Sword presented to Colonel John Campbell, 4th Earl of Breadalbane in 1799
by soldiers he commanded in Ireland for sale at Bonhams

A fine and rare silver-gilt and enamel mounted small-sword presented to Colonel John Campbell, 4th Earl of Breadalbane by the 2nd Battalion, 4th Fencible Infantry is
estimated to sell for £10,000-15,000 at Bonhams next sale of Antique Arms and Armour on November 27th in London

This tangible tribute by his men to their respected colonel carries an inscription which reads: "1799 Presented by the Non Commissioned Officers & Private Soldiers of the 2d Batt 4th Fen.le Infy to their Col. the Earl of Breadal-bane As A Testimony of their Esteem for hs Person & Respect for his Noble liberal & Soldierlike conduct while serving with them in Ireland."

John Campbell, 1st Marquis of Breadalbane (1762-1834) was educated at Winchester and succeeded to the earldom of Breadalbane and Holland in 1782. In 1784 he was elected as one of the sixteen Scottish representation Peers to sit in the House of Lords and was also appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society in the same year.

He raised the Regiment of Fencibles and served as Lieutenant-Colonel in Ireland becoming Colonel in 1802, Major-General in 1809 and Lieutenant-General in 1814. In 1806 he was created Baron Breadalbane of Taymouth Castle, Perth which entitled him to a seat in the House of Lords. He was made Earl of Ormelie and Marquess of Breadalbane in 1831 and died at Taymouth Castle three years later.

Campbell was the son of Colin Campbell of Carwhin by Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Archibald Campbell, of Stonefield. He was a great-grandson of Colin Campbell of Mochaster, younger son of Sir Robert Campbell, 3rd Baronet, of Glenorchy.

The sword was made by John Prosser (circa 1796-1837) of Charing Cross, London, appointed Sword cutler and Belt Maker to King George III in 1795 and to George IV in 1827.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

Related auctions