Lord Grenfell's Field Marshal's baton commands respect at Spink militaria sale
Ornate, gold-tipped Field Marshal's batons like Lord Grenfell’s rarely appear for sale on the market
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 15 November 2011
As we've reported, some of the most exciting lots are Spink's upcoming Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals and Militaria auction are the Russian Orders of Lord Grenfell.
These include a sash badge and star of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky and of the Order of the White Eagle. Both are in beautiful condition with impeccable provenance, and given the lively state of the Russian medal market are likely to draw big bids.
Another item in the sale which is equally striking and may be an unfamiliar sight to all by the most dedicated collectors, however, is a Field Marshal's Baton, again from the collection of Lord Grenfell.
The piece is 540mm long, with the top and bottom mounts made of gold (18 carat, Hallmarks for London 1907). The main baton is covered in Imperial purple velvet and studded with eighteen gold lions and the base is inscribed 'From His Majesty Edward VII King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to Field Marshal the Rt. Hon. The Lord Grenfell, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. 1908.'.
It is surmounted by a superbly modelled gold equestrian figure of St. George slaying the Dragon.
The velvet is worn in parts with slight damage to St. George's lance, and the equestrian figure is slightly loose, but otherwise it is in extremely fine condition, and is expected to sell for £35,000-45,000 ($72,000).
Spink's medal specialist Oliver Pepys put in contest just what a rare opportunity this is:
"These batons very rarely appear on the market, and this is the first since 2004 to be offered anywhere in London. Most are still with the original owner's families or in museums.
"Only about 10 batons have been offered since WWII."
Collectors are naturally fascinated by unique and attractive collectibles with military overtones like this. We had the privilege of selling a deep red sash which had belonged to Napoleon not so long ago.
Collectors frustrated to have missed out on such a great piece of Napoleonic history will be pleased to know that we currently have a letter written by the Emperor marking a key moment in the Napoleonic wars available right now.
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