Submitted by jays on 28 January 2014 - 11:08pm

This fine two-handled lidded cup, made in silver gilt by London silversmith William Elliott, was presented to ‘Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston’ of Annandale, New South Wales, by his patron Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland (1742-1817). George Johnston (1764-1823) was born in Annandale, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the son of David Johnston, Lieutenant of Marines. David Johnston served as aide-de-camp to Hugh Percy, then Lord Percy, during the American War of Independence, accompanied by young George who later secured a commission in a marine company through Percy’s patronage. After serving in north America, the West and East Indies, Johnston volunteered for the marine detachment raised to accompany the First Fleet to New South Wales. He went on to become commanding officer of the New South Wales Corps and was promoted Lieutenant Colonel in April 1808 but in the meantime he had, on 26 January 1808, arrested Governor Bligh in an act of ‘loyal rebellion’. He was court-martialled in London in 1811 and cashiered. Northumberland had supported Johnston throughout his career and through the trial. In December 1814, in a final act of friendship he sent this cup to Johnston ’as a mark of remembrance with esteem’ - more consolation prize than trophy.

Photograph: Jamie North, 2013
Transferred from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1934
Urn shaped silver gilt cup presented to Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston, 1814 Urn shaped silver gilt cup (detail) presented to Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston, 1814 Urn shaped silver gilt cup presented to Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston, 1814 Urn shaped silver gilt cup (detail) presented to Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston, 1814 Urn shaped silver gilt cup presented to Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston, 1814
Portrait
Vaucluse House
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V92/49