£48k for the battleship Horatio's log-book

Charles Miller's Maritime auction has been making headlines after selling the only surviving Union Jack from the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.

The flag sold for nearly 40-times its estimate at the Wednesday, October 21 sale, bringing an incredible £384,000.

But the huge, bullet hole-ridden flag once flown from the HMS Spartiate wasn't the only impressive sale at the auction.

A beautiful log book of the ship Horatio's voyages from 1814-1816 - containing 33 full page watercolour pictures, including ones of icebergs and a volcano erupting - sold on target at £48,000, easily exceeding its lower estimate of £40,000.

Log book HMS Horatio
Log book of the HMS Horatio

An incredibly detailed and fine-quality 1:48 builder's model of a 'Rocket' Class Destroyer HM Torpedo boat exceeded its £20,000 maximum estimate, bringing £21,600.

The beautiful encased model includes detailed anchors with studded cables, deck rails, gun platforms, ventilators, lamps and two torpedo tubes on turn tables, all lovingly carved and painted.

A fine wood and bone model of the ship Prince, which served at Trafalgar, did the same, selling for £600 over its top estimate of £15,000.

The Prince engaged Spanish and French ships, but then gallantly rescued French crewmen after their ship Achille caught fire.

Both lots were overshadowed, however, by two models: one named Cibelle, in reference to a captured French ship named Sybille, which was absorbed into the British navy, mainly made of wood; and the other made from bone.

The careful carving and protruding cannon of the models clearly caught bidders' imaginations, as both easily doubled their estimates. The former achieved £12,000 (in spite of a £3,000-5,000 estimate), and the latter trounced its £7,000-9,000 valuation, selling for £18,000.

Overall, it was an excellent day for this Trafalgar Day auction.

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