A personalised gift given by a member of the British Royal family to a distinguished member of the British Army 138 years ago goes on auction for the first time at Cheffins
on Thursday 12th December.
The Victorian silver spirit flask was a gift by Albert, Prince of Wales, the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria, to Lieutenant Arthur Lyttleton Annesley (1837-1926).
At the time, Albert Edward had held the title of Prince of Wales longer than any of his predecessors and, when Queen Victoria died, he assumed the throne as King Edward VII.
Made by Thomas Johnson I in 1875, the flask bears the Prince of Waless Coat of Arms between his initials, A and E, and a facsimile engraved message on the back which is dated Sandringham, 1881.
Lieutenant Arthur Lyttleton Annesley had an illustrious career in the British Army and become Commander-in-Chief of Scotland in 1888. He took part in the Siege of Sebastopol in the winter of 1854 and the battle of Chernaya in August 1855 during the Crimean War.
In 1896, he became Colonel of the 12th (Prince of Waless Royal) Lancers, transferring in 1902 to become Colonel of the 11th Hussars.
Steven Collins, head of jewellery, silver and watches at Cheffins Fine Art said: Any item that has such a close connection to the British Royal family is bound to draw a lot of attention worldwide.
The flask itself is not in amazing condition so I have given the piece a modest estimate of £300-£500, but frankly the condition is far less important that the provenance in this case, and Im sure there will be many collectors competing to win this piece of Royal history.
The flask is entered as Lot 631 in the Jewellery, Silver, Watches and Wine Sale, nicknamed this year Clarets & Carats, which starts at 10.00am on Thursday 12th December. The full catalogue can be found on the Cheffins website.
Viewing of the items in the sale starts on Monday 9th December from 10.00am to 5.00pm, and continues on Tuesday 10th December from 10.00am to 5.00pm and Wednesday 11th December from 10.00am to 6.00pm.