The agreement written on parchment in 1754 is an prenuptial agreement between Lord George Sackville and Lady Diana Sambrook. Parchments of this age are seldom available in our Auction House.
Parchment resembles paper, but it is made from processed animal skin. Once parchment replaced papyrus as a writing material, because parchment is much stronger. It could be binded as books, unlike papyrus, which had to be kept as rolls. In favourable circumstances parchment can retain its quality for hundreds of years. The parchment to be sold in May Auction has multiple pages and it is in a fine condition.
Did you know?
If animal has some flaws in its skin, sometimes you may see some of them in the final parchment. Even though parchments are processed, sometimes wounds are so severe that they don’t disappear in the process. Most valuable parchments are purple parchments, and often the text in them are written in gold or silver.
Photo of the different seals on the parchment. Photo: Erkki Laine / Auction House Helander
Lord George Sackville
Lord George Sackville (26 January 1716 – 26 August 1785) was a British soldier and politician. He was also known as Lord George Germain (1770-1782). He was a soldier in a War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years´ War. Lord George Sackville was discharged from the military at 1759-1760, because he refused to obey orders from his superiors in the Battle of Minden. After his military career he worked as a full-time politician. Lord George also had a seat in the House of Lords, but some of the members thought he was a coward and tried to expel him. Fortunately, some of the other Lords rised to defend his honour, and thanks to them, Lord George could still keep his seat in the House of Lords. Even at his deathbed, he kept his head about the matter that he was not a coward in the Battle of Minden.
This parchment is one of a kind at our Auction, particularly because of the high status of the persons mentioned in the text. The item will be sold at the May Auction on Friday the 11th of May, lot number 1363.
May Auction is a two-day auction. It will be held the 10th and 11th of May. There will be many more historical items available, for example coins from Roman empire and cult sculptures from 6th to 13rd century. The auction catalogue has been published on the 4th of May. Click the button below and browse through the catalogue!
Text: Joonas Mutkala/Auction House Helander
Photos: Erkki Laine/Auction House Helander