An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Vice-Admiral Thomas Baker

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Lot 287Y Ф
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Vice-Admiral Thomas Baker
By Brunn, Sword Cutler To Their Royal Highness's The Prince Regent & Duke Of Clarence, Charing Cross, London, Early 19th Century

Sold for £ 10,000 (US$ 12,223) inc. premium
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Vice-Admiral Thomas Baker
By Brunn, Sword Cutler To Their Royal Highness's The Prince Regent & Duke Of Clarence, Charing Cross, London, Early 19th Century
With tapering double-edged blade of slightly hollow flattened diamond section bright over half its length to the point, the forte etched and gilt against a blued ground over one side with the figure of Neptune on a shell, a martial trophy supporting crowned post 1801 royal arms and Union foliage, and on the other with the figure of Hercules supporting Victory resting against an anchor, a crowned 'GR' cypher within a garland of oak, sea shells and coral above, all beneath a baldachin surmounted by a smoking urn, regulation ormolu hilt comprising langets each engraved with a crowned fouled anchor, lobed rear quillon, stirrup knuckle-guard pierced for the bullion and cord sword-knot, lion-mask pommel and faceted back-piece in one, and ribbed ivory grip 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 plaque engraved with the arms and motto of the recipient, in original black leather scabbard (some wear and crazing) with shaped linear engraved ormolu mounts and two rings for suspension, the locket engraved with maker's details on one side, and retaining much of its original gilding
82 cm. blade

Footnotes

  • 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 referred 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

    Thomas Baker was born in 1771 and entered the navy as a midshipman in 1781. He served on various ships and was commissioned Lieutenant in 1792. In 1797 he was promoted to Post Captain and appointed to command the Nemesis (28). In 1800, while enforcing the blockade of naval stores to French and Dutch dockyards Baker ordered the engagement of the Danish frigate Freya. This resulted in the Danes renewing the League of Armed Neutrality with the Swedes and Russians which led to the Battle of Copenhagen where Nelson destroyed the Danish fleet. In 1803 he was appointed to command the Pheonix (36) and on 10 August 1805 met La Didon (44) which he captured after an engagement of three and a half hours at pistol-shot range. For this action, Baker was presented with a sword of £100 value by the Patriotic Fund at Lloyds. He took his prize to Plymouth and then re-joined the squadron under Sir Richard Strachan. On 2 November the Pheonix was sighted by four French ships of the line that had escaped from Trafalgar two weeks earlier. Baker lured them towards Strachan's forces and on 4 November the French ships were eventually captured off Ferrol.

    Baker was appointed C.B. in 1815 and K.C.B. in 1831. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1821, Vice-Admiral in 1837, and died in 1845

    For another example presented to Admiral William Carnegie, 7th Earl of Northesk (1758-1831) and sold in these Rooms, see Antique Arms, Armour & Modern Sporting Guns, 31 July 2013, lot 469 (£18,750 including premium)

    For details of the maker, see Leslie Southwick, London Silver-hilted Swords..., 2001, pp. 58-59
Contacts
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Vice-Admiral Thomas Baker
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Vice-Admiral Thomas Baker
An Extremely Rare 1805 Pattern Naval Officer's Sword Presented By The Duke Of Clarence To Vice-Admiral Thomas Baker
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Lot symbols
Ф Item contains or is made of ivory

This lot contains or is made of ivory and cannot be imported into the USA or any country within the EU.

Y CITES

Subject to CITES regulations when exporting items outside of the EU, see clause 13.

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