The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

The Bonhams drinking horn ‘taken from Magdala’

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: Horn, said to belong to Tewodros, later mounted in silver, engraved and turned into a pitcher

Where: Last in the hands of an unnamed buyer who paid £2,125 for it at Bonhams,in London in January 2017

According to the sale details, which include two photos:

the horn has a cover inscribed: “THE DRINKING HORN OF KING THEODORE’S WAS TAKEN FROM MAGDALA by Lieut C M Davidson ADJUTANT 4TH KINGS OWN ROYAL REGIMENT 13th April 1868”. There is a shied on the front inscribed: “TO Lieut Colonel Edmond A Shuldham OF COOLKELURE FROM HIS FRIEND Capt C M Davidson”.

There is a footnote saying Christopher Middlemass Davidson and Edmond Anderson Shuldham are linked through the South Cork Militia. It adds:

“Christopher Middlemass Davidson was born June 5th 1843 and became Ensign by purchase in the 4th Foot in Feb 1862. As Lieut. and Adjutant of the 1st Battalion, 4th Foot, he participated in the Abyssinian Campaign. He saw action at Arogee and was in the forefront in the Capture of Magdala. In 1869 he became Regimental Instructor of Musketry and with promotion to Captain in 1875 transferred to the 104th Foot. He served as Adjutant of the South Cork Militia from 1878 to 1881. In 1881 he was promoted to Major and retired from the Royal Munster Fusiliers as Lieut. Colonel in 1882. In 1889 Lt. Col. Davidson became a Gentleman at Arms. He served in the sovereign’s bodyguard under Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V. He was awarded the 4th Class MVO in 1921 and died April 6th 1922.”

Lot 72
Maker’s mark: WH, London 1879
Height 26.7cm
Sold for £ 2,125 inc. premium
The Gentleman’s Library Sale
19 Jan 2017, 10:00 GMT


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