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‘Bobs’ - Field Marshal Lord Roberts, V.C., K.G., Signed Portrait Photograph, 1899
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‘Bobs’ - Field Marshal Lord Roberts, V.C., K.G., Signed Portrait Photograph, 1899

Measurements: Overall: 21.5cm (8.5in) x 16.5cm (6.5in)



Sepia photographic print of Lord Roberts of Kabul and Kandahar on his celebrated charger Volonel, by Royal Warrant holder Chancellor of 55 Lower Sackville Street, Dublin. Signed and dated lower left ‘Roberts F.M. 1899’. Contained in a contemporary easel backed, glazed mahogany frame with giltwood slip.

Frederick Sleigh Roberts (1832-1914) photographed in Field Marshal’s full dress uniform and mounted on his trusted charger Vonolel, a grey Arab which he purchased at Bombay in 1877 and named after a celebrated Lushai warrior. The pair were a perfect match: Lord Roberts was only 1.2m tall (5 feet 4 inches) and Vonolel was a little bigger than a pony. Vonolel’s martingale is decorated with the Second Afghan War medal, and the bronze Kabul to Kandahar Star, commemorating the epic 320-mile forced march of 10,000 men that culminated in the defeat of Ayub Khan at Battle of Kandahar in September 1880. Vonolel carried ‘Bobs’ in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee procession and was awarded Jubilee 1897 medal. Vonolel enjoyed a brief retirement at the Curragh in Kildare. He was buried in the rose gardens of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham in June 1899. Roberts, who was said to be heartbroken, had the following lines inscribed
the gravestone:

There are men both good and wise
Who hold that in a future state
Dumb creatures we have cherished here below
Shall give us joyous greeting when
We pass the golden gate
Is it folly that I hope it may be so?