The ebony cylindrical shaft of this virtually unique Victorian Presentation Tipstaff, a highlight in our forthcoming auction, is topped with a royal crown, while the upper section bears a rampant lion above a Ducal coronet on one side and an oak tree with a saw through the trunk (for Hamilton) to the reverse. The applied presentation band engraving reads: 'Victoria Queen, Alexander 10th Duke of Hamilton Hereditary Keeper, Presented to John Rogers Esquire, Baillie of the Abbey of Holyrood House, by the High Constables, Thomas Miller Moderator 1851’. This rare example is displayed in a fitted velvet lined glazed domed oak display case.
Although Tipstaffs and Batons of office are encountered with regularity presentation examples or indeed such large examples as this are extremely rare. To find one with such direct Royal and Ducal connection as this appears to be virtually unique. The presentation itself is still somewhat of a mystery. It can safely be assumed that Thomas Miller must have had a long career within the Abbey of Holyrood House and perhaps his time as Moderator in 1851 was the end of this illustrious career. No other such examples presented to Moderators can be traced so this is by no means a standard presentation to Moderators of the Abbey when they stand down.