Bulletin No. 55 - Waterloo to Windsor, October 2022

Welcome to an October Bulletin to coincide with BADA Art Week 2022.

Recent weeks have brought into public focus much sombre and reflective ceremonial, as well as the replaying of colourful traditions that mark the passing of one sovereign and the accession of the next. The seamless manner in which this was delivered and the worldwide attention it received must surely be indicative of enduring popular interest.

As our first group of highlighted offerings demonstrate, the appetite for relics of historic events and individuals is long established. These include an anonymous collector’s snippets of Napoleon’s hat, flora plucked from the grave of Marshal Ney, a French national cockade from the Waterloo battlefield; and a funerary fragment of bullion fringe from the Emperor’s final interment in Les Invalides. Even the Duke of Wellington’s butler was in on the act, preserving a locket of his master’s hair now offered with impeccable provenance.

Looking closer to home, a fine portrait of cavalry officer and equestrian sportsman Brigadier ‘Monkey’ Blacker is a welcome addition to our listings. Sir Cecil Hugh Blacker served with distinction during the Second World War commanding a hostilities only tank regiment at the sharp end of the Allied advance from the Normandy beaches across Northwest Europe. After the war he proved himself fearless in the saddle as a winner of the Grand Military Gold Cup and a member of the British modern pentathlon team whilst Assistant Commandant at RMA Sandhurst.

A collection of Royal presentation stickpins offers an intriguing look at the changing styles of a perennially popular gentleman’s accessory. Ranging from an imposing VRI cypher, to an exquisite diamond set example given by George V, the offering includes examples from the European as well British Royalty.

Rounding out an eclectic mix this month we have an exceptionally fine working model of the dreaded ’national razor’ of Revolutionary France, the Guillotine - perfect for cigar aficionados with a taste for the theatrical!