Category Archive 'Lord Byron'

18 Apr 2020

Byron at Missolonghi


Joseph Denis Odavaere, Lord Byron on his Death-bed, c. 1826, Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Belgium.

On this day in 1824, 6pm, Missolonghi: Byron’s doctor hears him say “I want to sleep now” as he falls into a coma. He will die the next day.

“The mountains look on Marathon—
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream’d that Greece might still be free.”

23 Nov 2019

Lord Byron’s Greek Blunderbuss

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Auctions Imperial LLC, November 30, 2019, 9:00 AM PST

Est: $7,000 – $8,000
Opening Bid: $3,500

An exceptional example of a “tromboni” made in Epiros, covered entirely in superbly embossed and engraved silver displaying naturalistic flowering vinework. The brass buttplate and triggerguard engraved en suite. The fine matched flintlock mechanism and barrel with flared muzzle elegantly chiseled in relief with vinework and a stand of arms highlighted with gold. Set on the left side of the stock with a silver plaque with foliate border engraved, GGB for George Gordon Byron. From the Samuel Gridley Howe Collection. Early 19th century. Very minor wear.

George Gordon Byron, Sixth Lord Byron, was England’s greatest Romantic Era poet. He led an adventurous, often dangerous, existence and at age 35 journeyed to Greece to join the revolution and fight the Ottomans. Given command over a brigade of Suliots, he was preparing an attack on the Ottoman stronghold of Lepanto, but died in Missolonghi on April 19, 1824. Byron’s passing was mourned throughout the world. He became a national hero to the Greeks and his renown as a poet grew in England, Europe and America.

Samuel Gridley Howe M.D. (1801-1876,) noted American abolitionist, was so inspired by Lord Byron’s cause, that he sailed for Greece in 1824 with the intention of fighting by Byron’s side. Howe arrived just weeks after Byron succumbed to fever; he nonetheless fought for six years against the Ottomans at Missolonghi, Crete, and other locations, and assisted Byron’s close friend and protégé, Alexandros Mavrokordatos, among other Greek notables. Howe acquired Byron’s helmet, sword and a number of other military effects before returning to the U.S. in 1830; the helmet was repatriated to Greece in 1926, donated to the Ethnographic Museum, Athens (now the National Historical Museum) by Howe’s daughter, Maud Howe Elliot, which memorialized her father’s service to Greece as well. Howe’s eldest daughter, Laura Elizabeth Richards, celebrated American author, presented the blunderbuss to her son, Henry Howe Richards, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Late 18th-early 19th century. Minor wear. Overall length 51.4cm. Condition II

Samuel Gridley Howe, 1801-1876

The images of a portrait of Samuel Gridley Howe as a Greek freedom fighter, painted by John Elliot c. 1830, now housed at Brown University.

25 Aug 2013

Lord Byron’s Lifestyle

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Lord Byron

Percy Bysshe Shelley
on Lord Byron’s lifestyle.

Lord Byron gets up at two. I get up, quite contrary to my usual custom… at twelve. After breakfast we sit talking till six. From six to eight we gallop through the pine forest which divides Ravenna from the sea; we then come home and dine, and sit gossiping till six in the morning. I don’t suppose this will kill me in a week or a fortnight, but I shall not try it longer. Lord B.’s establishment consists, besides servants, of ten horses, eight enormous dogs, three monkeys, five cats, an eagle, a crow, and a falcon; and all these, except the horses, walk about the house , which every now and the resounds with their unarbitrated quarrels, as if they were the masters of it… .[P.S.] I find that my enumeration of the animals in this Circean palace was defective… .I just met on the grand staircase five peacocks, two guinea hens, and an Egyptian crane. I wonder who all these animals were before they changed into these shapes.

Via Ratak Mondosico.

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