Collectors showcase

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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Bryce » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:29 am

G'day Richard,
Beautiful sword and a great story. It looks very much in the style of Prosser. Is it maker marked?
What is the second set of screws in the scabbard throat for?
Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Richard » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:23 pm

Hi Bryce

No maker evident and good question about the second set of scabbard screws - only one way to find out, take it apart! Having done so, I found that the top section of the scabbard band (i.e. where the engraving is) is detachable and slides over the main body. I assume this was done to make it easier to engrave and also because a little extra height was needed to incorporate the length of inscription. I had also hoped that a maker might be revealed underneath, but no luck.

Richard
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Gordons Horse » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:40 pm

Richard wrote:Here's my latest acquisition. I know I'm supposed to be strictly a cavalry collector but this one has such a superb story behind it, I just couldn't resist.

So, it's a presentation sword from Lt. Col. Herford (23rd Foot) to Lieutenant William Bace of the 1st Battalion, 61st Foot for his 'valour and support' at the battle of Toulouse 1814. The 61st Foot played a very prominent part in this, the final battle of the Peninsular campaign, losing a total of 19 officers, 8 sergeants and 153 rank and file dead or wounded. Such were their losses that they acquired the nickname 'the Flowers of Toulouse' on account of so many dead left lying on the field. Having lost all senior officers during the course of the action, command of the regiment then devolved to Lt. Bace, a very junior officer (although an experienced soldier) who led them for several hours and then brought them off the field at the close. Bace received the Army Gold Medal for Toulouse but must also have sufficiently impressed Lt Col. Herford to have been given this sword.

William Bace (1779-1852) had started his military career as a 'ranker' enlisting at the age of 19 in 1798. He served with the 61st at the Cape of Good Hope from 1799-1801 and then in Egypt from 1802 to 1803, following which the 61st joined the garrison at Malta where Bace married Mary Ann McDonald in 1804. He then took part in the campaigns in Italy and Sicily 1805-06 before returning home in 1807 and joining the 2nd Battalion of the 61st in Guernsey and then Ireland as Quartermaster Sargeant. On 09 February 1809, Bace was commissioned Ensign and Adjutant in the 61st and two years later on 2 October 1811 he was promoted Lieutenant and Adjutant. Bace was still at home with the 2nd Battalion when he received his commissions but the 1st Battalion had already joined Wellington's army in Portugal in 1809. Obviously Bace was not content to be missing the action for in 1812 he requested permission from the Duke of York to re-join the 1st Battalion. Such permission having been granted, he made his own way to Portugal via a merchant vessel and re-joined the 1st Battalion to take part in the passage of the Huebra (1812), the blockade of Pamplona (1813), the battles of the Pyrennes, the Nivelle, the Nive (all 1813) and then the blockade of Bayonne (1813-14), the battle of Orthes (1814) and finally Toulouse on 10 April 1814. His army record states that he was present 'from first to last' in every action in which the 61st were involved from 1812 onwards.

Following the end of the Peninsula campaign, Bace returned home and went on the half pay lists from 1816 until his death in 1852. He was promoted Captain in 1843 and also served as Assistant Deputy Quartmaster General in Dublin for a total of 17 years.

Quite a career and quite some sword .....

Richard


Hi Richard,

Not much to say except really superb sword. Despite it being Infantry, certainly not out of place in your magnificent collection.

Gordon
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Will Mathieson » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:47 am

A sword as brilliant as the officers career. Expanding your collecting field is bound to happen when swords with provenance like these appear.
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Bryce » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:48 pm

By the way, did anyone here get the Royal Scots 1803 that was sold recently ?

G'day Chris,
I must have missed that, do you have any photos of it?
Here is my pre 1803 light infantry officer's sword which belonged to Captain Hugo Robert Arnot of the Royal Scots. It is not marked to the Royal Scots, but with the initials H R A and the Crescent Crest and motto "Speratum et completum" of the Arnots of Balcormo it is very likely his. It is also dated AD 1799, when he was still with the Royal Scots.


Cheers,

Bryce
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Crest1.jpg
Hilt1.jpg
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Will Mathieson » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:50 pm

Bryce that is a wonderful sword to have. To me the provenance of a sword such as this is worth more than the sword alone.
Strange how we wish to reverse time to access the past, back to when these swords were new. To think what the owner of the sword was doing before and during battle.
Holding such a sword in the hopes of feeling that past.
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Bryce » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:27 am

Thanks Will,

I agree. Some swords are interesting for their design characteristics, but to me, provenanced swords such as these are the best, as they are the key to a story.


Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby sword335 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:35 pm

FF891A61-58D8-4F38-ACD8-87A0FE41911D.png
9E76FFEF-2153-40B6-B3FD-7ECF4AEB19D5.png
8EC90C1E-88E1-4344-9457-D91E2FCCF1BA.png
11D429C5-C957-451F-870C-0E2C54145C6D.png
Here are the photos Bryce. Sold for £2200 hammer.

Chris
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby Bryce » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:35 am

Thanks Chris,

I thought it was a standard 1803. I didn't realise it had a badge on the guard.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Collectors showcase

Postby sword335 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:08 pm

Quite scruffy but very rare. I think I’ve just seen one other over the years. Maybe Richard bought it for his expanding Infantry collection !

Chris.
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