Nelson friend's pistol-sword set for $23,550 auction
A rare pistol-sword once owned by a convicted fraudster and friend of Lord Nelson, is to sell
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Saturday 26 May 2012
A pistol-sword, once owned by a nefarious friend of Lord Nelson, is coming to auction in July.
The rare weapon, valued at £10,000-15,000, will appear at Bonhams' Antique Arms, Armour and Sporting Gun sale in London on July 25.
Famed London-based firearms manufacturer HW Mortimer produced the flintlock combined 54-bore tap-action pistol and sword in the late 18th century.
It contains Birmingham silver hallmarks from 1782, and Charles Freeth's maker's mark. The pistol has a 64.9 cm sword blade attached.
Alexander Davison first met Nelson in Quebec in 1782, and the two remained in close contact until Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Jailed for six months in 1804 for election fraud following a failed attempt to become a member of parliament, Davison returned in 1809 for falsifying purchase orders and receipts.
He was at one point solely responsible for Nelson's finances, and helped create the Nelson memorial in Northumberland, UK.
Bonhams states that upon his 1811 release from Newgate prison in London "he lived quietly in Brighton", UK.
The value of the rare item will no doubt be boosted by the Nelson connection.
In 2010 Paul Fraser Collectibles sold a piece of the flag from the Victory, the ship on which Nelson was shot and killed, for £75,000 ($118,140).
Signed letters by Horatio have grown in value from £1,800 ($2,835) in 2000 to £9,500 ($14,970) today, at a rate of 16.33% pa.
We currently have a signed handwritten note from Nelson available for £8,500 ($13,410), a full £1,000 below the index listing.
A circa 1600 German pistol-sword sold for €18,000 in 2007.
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