11-02-2013 11-02-2013
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Marlborough MA
2684M Marlborough
November 2, 2013 10:00 AMCalender

Cased Model 1852 Presentation Sword by Bigelow Kennard & Co. and Other Objects Relating to Rear Admiral Frank Wildes, U.S.N.

Auction: Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2684M Location: Marlborough Date / Time: November 02, 2013 10:00AM


Cased Model 1852 Presentation Sword by Bigelow Kennard & Co. and Other Objects Relating to Rear Admiral Frank Wildes, U.S.N., c. 1901, 18kt gold hilt with a shield, the pommel has an eagle resting on rope, with thirteen stars in relief, the counter-guard is ornamented with oak leaf and acorn decorations, with U.S.N., and a dolphin head quillon, grip is covered in white shagreen and wrapped with gold twisted wire, also adorned with gilt sword knot, steel blade marked GERMANY, with one side engraved Presented to Rear Admiral Frank Wildes by citizens of Boston in recognition of distinguished services as captain of the cruiser Boston at the battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898., on the reverse side of the blade is engraved with the battle of Manila Bay, and the cruiser Boston in the middle of the scene, and Presented Dec. 17, 1901, scabbard is black leather with the 18kt gold throat, middle band, and ornate drag, entwined between gold laurels, sword belt is blue broadcloth embroidered with gold metallic wire, 18kt gold belt plate and fittings, walnut case is fitted for sword, with two tabs to hole the belt, lined with red broadcloth and marked Bigelow Kennard & Co. in gold and a handwritten note dated 1902, also includes Wildes' two-star wool bunting flag flown at Pensacola Navy Yard, December 23rd, 1901, and image of Wildes from the day of the sword presentation, beaver chapeau bras in its tin case, one set of dress Rear Admiral's epaulettes in their tin case, two other pairs of Rear Admiral's epaulettes, Dewey medal, Military Order of the Loyal Legion medal, testimonial of the presentation proceedings, second embroidered belt and plate, leather belt and plate, calling cards, and silver-plate lighting fixtures from a ship's cabin.

Note: Frank Wildes was born in Boston, June 17, 1843, entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis September 21st, 1860 by appointment of Governor Rice, graduated May 28th, 1863 as Ensign and was ordered to the West Gulf Squadron and took part in the Battle of Mobile Bay and fought through the rest of the Civil War, promoted to Commander in 1880, and after numerous deployments around the world took command of the cruiser Boston, participating in the taking of the Spanish at Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, and died February 7, 1903 while in service. The sword case remained unopened by the family since it was closed in 1902, opened for the first time July 17th, 2013, revealing the contents.

Provenance: By family descent to the consignor.
Estimate $20,000-30,000

Sword is in like new condition with a few light spots on leather scabbard, lock on the sword case is broken, and red broadcloth has a few small tears, flag has some moth damage on wool bunting, and image has some water damage, lighting fixture's have a few dents, and base is broken off candle stand.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Frank Wildes, Rear Admiral, Manila Bay, Bigelow Kennard & Co., counter-guard, steel blade, Germany, Loyal Legion, Mobile Bay, U.S. Naval Academy, Commander, Rice, U.S., West Gulf Squadron