Post Road Gallery
Fine Antiques and Decorative Arts


Anglo Indian Ceremonial Wheelbarrow with matching Silver Spade
Made for and used during the opening ceremony of the construction of the Madras Railroad. India, 1853

Carved Rosewood and Sterling Silver
Silver by George Scriven and Co. of Madras.
Wheelbarrow: 52 inches long by 25 wide by 19 high
Spade: 36 inches long

Both the spade and wheelbarrow have the identical engraved dedication
. They read:
"Madras Railway, Used in the cutting of the first turf by his Excellency, Leut. Gov, the Right Honorable Sir Henry Pottinger, GC. Governor of Fort St. George, 9th June 1853."

The spade is hallmarked by Scriven. Without disassembling it is impossible to tell how much silver was used but it must be a substantial amount because the blade is quite sturdy. The rear of the spade's blade is where the hallmark resides. Scriven was an English silversmith active in India between 1853-1863

Certainly this is an rare piece of India's colonial and industrial history and a beautiful piece of railroad memorabilia.

Henry Pottinger, the Governor of the province and man who broke the ground at the ceremony went on to be the First English Governor of Hong Kong. He was the subject of a recent biography.

For a larger image click here or on the images above

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Post Road Gallery / 2128 Boston Post Road / Larchmont, NY, 10538 USA
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