Period: Edward VII
Silversmith: Joseph Jennens & Co
Price: $ 1 600.00
Weight: 165 grams
Dimensions: 9.9 cm
Condition: Excellent, pin and clasp in full working order. Gilding also excellent.
Description: A magnificent Highland Light Infantry antique silver kilt sash brooch, used to hold the shoulder plaid in place. The brooch has the monogram HLI inside the Infantry French bugle horn, set on the diamond cut Star of the order of the Thistle, with Imperial King's crown above, and "ASSAYE" scroll and elephant below. This is surrounded by a thistle wreath with 30 battle honours, all earned before 1914, these include: "Carnatic, Hindustan, Sholingur, Mysore, Gibraltar 1780-83, Seringapatam, Assaye, Cape of Good Hope 1806, Rolica, Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco, Fuentes d'Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajos' Almaraz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Waterloo, South Africa 1851-2-3, Egypt 1882, Tel-el-Kebir, Modder River, South Africa 1899-1902". The wreath is surrounded by an engraved scrolling border. The HLI monogram, crown, Assaye scroll and Elephant are all gilded, the gold colour stands out against the silver background, this is a lovely feature. The brooch is made with from 3 separate pieces of silver, the central star stands out from the wreath, held securely in place with 4 pins, the wreath is also connected to the outer rim with 4 nuts (so 8 nuts in total). Overall this is a fabulous quality brooch, one of the best we have seen. The back of the brooch has a large hinged pin and clasp, also good quality. The brooch is clearly hallmarked in 2 places, the star and outer rim, with makers mark J&Co for Jennens & Co on both pieces. Joseph Jennens & Co worked between 1843 and 1918, they specialised in buttons and military ornaments. The Highland Light Infantry was established in 1881 by the merger of the 71st and 74th Highland Regiments. It was the 74th Regiment who won the Assaye Elephant battle honour in 1803 under the command of General Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington. The HLI existed until 1959 until it was merged with other regiments, today known as the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Their nickname was "Hells Last Issue" (HLI), and they wore the Mackenzie tartan. The Colonel in Chief of the HLI at the time this brooch was made was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Queen Victoria's 3rd son.