CLOTHING AND MEDALS DATING FROM THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO TO BE SOLD IN ARMS, ARMOUR AND MILITARIA AUCTION

. June 11, 2010

A HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT collection of objects from one of the greatest Battles in British Military History, the Battle of Waterloo, are to be sold by the descendants of Lieutenant-Colonel Fiennes Sanderson Miller CB of the 6th (or Inniskilling) Dragoons in an auction of Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria in London on Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The sale will be held at midday by Thomas Del Mar Ltd (in association with Sotheby’s) at his saleroom at 25 Blythe Road, W14.

Among the collection is a scarlet officer’s jacket; accompanied by a sabretache (leather document pouch) emblazoned with badges of the 6th (or Inniskilling) Dragoons that were based at Enniskillen Castle in Northern Ireland as well as a belt; a magnificent black felt and silk cocked-hat plus a dress sword and a field sword. The group carries an estimate of £25,000-35,000.

In addition, Thomas Del Mar Ltd is delighted to be selling the Waterloo Medal of Lieutenant-Colonel Miller along with the documents relating to his military career. The medal is extremely fine and is contained in a contemporary red leather case with a label for makers Rundell, Bridge and Rundell inside the lid. This is expected to fetch £10,000-15,000.

Fiennes Sanderson Miller (1783-1862) was the eldest son of Fiennes Sanderson Miller of Radway Grange, Warwickshire, and the grandson of the architect and landscape gardener Sanderson Miller (1716-80). The Miller family had bought Radway, adjacent to the Civil Wars battlefield of Edghill (1642), in 1712 and Fiennes Sanderson Miller was born there on 16th May 1783. In January 1795, Miller entered Rugby School and on 19th December 1799 he was commissioned cornet in 6th (or Inniskilling) Dragoons. He was promoted to lieutenant on 25th June 1803 and subsequently acquired command of a troop in the regiment, with the rank of captain, on 5th October 1804 and was promoted major five years later.

He became lieutenant colonel on 4th June 1814 and commanded the three squadrons of the regiment that embarked for Flanders on 23rd April 1815. By 18th June, 6th Dragoons had been brigaded with 1st and 2nd Dragoons to form the Union Brigade, commanded by Major General Sir William Ponsonby, and Miller was second-in-command of his regiment. 24 years after the Battle of Waterloo, in June 1839, Miller wrote his recollections of the battle, in two letters to his regimental lieutenant colonel.

‘[10th June 1839] When we took our position on the 18th, the Royals were formed on the right, the Inniskillings on the left, the Greys in reserve, and so formed we charged. I commanded the left squadron.. In charging the French Column I was bayoneted in two places slightly, and lost my horse… From thence, after some time, we were ordered to the right of the Genappe road, moved up to the front, and there I was again wounded…’

‘[18th June 1839] You may remember that when we advanced, and the men began to fall from the fire of the Artillery, we dismounted and marched up the hill on foot, and on reaching the top we mounted, and I then perceived the enemy’s close Columns advancing near the hedge.

On seeing us they hesitated, and were inclined to turn. A person in plain clothes [identified by Major General H.T. Siborne as the Duke of Richmond], standing near the hedge close to the left of my Squadron, cried out “Now’s your time” and so over the hedge I went, and waited a moment or two for the men to collect, and then we were into the Column in a second. There it was I received my bayonet wounds, and lost my horse…” (A manuscript of the letters is available)

Miller’s second wound was caused by canister shot, which is said to have ‘shattered’ a thigh and would certainly have rendered him unfit to continue in action. As the documents included in this sale indicate, he was paid a sum by the Waterloo Subscription while convalescing in Brussels, subsequently paid a further £150 by the same body, awarded a annual disability pension of £250 by the War Office with effect from June 1816 and had that pension increased to £300, indefinitely, in 1821. The nature of the wound to one of his legs would have mean that he had to retire and this occurred in June 1817, although, as a Companion of the Order of the Bath and by permission of the Prince Regent, he was allowed to remain in the Army List, unpaid. In recognition of his gallantry and acquisition of severe wounds at Waterloo and he was awarded the Waterloo Medal. Although so incapacitated as to be unable to remain in the Army, Miller married and produced four sons and three daughters: three of his sons became Army officers and the fourth went into the Church; the youngest son, Frederick, born in 1831, joined the Royal Artillery and was awarded the Victoria Cross for valour at Inkermann, 5th November 1854, subsequently dying as a lieutenant-colonel at the Cape of Good Hope in 1874. Miller himself, having inherited his estate in 1817, became both a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for Warwickshire.

Elsewhere in the sale of almost 500 lots is a vast array of items including 100 lots from the Anthony North Collection of weapons. Born in Blackpool in 1942, North, became a curator in the Metalwork Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1964. He worked closely with the Keeper, Claude Blair, and remained there until he retired in 2002. His interests developed most notably in English, Scottish, European, Ottoman, Indian and Japanese arms and armour; European Oriental and Islamic metalwork, pewter, jewellery, Victorian and arts and crafts metalwork. He became a recognised authority in many of these areas and contributed numerous articles to a wide range of magazines and journals. Notable items in the auction include an English basket-hilted broadsword, dating from the 2nd quarter of the 17th century, which is estimated at £1,500-2,000, while a Swedish Officer’s Sword from the early 19th century is expected to fetch £1,000-1,400 and an American revolutionary-period sabre of hessian type, circa 1775 is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

Also to be included is a large range of British and American uniforms dating from the 18th/ 19th and 20th centuries relating to the Monson Family, among others. Estimates range from £300 upto £8,000.

Among several cannon in the sale are three fine and rare Dutch examples dating from the early 17th century which carry estimates starting at £12,000 each, while a historic Chinese bronze cannon inscribed ‘Captured in the Bogue forts (near Canton) by the expedition under Sir Gordon Bremer in 1841, in consequence of which operations the Chinese agreed to cede Hong-Kong’ is also estimated at £12,000-18,000.

Thomas Del Mar Ltd’s sale has a truly international feel, with items from all over the globe. America is very well represented with an extremely rare sword presented to Midshipman Charles T. Platt for Battle of Lake Champlain of 1814, which was the final naval battle between Britain and the USA (estimate: £10,000-15,000); while a rare .41 calibre First Model US Volcanic Repeating Arms Company lever action carbine, from the collection of a member of the Wittelsbach family, circa 1855 -7 carries a similar estimate.

VIEWING:
Sunday, June 27
12 noon to 4pm
Monday, June 28
10am to 7pm
Tuesday, June 29
10am to 5pm

For further details of the sale please visit
www.thomasdelmar.com or call 0207 602 4805

For Press Information or images only,
Please contact Rachel Aked
Email: Rachel@rachelaked.co.uk
Tel: 07790 732448

Category: Auction News

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