Lord Grenville's presentation sabre achieves 114.2% increase at Bonhams
The Gary Bates Collection was highlighted by Lord Grenville's presentation sabre on July 31
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 1 August 2012
A presentation sabre which was gifted to British prime minister Lord Grenville has sold with an impressive increase on estimate at Bonhams' sale of the Gary Bates Collection of Swords and Militaria.
The July 31 auction was dedicated to Bates' remarkable collection, which was amassed over a period of 40 years by the 77 year old Canadian and has been cited as one of the best sword collections to come to auction in recent years. It featured over 400 vintage British swords, mainly Georgian and Victorian, which he had acquired since the early 1970s. The collection realised a final sum of £242,350, with the second part of the collection due to be sold on December 5.
The most exciting lot was provided by Lord Grenville's mameluke presentation sabre, which sold for more than double its pre-sale high estimate of £3,500 for £7,500 - a 114.2% increase in value.
Lord Grenville served as British prime minister between 1806 and 1807 and was renowned as a great orator and statesman of the highest repute under King George III. The sword was believed to have been presented to Grenville as a gift, though the exact reason for this remains unsure, as the inscription on the blade has been deliberately removed.
The top lot of sale was provided by a fine presentation sword awarded to William Bird Brodie, as lieutenant colonel of the Salisbury Volunteer Regiment in 1831. The sword was presented to Brodie by his non-commissioned officers and privates upon disbandment as a token of their attachment, respect and esteem. Featuring a magnificent gilt grip and hilt, with a beautifully etched blade, it sold for 316,250 against a £12,000-15,000 estimate. The price represents an 8.3% increase for the sword.
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