A Magnificent And Extremely Rare Royal Gold And Enamel Mounted Sword Presented By H.R.H. The Prince
Lot 111
A Magnificent And Extremely Rare Royal Gold And Enamel Mounted Sword Presented By H.R.H. The Prince Regent To His Brother The Duke Of Cambridge
London Hallmarks, Maker's Mark Of Thomas Price, Retailed By Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London, Dated 22 July 1816
Sold for £106,400 (US$ 142,052) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Magnificent And Extremely Rare Royal Gold And Enamel Mounted Sword Presented By H.R.H. The Prince A Magnificent And Extremely Rare Royal Gold And Enamel Mounted Sword Presented By H.R.H. The Prince
A Magnificent And Extremely Rare Royal Gold And Enamel Mounted Sword Presented By H.R.H. The Prince Regent To His Brother The Duke Of Cambridge
London Hallmarks, Maker's Mark Of Thomas Price, Retailed By Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London, Dated 22 July 1816
With tapering double-edged blade cut with a short central fuller along each side of the forte and etched overall in imitation of watering, one side decorated over most of its length with blued and gilt geometric designs and shaped strapwork panels, the latter enriched with sprigs of blued and gilt foliage, and along the other with a blued and gilt looped design enriched alternately within each loop with a blued or gilt sprig of foliage, the hilt entirely of gold finely cast and chased against a finely stippled ground overall, comprising boatshell guard decorated in relief with foliage involving rocailles on the inside, short straight quillons with branches of laurel issuing from a central rosette on each side and both with calyx terminal, downcurved arms each with floret terminal, knuckle-guard with branches of laurel along each side, swelling grip with Classical trophies of arms and rococo ornament framing a crowned ovoidal enamel plaque on each side (very minor chips), one with Prince of Wales' crest and motto within the Garter, the plumes in white enamel and against a deep blue enamel ground, the other with an elaborate mirror monogram against a deep blue enamel ground, and pommel formed as an eagle's head surmounted by a royal crown, in its original snakeskin-covered scabbard with open gold mounts finely embossed and chased against a finely stippled ground with symmetrical designs of rocailles and foliage, the chape involving a moustachioed human head wearing a plumed helmet on each side, the suspension mount with a wreath on each side framing two naked male figures wrestling over the Victor's laurels on one side, and with a bound captive against a trophy of arms on the other, the locket signed by the retailers around the mouth and with a trophy of arms on each side above an oval plaque bearing the presentation inscription against a deep blue enamel ground on one side, and the full royal arms in polychrome enamel against a deep blue ground on the other, suspension rings each formed as a coiled serpent, and in exceptional original condition throughout
78.5 cm. blade

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Adolphus Frederick (1774-1850), Viceroy of Hanover, created 1st Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary and Baron Culloden on 17 November 1801
    Thence by descent

    His Royal Highness Field Marshal The Prince Adolphus Frederick, KG, PC, GCB, GCMG, GCH, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden was born in London. In 1791 he went to Hanover and was trained for the military under the supervision of the Hannoverian commander Field Marshal von Freytag. He subsequently rose to the ranks of colonel in 1794, to lieutenant general in 1798, and field marshal in 1813. He served as Viceroy of Hanover between 1816 and 1837 on behalf of his elder brothers George IV and later William IV. Following the succession of Queen Victoria in 1837 the Duke of Cumberland became King Ernest I of Hanover and the Duke of Cambridge returned to Britain

    The presentation inscription reads: 'His Royal. Highness George. Augustus. Frederick Regent of. The. United Kingdom. Of Great. Britain. And. Ireland To. His Affectionate. Brother The. Duke. Of. Cambridge. 22. July. 1816'

    The 22nd July, 1816 was the wedding day of Princess Mary, sister of the Prince Regent and the Duke of Cambridge, to their cousin William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester in the Grand Saloon at the Queen's House, now Buckingham Palace. It was Adolphus who brought the princess by hand into the grand saloon in which a temporary altar had been erected and introduced her to the assembled guests. He then publicly presented her to their brother, the Prince Regent, who was to give her away in marriage (as reported in The London Gazette, 1816, No. 17156, p.1433). The sword was almost certainly given to commemorate this event and possibly to mark the appointment of the Duke of Cambridge as Viceroy of Hanover in May the same year

    This previously unrecorded sword was made by the gifted sword cutler and goldsmith Thomas Price who was responsible for the manufacture of a number of important presentation swords awarded during the Napoleonic War, nearly all of which were supplied by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell (appointed Goldsmiths and Jewellers in Ordinary to George III on 15 March 1797). These include one given by the City of London to the then Lord Viscount Wellington in 1811 and four silver-gilt mounted swords each of 200 guineas value presented in 1814 to the Allied Commanders Field Marshal Count Barclay De Tolly, Field Marshal Blucher, Prince Schwarzenberg and Hetman Count Platoff. The first of these has very similar decoration and was sold at Christie's London, Napoleon, Nelson And Their Time, The Calvin Bullock Collection, 8 May 1985, lot 73 (£19,440 including 8% premium)

    See Leslie Southwick, 'The Recipients, Goldsmiths, And Costs Of The Swords Presented By The Corporation Of The City London', J.A.A.S., vol. XIII, no. 3, March 1990, pp. 173-220, Pl. LXVIII A & B and pl. LXIX A & B; Idem, London Silver-hilted Swords, 2001, p. 198 and colour plate 26
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