The year 1815 has been called Schubert’s annus mirabilis. This hardly overstates the case. His output in this year can be summarized as: four Singspiele, a symphony and a half, a string quartet, nine works for solo piano, eight or nine church works involving orchestra, some two dozen partsongs mostly with piano accompaniment, and about 140 songs. It is worth analyzing the rate of productivity and extrapolating an illustration that will be readily understood by anyone who has dabbled in composition, has played music if only for private pleasure, or simply knows a few works by Schubert. Schubert composed about 21,850 bars of music in this one year, of which 11,072 involved an orchestra. Arranged out over the calendar year of 52 weeks, this amounts to an output of 420 bars a week, of which 213 bars involve an orchestra. This would mean that Schubert produced, in each week of 1815, the equivalent of the slow movement of the Third Symphony; the Gloria of the Mass in G; the slow movement of the E major piano sonata, D. 157; the partsong Trinklied for TTBB and piano, D. 267; Erster Verlust; Heidenröslein; Sehnsucht [Lieder]. Given that this illustration permits no weekends off and not even a single day’s holiday throughout the year, it would be remarkable enough if Schubert were a full-time composer. But he was employed throughout the year as a teacher in his father’s primary school. Taking all these factors into account, and the fact that Schubert maintained social contacts, had twice-weekly lessons with Salieri, went to concerts and opera performances, undertook some private teaching, attended the regular [family] orchestra rehearsals at Frischling’s, and presumably enjoyed moments of relaxation and exercise, his productivity was phenomenal … If a true composer is one who can seldom escape the compulsion to compose, Schubert was probably the truest composer of all time.
A gorgeous Wilkinson patent solid hilt light cavalry officer’s sword, marked to the Queen’s Own 4th Hussars, sold to Henry J F Newbould of the 4th Hussars in January 1894 (a fellow officer of Winston Churchill, who was in the same regiment). This sword ticks so many boxes - a numbered Wilkinson to a named officer, but also regimentally marked, which is unusual, and to a good regiment, plus it’s a desirable patent solid hilt. The hilt is absolutely rock solid on the hilt of course, the guard, backstrap and blade all have an even patina (which could be brightened with careful cleaning in the future). The etching is clear. The blade is straight and sound. The grips are in very good condition with sharp chequering. Nearly all the silver grip wire is still in place (missing two strands at the bottom groove). Plus, this sword was certainly in the presence of Winston Churchill when he was a young officer, who joined the 4th Hussars very close to Newbould. In the hand this sword feels chunky and it is quite rigid, with a straight blade primarily for thrusting.