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Pietermaritzburg Borough Police decorated truncheon


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http://gmic.co.uk/topic/36876-pietermaritzburg-borough-police-badges/

The Pietermaritzburg Borough Police, about which very little has been published, has come to my notice again.  A friend in Cape Town has given me a decorated truncheon of the type typical of mid-Victorian police forces in Britain.   It's origins are clearly with the Pietermaritzburg Borough Police (see below). In spite of enquiries, no-one has seen anything like it for any other Colonial police force.   Sadly, it is too late to ask Mervyn Mitton.  I am sure that he would have had something to say about it.

The truncheon is colourfully decorated with representations of an Imperial crown, a large curliqued 'V', and red cartouche depicting elements from the PBP badge - 'UMGUNGUNHLOVU', the Zulu name for Maritzburg, and an elephant.    There are also the dates '1838', '1848' and '1854', which are significant in Maritzburg's  civic history.

I would be very grateful for any comments on this object.

Regards

Brett

Composite batton pictures.docx

 

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Is there a maker’s name stamped on the heel end? The shape resembles a Parker, Field truncheon but the painted decorations do not. The painting, while clearly the hand of an accomplished artist, suggests a much more garish style than a typical Parker Field example, particularly the crown. Quite a beautiful one-of-a-kind piece. 

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Mike and Ian, thank you both for you replies.

Mike - There is no maker's name on the truncheon.   It has been suggested that it was a specially imported presentation piece for the Chief Constable.    In the mid-1850's and for a hundred years thereafter, Natal tried hard to be more British than the British.

Ian  - It is reassuring to know that Mervyn had one of these truncheons.  It would be a sad irony for him to have lived in Natal for so long and missed out adding one to his collection.

Regards

Brett

1972469668_Natalbumpersticker.jpg.a71983744b938c0b357765a21747ca50.jpg

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