THE BLÜCHER-HARDINGE VASE

A BERLIN TWO-HANDLED URN PAINTED WITH A PORTRAIT OF GENERAL BLÜCHER
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THE BLÜCHER-HARDINGE VASE A BERLIN TWO-HANDLED URN PAINTED WITH A PORTRAIT OF GENERAL BLÜCHER

CIRCA 1816, BLUE SCEPTRE MARK

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THE BLÜCHER-HARDINGE VASE

A BERLIN TWO-HANDLED URN PAINTED WITH A PORTRAIT OF GENERAL BLÜCHER
CIRCA 1816, BLUE SCEPTRE MARK
The urn of slightly flared form, with pistol handles, on a square base, the socle and lower part of the vase gilt with foliage on a matt-green ground, the oval portrait of Prince Blücher in full military dress uniform wearing his honours within a gilt oak-leaf garland, the reverse gilt with the inscription Dem Obersten Hardinge Zun Andenken von Seinem Freunde ('For the most highly respected Hardinge, in remembrance from his friends'), the sides gilt with martial trophies, the broad flared rim gilt and tooled with stylised foliage (broken through lower part, stem and foot and repaired, chipping to socle, wear to gilding)
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.

Lot Essay

Blücher (1742-1819) was Commander of the Prussian Army in the Napoleonic Wars. He began his career in the Swedish cavalry before joining the Prussian Hussars, soon rising to General Field Marshal. Noted for his bravery rather than his tactical abilities (his nickname was 'Old Forwards') he was defeated on various occasions during the earlier part of Napoleon's campaigns. However, his role was crucial at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. His timely arrival on the battlefield swung the balance in favour of Wellington and the allied forces.

Sir Henry Hardinge (1785-1856), later first Viscount Hardinge of Lahore, was a soldier of great note who had fought extensively against Napoleon in the Peninsular War. In April 1815 he was made Brigadier-General and appointed to Prussian Military Headquarters as British Military Commissioner to Blücher. In this role it is said that it was Hardinge's insistance that the Prussians move with haste to Waterloo, after their defeat the day before, that helped save the battle. Blücher had been reticent in moving his tired troops into another engagement.

In recognition of his services, he was awarded the Prussian Order of Military Merit in 1816 for his part in the campaign. This vase was undoubtedly part of a Prussian state gift to Hardinge made in gratitude.
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