A rare early 19th century court
wig which belonged to a former army general who fought under Wellington has
Despite its age, the wig, unearthed in the Midlands, still has its original carrying case bearing the initials of its owner – G H Anson Esq.
Valuers at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire, who found the wig, say it belonged to Sir George Anson, a former general and Whig politician who moved in royal circles.
‘Old Sir George Anson’, as he was called by Queen Victoria, was said to be delighted to be appointed a groom of the bedchamber to Prince Albert in 1840.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons and the man who made the find, said: “The wig belonged to the late Sir George Anson, of Rushall Hall, Staffordshire, who lived from 1769-1849.
“We found the wig when we were collating our January sale and unpacking boxes from various clients. A black, oval, gilded box, inscribed G H Anson Esq, was spotted and within it was the judge’s wig with the name on the inside.
“History tells us that Sir George Anson was a British officer and politician from the Anson family. He commanded a British cavalry brigade under the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War.
“Aside from his military career, he sat as Whig Member of Parliament for Lichfield from 1806 to 1841 and was also the Groom of the Bedchamber to Prince Albert from 1836 to September 1841.”
The barrister’s wig is made of horsehair, dates to circa 1800 and has an estimate of £150 to £250.
“The wig has survived remarkably well,” said Mr Hanson. “Provenance is what makes objects valuable and this wig has tremendous Staffordshire heritage.
“Thanks to Sir George and his descendants, the Anson name is held in high regard in Lichfield and beyond. Hereditary titles held by the Anson family include the earldom of Lichfield and there is an Anson law firm which has offices in Lichfield and other parts of the Midlands.”
The wig will be sold in Hansons Spring Fine Art Auction on March 26. Entries invited until March 2. Hansons holds free antiques and collectables valuation days every Monday at The Hedgehog Inn, Stafford Road, Lichfield, from 10.30am-12.30pm. Valuation events are also held in Tamworth and Leek. To find out about upcoming valuation days, visit www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk or call 01283 733988.