Saturdays are always a good time for historical long-reads. Today we bring you a story about a beautiful ceremonial sword, which was given as an award following the Battle of Trafalgar, that is about to come up for auction from a private collection. The sword is expected to fetch upwards of $200k.
The pristine bronze 100 Guinea Sword was awarded to Captain William Rutherford of the 74-gun HMS Swiftsure for his role in helping the British to victory in 1805.
Only 23 of them were awarded to captains from the world’s most famous naval battle.
This one remained in Rutherford’s family for 144 years before being passed on to a private collector.
He was appointed to his role by Horatio Nelson himself after rising up through the ranks.
After the battle at Trafalgar his ship tried to tow the sinking Redoubtable – the French gunship which had duelled with HMS Victory and from which the fatal shot that killed Nelson was fired.
The swords were created by Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund, which was founded in 1803 to give grants to those wounded in service and sums to the dependents of those killed in action.
They were prizes to British combatants who went beyond the call of duty and a special 100 Guinea Sword was made for the Battle of Trafalgar.
The linked piece also features a timeline overview of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Or you can watch this video from GreatMilitaryBattles.com