Silver mounted desk set of two polo pony's hooves engraved with insignia of Captain Joseph Ford Sherer, 49th Bengal Native Infantry, 1865 (c)
No hallmarks, stamped by Allan and Hayes, Calcutta, crescent tally mark, 1865 (c).
Although there is no inscription to suggest that these were awarded as trophies, they are among the earliest examples of polo memorabilia belonging to a British Officer.
Described by the Badminton Library book of Riding and Polo as 'The Father of Polo', there is no doubt that Sherer, following a period of service on the North East Frontier, was instrumental in introducing the sport to Europeans. In 1859, as a young lieutenant and adjutant of the 44th (Sylhet) Regiment of (Bengal) Native (Light Infantry) he, and Captain Robert Stewart, Superintendent of Cachar, founded a European polo club. Five years later, Sherer and his team of seven Manipur men nicknamed 'The Brothers' took the game to Calcutta. It immediately became very popular, so much so that Sherer was entertained with a great banquet in the Indigo Mart.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
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