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SOLD - Sterling Silver ‘Life Guard's Helmet’ Inkwell - Antique Victorian

A magnificent, fine and impressive, large antique Victorian sterling silver inkwell modelled in the form of helmet of an Officer of the Life Guards; an addition to our military related silverware collection

SKU: A4253
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SOLD - Sterling Silver ‘Life Guard's Helmet’ Inkwell - Antique Victorian
SOLD - Sterling Silver ‘Life Guard's Helmet’ Inkwell - Antique Victorian


This magnificent and unusual, antique Victorian English sterling silver inkwell has been realistically modelled in the form of a helmet of an Officer of the British Life Guards*.

This antique helmet** features impressive hallmarked applied gilded crossed laurel and oak branch designs emanating from the lower portion of a rosette bordered regimental badge.

The badge consists of a silver eight pointed Guards star paralleling the black enamel garter displaying the notable motto 'Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense' - Evil to those who evil thinks*** in addition to the red guilloche enamel cross of St. George.

The inkwell is fitted with a hallmarked hinged cover which opens to allow access to the original removable push fit glass liner.

The interior rim of the body bears the retailer's mark 'London & Ryder, 17 New Bond Street'.

The cover is embellished with a gilded royal coronet to the anterior surface and surmounted with an impressive knopped plume support, retaining the original horses hair.

The posterior of the helmet is embellished with an hallmarked applied gilded braid style border from the base of the plume support to the nape of the neck-piece.

This magnificent helmet is supported by the gilded solid silver chain link strap, terminating with impressive and large rosette designs.

The helmet sits to the original turned painted wood presentation plinth.

This magnificent inkwell is a rare and unusual example of its type, due to its large size.

* The Life Guards are a senior regiment of the British Army and are part of the Household Calvary. They have a multitude of colloquial nicknames including the Piccadilly Cowboys, Piccadilly Butchers, Tins and Donkey Wallopers.

** This form of helmet was used for Full Dress from 1871 and still worn to the present day; the changes over time have been the way in which the plume is worn.

*** This garter and motto can also be found surrounding the shield of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.

Date: 1874


This antique sterling silver inkwell is an exceptional gauge of silver, exceptional quality and in exceptional presentation condition.

The enamel is in perfect condition.

Full hallmarks struck to the surface of the body and part hallmarks to the cover are all clear, in keeping with age and location.

The maker's mark, duty mark and lion passant to each applied gilded strap are all very clear, apart from the purity and duty mark to the chin strap.

Reflections in photographs may detract from the true representation of this antique Victorian piece.



Height including plinth 23.5cm/9.3"

Height of helmet 20.5cm/8.1"

Height of body 10.5cm/4.1"

Length of helmet 12.5cm/4.9"

Width of helmet 10cm/3.9"


Length 17.5cm/6.9"

Width 13cm/5.1"

View the full range of military related silverware available at AC Silver

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Andrew Campbell started trading in antiques during the 1970s. Initially, Andrew lived in the South of England, travelling the country, searching for items of silver to buy. Andrew sold these items at various London markets and antique fairs. Over time, and through selling at a range of venues, Andrew built up a large and diverse customer base from private buyers to national and international trade customers.
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