A Fine and Unique Silver Gilt Mounted Naval Officer’s Sabre
81cm unfullered blade by Henry Wilkinson, Pall Mall, London, numbered 32332 for 1893 deeply etched with scrolling foliage within geometric panels against a gilt ground, silver hilt with D-shaped knuckle guard deeply cast overall with foliage, the langets cast with owner’s initial within a six-pointed star, wire bound green shagreen covered grip (now faded), in its silver gilt scabbard with ornate mounts cast with foliage against a stippled ground, two roped suspension rings. Hallmarked London, 1893 and maker’s mark J.F.L.
The sword of Admiral Sir Henry Felix Woods Pasha, K.C.V.O., Grand Cordon of Medijeh and Osmanieh and Knight of the Sax-Coburg Order, who specially ordered this sword from Wilkinson’s and made to his own unique design.
Woods was born on July 18th 1843, and joined the navy in 1854. After serving in Japan and the Middle East, the British Government consented to his entering the Ottoman service as an instructor. He performed sterling service in the Turkish Navy being appointed Pasha in 1883 and eventually attaining the rank of Admiral.
The highest Turkish order were confered upon him, with the sanction of Queen Victoria, and he became Aide-De-Camp General to the Sultan and a member of his household. He retired in 1909 and continued to live in Turkey until 1914.
He published his autobiography under the title of ‘Spunyarn’ in two volumes in 1924 which is full of entertaining reminiscences of the Court of Turkey and of his long service as a naval adviser.
He died in Monaco in 1929.