A rare Victorian mameluke officer's sword
A rare Victorian mameluke officer's sword for an A.D.C. to Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, (Q. Victoria's second son) by Henry Wilkinson, Pall Mall, London No 15991 (for 1868). The regulation blade retains nearly all of its original bright burnished finish and is devoid of decoration with the exception of the maker's details. The hilt is of regulation pattern, the gilt brass crosspiece is chiselled with the crowned initials A.E.A. within a wreath of fruiting oakleaves. The grips are made from two pieces of ivory, and the steel scabbard retains its gilt brass fittings. The hilt retains most of its original gilding, the blade retains most of its original polish, the scabbard is evenly pitted.
Blade length 31½" (80.5cms) Overall length 37" (94 cms)
Prince Alfred (known affectionately as "Affie") born 1844, became Duke of Edinburgh (1866) and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1893). During his round the world voyage commanding the frigate H.M.S. Galatea he survived an assasination attempt at a picnic in Sydney12 March 1868 (unlike his would be assassin H.J.O'farrell who was hanged for the offence a few weeks later) and he finally returned to Spithead on 26th June 1868. It is possible that the appointment of an A.D.C. was created in response to Queen Victoria's elevated concerns for her son's safety following the incident in Sydney, and the date of this sword certainly lends weight to that suggestion.