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Victorian Scottish Seaforth Highlanders Presentation Sword, sold

In good condition, a presentation Scottish basked hilted officer's sword from General Lord Mark Kerr to Lieutenant Edmund Sigurd Hovell-Thurlow-Cummings-Bruce.

Victorian Scottish Seaforth Highlanders Presentation Sword, named officer, 1898

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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 sword.

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.

 

 



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