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Letter NEWHM:1996.H67.405

John Hancock to the Duke of Leeds (15 January 1847)

Draft letter from Hancock to the Duke of Leeds discussing estimates for casting a model of a Gyrfalcon in either silver or in a combination of silver and bronze.




Copy Jany: 15th. 1847

To His Grace the Duke of Leeds 1

Having made the alterations suggested by your Grace & having much improved the plumage & general details of the model of the Hawk, the same was forwarded to London a few days ago to cast, and as the parties there, had not seen it when the former estimate was made given, therefore I thought it best to have a fresh estimate.  The silversmith here has just called upon me with it and I find it exceeds the sum mentioned when your Grace was last in Newcastle[.] I requested that the estimate should be made in two ways, first entirely in silver, second the bird, jesses, leash & hood only in silver, with the rock bronze, the former will cost £140, the £120 for any part.  I think the latter plan is the better [p.2] for the dark color [sic colour] of the bronze would relieve and very much heighten the effect of the bird and I am informed that some important pieces of silver plate, recently manufactured, were mounted on a ground of bronze with excilent [sic]effect.  In conclusion I beg to observe that the above prices include every thing, waiting your grace’s reply.

I remain | JH [signature]

P.S. I wish to know if your grace intends having a motto affixed as originally suggested it would suit very well to have it on the leash if so I would your Grace to let me have it as also the inscription which I suppose ought to be placed on the rock[.]

JH [signature]




1. The Duke of Leeds

Francis George Godolphin D’Arcy-Osborne, 7th Duke of Leeds (1798 – 1859) was a British peer and politician. He succeeded his father in 1838.

The principal ducal seat was Hornby Castle, Yorkshire.

The Duke commissioned Hancock to produce a silver model of a Gryfalcon standing on a rock. The model was to be given as a prize, by the Duke, at the next race meeting of the Royal Hawking Club to be held at the Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, Holland in June 1847.

The Duke was a member of the celebrated Loo Hawking Club, formed in 1839, which had its headquarters at the Loo, the summer palace of the King of Holland, under whose patronage the members met every summer for about six weeks to follow the sport of heron-hawking.