10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars - Presentation Cigar Box, 1899
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46cm (18in) x 30cm (12in) x 14cm (5.5in)
Cedar lined mahogany with silver corner mounts to the hinged lid, the centre applied with silver mounts in the form of the Prince of Wales’s feathers and ‘Ich Dein’ (I serve) motto betwixt the Imperial State Crown and ‘XRH’ regimental cypher. The interior of the lid applied with a silver plaque inscribed ‘Presented By / Captain The Earl of Shaftesbury / On Leaving The Regiment / June 1899’ Hallmarked 1899.’ Maker’s label of W. Thornhill & Co., 144 New Bond Street, London. Complete with working lock and key.
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, K.P., G.C.V.O (1869 –1961) was commissioned into the 10th Hussars in 1890, and became captain in 1898. From 1895-1899 he served as an Aide-de-camp to the Governor of Victoria He retired from the regular army in 1899, but continued as a captain of the reserve in The Dorset Imperial Yeomanry. On 12 March 1902 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel commanding the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry. During the First World War he commanded the 1st South Western Mounted Brigade with the rank of Brigadier-General.
Lord Shaftesbury was Lord Lieutenant of Belfast from 1904 to 1911, Lord Lieutenant of Antrim from 1911 to 1916, and Lord Lieutenant of Dorset from 1916 to 1952. He was Lord Mayor of Belfast 1907, and Chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast 1909–1923. At the Court, Lord Shaftesbury served as Chamberlain to Mary of Teck as Princess of Wales 1901–1910 and as Lord Chamberlain to her as Queen between 1910–1922. That year he was appointed Lord steward of the Household, serving until 1936.
The company of Thornhill moved to 144 New Bond Street, London in 1810. and acquired the royal warrants of Queen Victoria, the Prince and Princess of Wales as well as other members of the royal family. Walter Thornhill broadened the company’s area of expertise as cutlers and silversmiths by moving into the manufacture of dressing cases, writing boxes, desks and other luxury pieces. He built up a great reputation for the quality of his work, winning a prize medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851, the International Exposition of 1855 in Paris, the International Exhibition of 1862 and then multiple medals at the International Exposition of 1878 in Paris. The business continued trading under the name of W. Thornhill & Co. until 1912.