|Royal Silver Brandy Saucepan - Queen Victoria, Prince Christian Victor, Boer War
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Silversmith: Edward Barnard & Sons
Price: $ 8 100.00
Weight: 479 grams
Dimensions: 15.0 cm height (13.0 cm height excluding handle), diameter 8.6 cm (ex handle)
Condition: Good, 1 small dent (8 mm) to base of bulb, 2 small cracks on ivory handle around pin, with signs of old repair (glue), well done, does not detract. Signs of old repair to lid, solder on interior around dome (perhaps dented when dropped?).
Description: An important Royal silver brandy saucepan, which was given by Queen Victoria to her grandson Prince Christian Victor (Christle) of Schleswig-Holstein in 1868 as a christening present. The quality of the saucepan is excellent, it is the usual bulbous shape with a spout and turned ivory handle. It has a detachable domed lid, with a hinged projection for covering the spout, and an ivory and silver finial. The interior is gilt, it sits on a raised foot and has the traditional heart shaped join between body and handle. The saucepan and lid are both decorated with scrolling foliage and flowers, which is beautifully engraved. The lid fits snugly, the hinge is excellent, and the handle and finial are firmly secure. The saucepan is engraved "From his Grandmama Victoria R, 14 April 1868" on the front, the back has a scrolling foliate cartouche with the engraved initials "CV" below a coronet. The hallmarks are very clear, and are accompanied by the number 113 struck into the base (perhaps a pattern number?). The base also has the numbers "T11904" and "T11911" along with a scratch weight 21,,10 lightly scratched into it, these indicate weight and reference to the Barnard day-books, which have been preserved by the firm and which cover the period 1818 until the present (Culme, Directory Gold and Silversmiths, pg 29). The lid is also fully hallmarked, and the hinge flap, finial pin and wingnut are also hallmarked, a sign of true quality. During Victorian times the Barnards were the pre-eminant firm of English silversmiths, they produced many important pieces of high quality silver (Waldron, Price Guide to Antique Silver, pg 361). The firm, which still exists today, are the oldest manufacturing silversmiths in the world (Culme, gold and silversmiths, pg 29), they supplied many leading retailers, including Rundell, Bridge & Co, the Royal silversmiths, where the saucepan would have been purchased. Edward Barnard & Sons were also the manufacturers of the silver gilt baptismal font which was commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for the christening of their first child. The order was placed through Rundell, Bridge & Co, and was executed in 1840/1841 (Culme, Nineteenth Century Silver, pg 84).
His Highness Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein (GCB GCVO), was born on 14 April 1867. He was the eldest son of Princess Helena, third daughter of Queen Victoria, and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. Queen Victoria gave his parents permission to marry on condition that they lived in England. He was known in the family as "Christle", and was reputably Queen Victoria's favourite grandson (source Wikipaedia). He was the first Royal to attend school (as opposed to private tutoring) and attended Wellington College, Magdalen College, Oxford and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was a keen cricketer, he was captain of cricket at Magdalen and Sandhurst, and even played first class cricket (the only Royal to have done so). He embarked on a military career, joining the 60th Kings Royal Rifles, later the 4th Kings Royal Rifles. He served at Huraza and Mirzahai in 1891, and at Ashanti, Nile and Omdurman in 1898, where he was mentioned in dispatches for gallantry. He aslo served in the Boer War, he sailed for South Africa in 1899, hoping to join his regiment who were trapped in Ladysmith. He was appointed to the staff of General Hildyard (Commander 2nd Brigade) as Brigade Major, and was wounded in the Battle of Colenso in Natal. During this time Queen Victoria was following the progress of the Boer War with interest, she received regular correspondence from the generals and naturally her grandson Prince Christian Victor. He must have mentioned the extreme cold at Ladysmith, as Queen Victoria personally knitted 4 scarves, which she requested the Prince to distribute to "brave soldiers". The Prince selected 4 infantry battallions of the 2nd Brigade who had served with him in heavy fighting during the relief of Ladysmith (Queens, West Yorkshires, East Surreys and Devons), a soldier in each received a scarf. After recovering from his wounds, the Prince joined Lord Roberts as an ADC in Pretoria. Still weakened from his injuries, he contracted malaria, and then enteric fever, which killed him on 29 October 1900, at age 33. He is buried in Pretoria cemetery, the spot still marked today by an oak tree planted by his mother Princess Helena in September 1904. He is remembered by 2 memorials, the first a statue outside Windsor, the second a monument on Plymouth Hoe outside the Royal Citadel, which was unveiled in 1903 by General Sir Redvers Buller (sources wikipaedia and The Victorian Military Society, www.victorianmilitarysociety.org.uk). This saucepan was previously lot 238a of the Sotheby Parke Bernet South Africa auction, 25 September 1973. The catalogue referred to a book entitled "Christian Victor, The Story of a Young Soldier", by T. Herbert Warren, published in 1903 by John Murray. The original page from the Illustrated London News, dated November 3rd 1900, which contained a picture of Prince Christian Victor and his obituary, accompanies this item (see photo's).