later, the Duke gave swords which adhered to the 1805 and the 1827 patterns. These swords had gilt plaques set into their grips engraved with the arms of the Duke on one side and those of the recipient on the other, as in this case

    Admiral William Carnegie GCB, 7th Earl of Northesk (1758-1831) followed his father into the navy at the age of thirteen. He first served in the American War of Independence aboard the frigate HMS Beaulieu and the ship of the line HMS Sandwich, being involved in the Battle of Martinique in 1780 under Admiral Rodney. Due to his good conduct Rodney promoted him to Commander and aided his rise to Post Captain in 1782, whereupon he was given command of the frigate HMS Enterprise. In 1792 he acceded to the earldom and in 1796 was given the command of HMS Monmouth. The following year he was caught up in the Nare Mutiny but was released by the mutineers to take their demands to London. Northesk had some sympathy with the initial stages of the mutiny, so when the demands were refused, he resigned his position as untenable following his failure to restore order to his ship or gain concessions from the government. Reinstated by the Admiralty in 1803 with full seniority as a rear-admiral, he was given the 100 gun first rate HMS Britannia as his flagship and went south with Sir Robert Calder to join the blockading squadrons off Spain. He missed Calder's action in 1805, and joined Nelson's fleet off Cadiz the same year

    At the Battle of Trafalgar, Northesk was the third most senior officer present after Nelson and Collingwood. During the battle he was heavily engaged with the enormous Spanish 130 gun ship Santissima Trinidad, the Brittania suffering 52 casualties. He was greatly rewarded for his service in action, including a silver vase of £300 value from the Patriotic Fund at Lloyds, however he never served at sea again. He was initiated into the Order of the Bath, eventually reaching the position of Knight Grand Cross. He also attained the rank of full Admiral, the ceremonial post of Rear Admiral of Great Britain and was made Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth. He is buried alongside Nelson and Collingwood in the crypt at St. Paul's Cathedral, where his tomb can be seen to this day

    For another example presented to Captain F.L. Maitland, see Sim Comfort, Naval Swords & Dirks ..., Vol. 2, 2008, pp. 300-304, EW149
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  1. David Williams
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