Light Dragoons silver set to shine

A large collection of silver from the Light Dragoons regiment is set to go under the hammer in a specialist silver sale hosted by North Yorkshire auctioneers Elstob & Elstob on January 25.

Known as ‘England’s Northern Cavalry’, the regiment specialises in mounted and dismounted reconnaissance and recruits mainly from the counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, South Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is currently based at Catterick Garrison with Regional Headquarters at Newcastle upon Tyne.

Aurora Durham, Auction Administrator at Elstob & Elstob, is pictured with the collection of Light Dragoons’ regimental silver
Aurora Durham, Auction Administrator at Elstob & Elstob, is pictured with the collection of Light Dragoons’ regimental silver to be auctioned on January 25

There are 33 separate lots in the sale dating from the early part of the 19th century to more contemporary pieces from the reign of Elizabeth II. Many items are engraved with regimental badges and presentation inscriptions, which reflect the illustrious history of this prestigious regiment whose origins go back to 1759.

One such example, carrying a guide price of £400-£500, is a striking George III silver teapot made by Thomas Robins of London in 1808. It is engraved with the regimental badge of XVIII Hussars (a title adopted by the regiment in the mid 19th century) and has a presentation inscription “To the Officers 18th Hussars from Lieut Colonel Parry Okeden 1883”.

Also in the collection is a Victorian silver cigar case by Hubert Thornhill, London 1889 – the front cover decorated with a galloping mounted hussar officer. It is inscribed “Capt A D Fanshawe R.N. from the officers 18th Hussars in memory of their voyage to India 1889.” It is expected to reach £100-£150.

“This is a regiment with a proud military history that has fought all over the world,” said auction house director, David Elstob. “It is linked to many of the key battles such as Waterloo, the Charge of the Light Brigade and the two World Wars and continues to be a major player in the British Army today.

“We are expecting a great deal of interest from militaria collectors and enthusiasts as well as those who follow the regiment for personal and family interest. The fact that the Light Dragoons are so heavily associated with the north of England will give an added regional interest.”

As well as the consignment from the Light Dragoons Charitable Trust, the Silver Sale showcases over 400 lots of antique and contemporary silver. Of particular note is a single-owner collection of silver by the London maker Paul Storr, that includes an important graduated set of three George III silver meat dishes (1811) which carry a price estimate of £15,000-£25,000 and a further pair of meat dishes valued at £5,000-£7,000.