This July, Sotheby’s will offer at auction Royal Orders and medals from the collection of George, Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904), King George III’s grandson. This exceptional group of objects has been passed down by direct descent, and their appearance on the market represents a unique opportunity to acquire treasures which until now have been held privately. The Orders and medals are primarily from the 2nd Duke’s collection, spanning the 19th century and the opening years of the 20th century, complemented by several pieces which were originally owned by the 1st Duke of Cambridge, the 2nd Duke’s father. Comprising approximately 80 lots with a combined pre-sale estimate in the region of £800,000, the auction will take place on 3 July 2018 at Sotheby’s London, in association with Morton & Eden, specialist auctioneers of war medals, Orders and decorations.
James Morton, Morton & Eden commented: “Sotheby’s and Morton & Eden are delighted to be combining our resources and expertise to present this outstanding Royal Collection for sale. It has remained in the hands of the Duke of Cambridge’s family since his death in 1904 and has for many years been displayed publicly at the Guards Museum, Birdcage Walk. Throughout his long life, which spanned that of his cousin and close confidante Queen Victoria, George Duke of Cambridge played significant, active roles in the military, diplomatic and social evolution of the Nation. The Orders and medals offered in this auction present a unique record of service and honour, ranging from an exquisite Garter badge given personally to a young Prince in 1835 by his uncle, William IV, to the parure of insignia of the Royal House of Chakri bestowed upon the Duke by the King of Siam in 1897. The collection is further enhanced by the inclusion of a number of magnificent favourite pieces which originally belonged to the Duke’s father Adolphus, the youngest son of George III.”
H.R.H. Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, was born in 1819, the only son of H.R.H. The Prince Adolphus, 1st Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850), and the grandson of King George III (1738-1820). Cousin to Queen Victoria, the Prince was her elder by two months. However, Princess Victoria’s father, H.R.H. The Prince Edward, Duke of Kent was older than the Prince’s father Adolphus, and his seniority dictated whose child would succeed Kings George IV and William IV to the throne.