Original British Zulu War Officer Writing Box Set Given to Redvers H. Buller with Oil Painting

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is just lovely, an absolutely top of the line leather covered travelling Writing Box from Asprey and Company of Bond Street, London, one of London oldest and finest houses.

Beautifully tooled leather with Asprey's name and address picked out in gold. At the time of purchase, this truly was a "the best money can buy".

The exterior of the case has quality brass hardware including an inlaid carry handle. The leather covering is tooled with vertical tramlines on which there is some staining, most probably from after dinner port being served in the officer's mess.

The interior is quality black leather with fitted compartments for documents and writing utensils. In fact there are two "Asprey" marked ivory hilted implements, one a dip pen and the other a propelling pencil still in their original positions in the lid. There is a leather mounted glass ink well marked INK in gold and a similar container marked LIGHT also in gold which is in fact a striker over a supply of Victorian matches.

There are three white tile plaques possibly to mount photographs, one of which does have a photograph of what appears to be a WW1 Naval Officer adhered to it. In fact, upon examination that particular tile, one of the three is cracked under the portrait. Who the officer is we have no idea. Perhaps Sir Redvers Buller's heir?

The Maker's name: "ASPREY & SON, 166 BOND ST AND 22 ALBEMARLE STREET" is gilt stamped in gilt to interior and the lock is also marked "ASPREY 166 BOND ST."

However the point of real interest is the large silver plaque inlaid into the lid of the case which bears the following dedication:

Presented to:


in appreciation of his courageous

actions on 28th March 1879

in rendering assistance to



On March 28th 1879, while retreating from the Zulu War Battle of Hlobane, Colonel Buller saw a dismounted Officer, one Captain C. D'Arcy, about to be overrun by Zulus. Buller spurred his horse into the fray, grabbed D'Arcy, threw him over his saddle and then carried him to safety. Later on the same day Buller spotted another Officer similarly dismounted and without hesitation rode into the Zulu hordes to recover him as well. This was young Lt. C. Everitt. As a result of his great bravery Colonel Redvers Buller was awarded the Victoria Cross and it is interesting to note that in June of 1879 Captain D'Arcy also performed with such valor that he too was awarded the Victoria Cross. It was a time of Heroes!

Colonel BULLER V.C. went on to fight in the First Boer War of 1881, the Egyptian Campaign after which he was knighted. He fought at the Battles of EL TEB and TAMAI and took part in attempted relief of General Gordon at Khartoum in 1885. He was promoted Major General in 1886 then Lt. General in 1891 and finally to full General in 1896. He then served in the Second Boer War in 1899-1900 and when he returned to England he received a hero's welcome. He died in 1908.

This magnificent writing box was clearly a gesture of immense appreciation from a grateful father to the man who saved his son's life whilst under fire making it all the more unique and memorable.

Also, included is an original oil painted of Colonel Redvers Buller that was acquired from an officer's dining hall in southern England in the 1960s. We believe it to be a turn of the century work. It was framed in the mid 1990s and is offered in superb condition.

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