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Rare Presentation 19th C. English Raja of Sarawak Navy Sword

( ID: cs1152 )

A very interesting and rare Wilkinson made Sarawak Naval presentation sword.  The history of the Rajah of Sarawak is fascinating and we were able to obtain the original Wilkinson records which document that this sword was purchased by the Rajah of Sarawak, James Brooks, for presentation to Henry Lucas.  

The Wilkinson proofs is 12894.  A copy from the archive is attached in the listing and the records state this sword was a...G. S. Plated, Mounted, Sarawak,Navy Sword with Flat solid Blade.

It was completed/sold Henry Wilkinson & Son on 25 April 1864

Purchased by Sir James Brooke, the then Raja of Sarawak.  There is much written on James Brooks and his anti-piracy adventures but it is highly uncommon to find a Sarawak Naval sword which would have been used directly in anti-piracy operations.  That he himself purchased the sword to present to Henry Lucas means that his actions would have been important enough for the Raja himself to have been involved.  

James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, 1803 – 1868, was a Briton born and raised under the Company Raj in NE India, who became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in Borneo.

After a few years of education in England, he served in the Bengal Army, was wounded, and resigned his commission. He bought a ship and sailed out to the Malay Archipelago where, by helping to crush a rebellion, he became governor of Sarawak. He then vigorously suppressed piracy in the region and, in the ensuing turmoil, restored the Sultan of Brunei to his throne, for which the Sultan made Brooke the Rajah of Sarawak. He ruled until his death.

Brooke was not without detractors and was criticised in the British Parliament and officially investigated in Singapore for his anti-piracy measures. He was, however, honoured in London for his work. The naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace was one of many visitors whose published work spoke of his hospitality and achievements. His final years were spent quietly in England.

Overall length is 38", blade is 31". 

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