Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
THE PROPERTY OF THE LORD BADEN-POWELL
THE FOLLOWING SIX LOTS WERE PRESENTED TO MAJOR-GENERAL BADEN-POWELL IN RECOGNITION OF THE SUCCESSFUL DEFENCE OF MAFEKING BETWEEN OCTOBER 1899 AND MAY 1900 DURING THE SECOND ANGLO-BOER WAR
The siege of Mafeking was to be the brightest moment in a war which had generally gone badly for the British. Baden-Powell was a member of a small advance party of officers with experience of South Africa, sent by the War Office when conflict with the Boers of the Transvaal became inevitable. In an attempt to build on the harsh lessons of the first Anglo-Boer war of 1881, it was decided that this small group of officers was to delay Boer forces entering the North Eastern Cape by whatever means necessary, allowing the British army time to muster reinforcements from around the Empire. Centring their defensive plan on the town of Mafeking, eight professional army officers under the command of Baden-Powell raised a force of six hundred untrained irregulars, fifteen hundred Africans and eight hundred civilians. War was declared on 4 October 1899 and Mafeking was surrounded by seven thousand Boers the next day. Baden-Powell and his small force proved spectacularly successful in holding Mafeking, and its relief on 16 May 1900 passed into folklore. The Empire finally had a victory and a hero.
At the outbreak of hostilities there were no war correspondents in South Africa, so whilst The Times shipped out Winston Churchill, smaller papers engaged the services of officers already in the country. The Daily Sketch chose Baden-Powell. Despatches were sent every fortnight and Baden-Powell took credit for all that happened at Mafeking, becoming his own self-publicist. The relief of Mafeking brought London to a virtual stop for four days, and the news of the victory was greeted with wild emotion throughout the Empire. Shilling collections were raised throughout the Empire, with around seven hundred gifts for the hero of Mafeking being commissioned, including the present six lots.
It is for his second career as the founder of the Scouting movement that Baden-Powell is best remembered today. Prior to Mafeking, he had written Aids to Scouting for N.C.O.s and Men as a guide to military field craft for the serving soldier. In 1907 he was persuaded to exploit his post-Mafeking fame, especially amongst the young, by rewriting the book as the enormously popular Scouting for Boys. The book was the catalyst for the formation of the Scout and Guide movements.