SIGNED AND PRESENTED PORTRAIT OF KING ALBERT TO MAJOR GORDON - JULY 1921
This original signed photograph was given to Major Gordon during the Belgian Royal visit in 1921. The photo is mentioned as follows in Major Gordon's book Culled from a Diary:
"Prior to his departure from London King Albert summoned me to his bedroom at the Palace and decorated me with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Leopold II, at the same time handing me his latest portrait, beautifully framed and bearing a charming inscription."
The picture is the most praised item in the Kings Messenger collection because it was the first item we have ever acquired from Major Gordon and was the main item that started his history research! The whole foundation of the Major Gordon society is built around this picture and the possibility it has shown in commemorating both Major Gordon and King Albert I in this way!
In 2019 the picture was reframed to preserve it for future generations. Its original silver (royal) frame still resides in the interior of the Gordon family. The image is now placed in a customised sterling silver frame.
DESCRIPTION: "To Major A. A. Gordon. In grateful memory of your valued services during our visit in London - Albert."
GUESTBOOK SIGNATURES BELGIAN ROYAL FAMILY (1915 - 1916)
Signed papers from Major Gordon's guestbook with the signatures of Queen Elisabeth dated 21 December 1915, probably signed during the Christmas occasion. The signature of the Princes Charles en Leopold, later King Leopold III. The dates of the signatures of the princes differ from those of the Queen, which is understandable because most of their education was done in England during the war, so there were not always around in La Panne. The only signature that is missing is that of Princess Marie-Josée, by which Major Gordon most certainly had contact during the war, as stated in his book, Culled from a Diary. We also have to remind ourselves that the princess was the youngest and only 12 when the war ended.
LARGE SILVER QUAICH PRESENTED FROM THE GERMAN DUKE AND DUCHESS JOHAN ALBRECHT VON MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN - OCTOBER 1904
In the late autumn of 1904, Duke Mecklenberg and the Dutchess visited England and Scotland. Major Gordon, then Mr A. A. Gordon, acted as their cicerone in Scotland. He met them at Waverley Station, Edinburgh, and escorted them to the Caledonian Hotel. Major Gordon guided them for about ten days near and far from Edinburgh. De Duke and Duchess' Master of the Household was the huge and delighted Von Rantzau, a distant connection of Bismarck. One day during the visit was devoted to the Earl of Wemyss at Gosford House, East Lothian. Major Gordon knew that the Duke was not precisely persona grata with the British Royal Family, and he knew that their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, were guests at the time. On entering the great hall, Major Gordon noticed that two figures hurriedly got themselves behind pillars. Later he told in his memoirs that the visit of Mecklenburg took Their Royal Highnesses by surprise, and they tried to conceal themselves behind the posts. At Gosford, Duke Mecklenburg met with the Earl of Midleton, Secretary of State for India, and Mr and Mrs Asquith.
Quote by Major Gordon:
“I found Their Highnesses (Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg) most kind and thoughtful. I dined with them every night in Edinburgh, and they invited themselves to my home for tea one day t meet my wife and our children. When they left Scotland en route for Germany they presented me with a huge silver quaich some nine inches in diameter and delightfully inscribed, as was also a very large and beautiful etching of the Duke and a smaller signed portrait of the Duchess.”
The quaich measures 28.8cm including the handles, 20cm in diameter, and 9cm high. The weight is 22.5 oz troy. The hallmarks are Edinburgh (the castle), thistle (assay office silver mark), 1898 (date letter r), Britannia (Britannia silver being higher than sterling silver content: 958 rather than 925), H&I (Hamilton and Inches, who hold the Royal Warrant as a silversmith to the royal family, maker's mark).
RECTO: "To Mr A. A Gordon in grateful remembrance of our charming stay at Edinburgh,
VERSO: "Elizabeth Duchess, Johann Albrecht Duke of Mecklenburg.”
SILVER FRENCH SOUVENIR SPOON PRESENTED BY COMPTESSE GHISLAINE DE CARAMAN CHIMAY - 1915
The spoon was sent to Major Gordon on the 22th September 1915 from Paris, by the Comtesse Ghislaine De Caraman Chimay, who was best friends with Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.
The following note came with the spoon: "Dear Mr. Gordon, Please accept this little Parisian Souvenir with my best remembrances."