Roses by another name

For those of us accustomed to think of English county roses as the preserve of Yorkshire and Lancashire (see this post), it may come as a surprise to find that the rose has also long been a symbol of Hampshire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire. Reasonable enough then to attribute mistakenly to Yorks or Lancs items such as the Frederick Buck miniatures of officers of the Derbyshire Militia, with their silver rectangular belt plates mounted with a crowned rose.

bonhams 2003

And here, just because I like the look of them lined up together, are a few, mostly earlier, Derbyshire militia plates, mostly from auction pages. Those without inscription are apt to be misidentified, though the rose on a shield seems to be a distinctive Derbyshire sign. (Click thumbnails for enlarged slides.)

The first two, clearly by the same hand, seem to be punched rather than engraved with a burin. Was the very regular zig zag of the shield outline made with some sort of tool like a mezzotint rocker? Officers’ stuff was so labour intensive …

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