The presentation of this beautiful sword is documented in the "Annals of Kendal" (1861) on page 169: "It deserves to be recorded, in honour of the corps, and in the testimony of the estimation in which they held their commanding officer, Colonel Maude, that, in 1806, they presented him with a service plate, consisting of a magnificent tureen and four salver dishes of massy silver, which cost 250 guineas, together with a beautiful saber, and a brace of pistols." During the Napoleonic Wars, the British organized local volunteer units to defend the mainland in the event of an invasion by the French which was a real possibility. Thomas Holme Maude (1770-1849) led a volunteer unit organized into fourteen 70-man companies. He was prominent prosperous merchant and banker from Kendal. He served as the mayor in 1799-1800 and 1813-1814 and was also a county lieutenant and magistrate. In addition to local and national defense, the volunteer units also reinforced social relationships and hierarchy and gave men like Maude additional honor and standing within the community. Also included is a letter from John duMont to Herb Glass offering up three items as possible trade items and stating this sword came out of the renown Victoria & Albert Museum in London "through Hayward" and indicating he had "paid a lot of money" for it c. 1958 The approximately 33 inch curved blade has elaborate floral and classical martial designs with blue and gold highlighting, "Presented to THOMAS. HOLME. MAUDE Esqr. Lieut. Coll. Commandant of the/KENDAL and LONSDALE VOLUNTEERS by the OFFICERS under his Command,/as a mark of their Attachment, Respect, Esteem and Gratitude. 1806" on the left side, and "HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE" and "DIEU ET MON DROIT" on the right side. The gilt hilt has a braided design, classic style double snake and wings languets, and spiral horn grip. The dark shagreen scabbard has gilt brass fittings that coordinate with the hilt, and "PROSSER/Charing Cross/LONDON" on the throat piece. Prosser was cutler to the King and Duke of York during the Napoleonic era. Provenance: The Richard P. Mellon Collection
Extremely fine overall with distinct etching and inscription on the extremely fine blade, most of the bright gilt finish, minor overall wear, light patination on the blade, some splitting at the edges of the sharkskin on the scabbard, and minor overall wear. This is a very rare and elegant Napoleonic Wars presentation sword.
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