Original Honorable East India Company Grouping of Sir Nathaniel Dance - Named Sword, Signed Letter, Original Print

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind: Born in 1748 Nathaniel Dance became a naval officer in the Honorable East India Company making numerous voyages between England and India over a more than 30-year period.

Finally, on what was to be his last tour, he was appointed Commodore of an enormous Company Fleet of Merchantmen in 1804. Being aware of French Rear Admiral Comte de Linois with a squadron of French men-o-war were raiding the British sea lanes, Dance instructed many of his merchant vessels to "paint" gun ports on the sides of their vessels in order to give them the appearance of war ships.

When being discovered by the French squadron Dance immediately broke out the "Blue Ensigns" on his disguised ships and sailed directly at the French as if intending to engage. He fired a few broadsides and the French, believing they were greatly outnumbered and outgunned, retreated. The ruse was a success!

Dance arrived home in England without loss and to a hero's welcome, a knighthood, a fortune in reward, a life long pension and a presentation sword for his valor. He was made an honorary senior officer in the London based "Royal East India Company Volunteers" and lived in happy retirement until his death in 1827.

Here we offer Commodore Sir Nathaniel Dance's official Royal East India Company Volunteer's ivory gripped sword with gilt lion's head pommel, engraved gilt shell guard, the knuckle bow bearing his name inscribed:


on the reverse is inscribed:

R. E. + I. V.

A fine double-edged blade sword dating from approximately 1805 together with a hand written letter by "Nath. Dance" dated 24th August 1826 where he points out that he is:

not a Bart. [baronet], but only a simple old Knt. [knight]. The difference being a knight's title of "Sir" dies with his own demise whereas a Baronet's title of "Sir" descends to his oldest male heir.

Also included is an original print of the commodore and printed research.

A lovely sword named to a figure of historical significance, a great British Naval hero together with a modest note written and signed by his own hand.

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