A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836)
Lot 112Y
A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836)
Sold for £ 18,750 (US$ 25,138) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836) A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836) A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836) A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836) A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836)
A Rare And Historic Portrait Group Relating To Inspector General Thomas Young (1753?-1836)
Comprising A Portrait Attributed To Sir William Beechey (1753-1839)
A portrait of Inspector General Thomas Young standing three-quarter length wearing a scarlet tunic with red velvet facings and gold epaulettes, his Ottoman sabre, his gold Sultan's medal for Egypt, and his gold-mounted fob-seal, all as described below, holding 'Daily Reports Sick & Wounded' on a desk to his right with 'General Returns of Sick and Wounded ...' document (see footnote) beyond, a landscape in the background
Oil on canvas
128 cm. x 99.5 cm. (in a gilt frame)

An Ottoman Silver-Gilt Mounted Shamshir
Early 19th Century

With curved blade double-edged towards the point and retaining traces of a gold-damascened calligraphic cartouche on one side of the forte, the back at the forte with gold-damascened decoration, hilt comprising quillon-block with pointed langets and tapering quillons with button terminals, engraved on both sides with foliage centred on a crescent, all against a finely punched ground, reeded gilt grip-strap and rounded horn grips indented for the fingers, and pommel pierced for the burgundy cord and bullion sword-knot (broken and incomplete), in original wooden scabbard covered in black leather with deep locket, chape and suspension mounts embossed and chased en suite with the quillon-block, the suspension mounts each with a ring for suspension, complete with its burgundy and bullion suspension cords with silver-gilt mounts, and retaining most of its original gilding
78 cm. blade

The Sultan's Gold Medal For Egypt
Dated 1801

Finely cast and chased on one side with the tughra of Selim III (1789-1807) within a border of ribbons and foliage framing the date at the bottom, and on the other with a crescent moon and star within a border en suite, and with a ring for suspension
5.4 cm. diam.

A Gold-Mounted Fob-Seal
Early 19th Century

The smokey quartz seal with bezel edges, the face cut with Young's crest, motto and monogram, the latter within an oval
3.5 cm. high

An Oval Portrait Miniature
English School, Early 19th Century

After the portrait, watercolour on ivory, gilt-mounted on a papier-mâché frame hinged onto the base of a box housing the sitter's gold medal for Egypt
5.9 cm. high

Together With An Extensive Archive Of Correspondence and Documents Relating To Thomas Young's Military And Medical Career
Starting with his 1769 indenture to Dr. Colin Robertson of Perth with his later affidavit of diligent service dated 30 July 1774; 4 documents in Russian relating to his service at the St. Petersburg Naval Hospital in 1773 and 1774; with approximately 250 documents from 1793 to 1836, the majority on his career as Medical Inspector up to his retirement in 1801, these include 13 from Admiral Sir Ralph Abercromby and 8 from Sir John Moore of Coruña fame; a leather-bound manscript 'Orderly Book' covering the period July to August 1779; a manuscript treatise on the plague in French by Dr. Desgenettes dedicated to Young and dated 16 September 1801, and a rare printed copy of Opuscules by the same author, printed in Cairo circa 1800; and a quantity of later documents and family correspondence, some addressed to Robert Pitcairn, a relative and Writer to the Signet, and to Major Robert Thomas, the latter including his passport dated 1872 (a lot)


  • Provenance:
    By direct descent to the vendor

    Inspector General Thomas Young started his medical career as a Hospital Mate in 1776 and was appointed surgeon to the 1st Royal Regiment of Foot in November 1780. He served in the Caribbean and was wounded in 1782 during the French reoccupation of St. Kitts. Promoted to Garrison Surgeon at Grenada in 1792 he subsequently served as Staff Surgeon in Holland under H.R.H. Duke of York. In 1795 he accepted the post of Inspector of Hospitals with the army in the West Indies under Sir Ralph Abercrombie (among the documents survives a vellum General Return of Sick and Wounded ... in the Caribbean from 1796 to 1797 as depicted in the portrait). Following a period an half-pay he returned to service in 1799 and by 1801 he was Principal Medical Officer to Abercrombie's expedition to Egypt being present at the naval battle of Alexandria during which General Abercrombie was wounded and subsequently died. It was during this time that Young gained the admiration of the French medical staff. Following the defeat of the French army the British and French medical staff treated the wounded of both armies. Young went on to serve in Malta and returned to England via France retiring to Peebles where he died in 1836

    Intriguingly, among the later family papers, there is a letter on mourning stationary dated November 1864 giving details of 'Bonaparte's sword ...' (probably the sword offered with the lot). 'When Mr. Young left Egypt he went to Paris to see some of the French medical staff who were in Egypt with him made him a present of the sword ...'
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