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Bejewelled ivory cane believed to be gift from Napoleon Bonaparte up for sale at Sworders in Stansted

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A jewel-encrusted ivory cane believed to be a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte to a trusted general will form part of the fine interiors sale at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Stansted on December 14-15.

Sworders is selling a collection belonging to the late Cambridgeshire antiques dealer Peter Crofts (1924-2001), of which the walking stick is part.

A spokeswoman for Sworders said: "The malacca cane is the sort of luxury object that may have been an imperial gift. The ivory handle is carved as a dog's head and mounted in gold, diamonds, opals, garnet, split pearls, coral, turquoise and zircon.

Napoleon's walking stick (53134090)
Napoleon's walking stick (53134090)

"An applied paper label reads 'From The Collection of the Stansfield and Cooper-Horsfall families. This stick was presented to Marshal Soult, with gratitude from Napoleon'."

Marshal General Jean-de-Soult, the 1st Duke of Dalmatia (1769-1851), commonly known as Marshal Soult, was a distinguished military commander during the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.

One of only six officers in French history to receive the distinction of Marshal General of France, he was later responsible for the creation of the French Foreign Legion.

It is thought the mention of the Stansfield and Cooper-Horsfall families references the marriage in 1897 of the Rev Michael Alfred Horsfall, of Whitby, North Yorkshire, to Mabel Catherine Stansfield.

The cane is listed with an estimate of £1,000-£2,000.

The sale also includes items of Wisbech interest. A rare George III enamel nutmeg grater painted with flowers and the legend 'A Trifle from Wisbech' is guided at £200-£300 while a rare late 18th-century oil on board painting depicting a view of the church of St Peter and St Paul, Wisbech, is expected to bring £500-£800.

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