This gilt and jewelled dagger was given by King Louis-Philippe I of France to William Charles Macready (1793-1873), a prominent Victorian actor. His success as an actor in England led him to tour in the United States, notably to the Astor Place Theatre in New York, and in France where he acted in a production of Hamlet for the King of France in Les Tuileries castle on January 16, 1845. He mentions in his diary that "at the end of the play, one of the King's suite [...] presented me with a long packet [which contained] a poniard" (William Toynbee, Diaries of William Charles Macready, London, 1912, vol.II, p.284). The dagger, mentioned in one of Charles Dickens' letter to Macready's wife, was used by him whilst playing Macbeth (From The Letters of Charles Dickens).
From William Charles Macready to his daughter, Cecelia Benvenuta,
Thence by descent to the present owner