belgian lion

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British Presentation Sword for a Belgian Officer

Presentation Sword by Henry Wilkinson, Pall Mall, London to a Belgian Army Officer, the 91 cm slightly curved blade with single fuller numbered 156?14, is etched with King Leopold the Second of Belgium’s royal cypher though with St. Edward’s crown above, additionally ‘Au Cape. D’Etat Major B Renard Son Ami John Furley 1867’, on the reverse a crowned shield bearing the Belgian lion and motto ‘L’Union Fait La Force’, the gilt brass pierced handguard incorporates an oval bearing the crown and cypher of Leopold the Second, lion’s head pommel and lion’s mane back strap, wire bound fish skin grip, together with its all metal scabbard also by Wilkinson.

The sword is in the style of a British Pattern 1845/54 Infantry Officer’s Sword, and the scabbard with its single suspension ring is in the style of French and Belgian infantry officers’ swords.

LEO BELGICUS – THE BELGIAN LION – maps by Claes Jansz during the Twelve Years Truce between Spain and Holland, early 17th century. Note the Low Countries (present-day Holland and Belgium) in the shape of a lion, surrounding by an ornamental cartouche with panoramic depictions of regional cities – on the right, ten cities governed by Spain; the left, ten cities governed by the Netherlands.

Reproduced by David Woodward (editor), The History of Cartography, Volume 3: Cartography in the European Renaissance, 2007.