Original British 1854 Charge of the Light Brigade 17th Lancers Horse Hoof Inkwell - Crimean War

Item Description

Original Item: one-of-a-kind. The Charge of the Light Brigade immortalized in the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1870 about the great charge made by the British Light Cavalry during the Crimean War against the Tsar's Russian Army in 1854. Subject of several films, in the 1930s it was Errol Flynn, in the 1960s it was David Hemmings which was far truer to what actually happened.

Led by the Earl of Cardigan who misunderstood the orders he led his command, possibly the finest cavalry in Europe, to capture the Russian cannon, a hopeless blunder.

The great poem runs to six verses, our two favorites extracts are:

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them

Volley'd and thunder'd;

The poem well illustrates both the romance and folly of war.

Here we have a horse's hoof, removed after death by the regimental farrier to confirm the horse's demise and given to the family of the fallen rider, a Lieutenant William King of the famous 17th Lancer's.

The top of the silver lid inkwell is finely engraved:



the Mount of


Both horse and rider fell in

The Great Charge on October

25th 1854 in the Crimea

We have confirmed that Lt. King was in fact killed along with his mount in the action. No doubt this was a family tribute to a fine officer in memory of his valiant death. The hoof is complete with a correctly nailed-on iron horseshoe, however the glass inkwell liner is now absent, leaving just the lidded silver bowl.

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