A Victorian Britannia standard silver-gilt two handled basket, commemorating Field Marshall Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts’ Golden Wedding anniversary to his wife Nora Henrietta Bews, goes under the hammer at Bonhams, Knightsbridge on 20th February (estimate £1,500-£2,500).
Sir Frederick was an outstanding military figure. He received the Victoria Cross medal during the Indian Mutiny in 1857-1858 and his son would also later receive this honor for gallantry. They are one of only three pairs of fathers and sons to hold this achievement. Educated at Eton and buried at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Frederick was quintessentially British and was one of two non-royals to lie in state after his death during the 20th Century. The only other person to have received this recognition was Winston Churchill.
The basket, however, is a commemoration of Sir Frederick’s family life, marking his Golden Wedding anniversary in 1909. Engraved beneath the basket it states “On their Golden Wedding from C. & G. B. 17th May 1909” and the basket is adorned with ram head handles and stylised after 18th Century Dutch fashions.