Victorian Scottish Seaforth Highlanders Presentation
In good condition, a presentation Scottish basked hilted officer's
sword from General Lord Mark Kerr to Lieutenant Edmund Sigurd Hovell-Thurlow-Cummings-Bruce.
The initials of the original owner / recipient of this sword are
SCB, for his abbreviated name Sigurd Cummings-Bruce. Apparently
this abbreviation had something to do with the fact he was a true
nobleman, and was entitled to use four family crests; Bruce, Cumming,
Thurlow and Hovell. Such people were said to have four quarters
of nobility and only used the two most prominent quarters / crests
in their own personal coat of arms. This sword bears such a double
crest, BRUCE: On a cap of maintenance proper. A dexter arm in armour
from the shoulder, resting on the elbow, also proper the hand holding
a sceptre erect of gold, CUMMING: a lion rampant, gold holding in
the dexter forepaw a dagger proper. Lieutenant Edmund Sigurd Hovell-Thurlow-Cummings-Bruce's
pedigree would have admitted him to any of the noble organisations/orders
throughout Europe. The sword was presented to him on his commissioning
to Second Lieutenant on 2nd April 1898 into the 2nd Battalion of
the Seaforth Highlanders.
In 1899 Sigurd Cummings-Bruce was promoted to Lieutenant, he embarked
to South Africa on the 21st October 1899, where he died on the 11th
Nov 1899; he was not married and left no children, though the family
line continued through one of his brothers to the current, the 8th
Baron of Thurlow, The Rt. Hon. Lord Thurlow. Details of Sigurd Cummings-Bruce's
death are not known to us; certainly scope for much further research.
The sword is very majestic in that the entire battle honours for
the Seaforth Highlanders are unusually etched along the length of
one side of the blade, with the Seaforth Highlander's emblem and
motto in the centre, taking them the entire length of the double
fullers; it is a very impressive sight. On the other side are the
Victorian Royal Cypher, presentation inscription, maker's details
(Pillin) and typical Scottish foliate scrolls.
The 32 1/4 inch blade is in good condition, a speckle of very light
patination, the etching still very crisp. The blade is firm in the
hilt, the plated steel hilt in good condition, the grip and twisted
grip wire bindings good too, the scarlet leather insert with royal
blue edging is aged, but still nice. The red tassel is losing its
strands. There are two scabbards, the leather scabbard in good shape
externally, though the liners are going internally and prevent the
sword from sheathing all the way in. The plated steel scabbard has
rust spots here and there but allows the sword to sheath and draw
well. The leather carry case comes complete with original doeskin
cover; the leather of the carry case is aged and may perhaps benefit
from some leather balsam. The top cover of the carry case has come
adrift from the back (the stitching has gone but can be redone).
The cover bears the initials "D B" which we presume was
the very short friend's or nickname of Sigurd Cummings-Bruce as
there are no family members who might have inherited and used the
A lot of sword and connection and history for the price tag. Further
/ full sized pictures available upon request. Please quote item
reference number C13 (631).
Special thanks to Bryan Talbot for his brilliant research help.