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    Sale 5265

    Selected Silver & Russian Works of Art

    30 November 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 68

    A VERY RARE & POSSIBLY UNIQUE 18TH CENTURY INDIAN COLONIAL SILVER SCALE REPLICA OF A VIOLIN,

    UNMARKED, CIRCA 1781,

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VERY RARE & POSSIBLY UNIQUE 18TH CENTURY INDIAN COLONIAL SILVER SCALE REPLICA OF A VIOLIN,
    UNMARKED, CIRCA 1781,
    The silver body with bead borders & pierced with an "S" scroll on either side of front, carved wood neck & scroll, ebony fretboard, inscribed around bottom edge in a flowing hand "From my Friend Col.l Duff , Made at Cawnpore 1781", 23½ in. long (59 cm.).


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    Post Lot Text

    Major-General Patrick Duff (1742-1803) enjoyed a long career in the Honourable East India Company's Bengal Artillery. A Scotsman by birth, he went to India, aged 18, in 1760 as a gentleman volunteer in His Majesty's 89th.Foot (Morris's Highlanders), was present at the battle of Buxar in 1764 which saw the defeat of the combined armies of 3 Indian rulers & heralded the establishment of the HEIC's rule in the eastern part of the subcontinent & was promoted Ensign. He is listed from 1762 as having transferred to the Bengal Artillery as a Lieutenant-Fireworker, rising through the ranks, Lt.Colonel 1780, Colonel, 1786 & Major-General, 1793. In 1777 he commanded the newly-raised Golandaz companies of native artillery & later was appointed Commissary of Stores at Fort William in Calcutta, the fort completed in 1781 & where he continued until 1785. He later saw service in the Third Mysore War (1789-92) & was with Lord Cornwallis at the siege of Seringapatam in 1799, during the Fourth Mysore War, which saw the defeat & death of the ruler of Mysore, Tippoo Sultan. He was nicknamed "Tyger-Duff" after surviving a serious mauling by a tiger in the early part of his career. In 1797 he was commanding the artillery in the Bengal Presidency but soon retired to Scotland where he died in Edinburgh, 2nd Feb., 1803, his second wife, Dorothea (née Hay) dying four days later!