Battle of Trafalgar medal and other treasures star at Spink

The July 22 sale will feature 500 lots of "Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals & Militaria" in an auctioned billed as one of the biggest of its kind. 

Among the highlights will be 94 Naval General Service medals dated to 1793-1840. Of these, it is one belonging to a "Boy Third Class" that could be especially sought-after by collectors.

In 1805, James Folley had been in the Royal Navy for just six months when he was sent to the Battle of Trafalgar.

Little did he know then that it would become the last resting place of Lord Horatio Nelson, and that his own involvement in the battle would garner a medal - and not just any medal.

This was a special silver Naval General Service decoration dated to 1793-1840. However, Folley would have to wait over 40 years until 1847 to receive his honour due to the scarcity of the metals used in its design.

The medal includes an image of a young Queen Victoria but, more importantly to collectors, also bears the highly sought-after Trafalgar clasp in recognition of his efforts during the famous battle.

Today over 200-years-old, early auction estimates set this exceptional medal's value at £6,000.

The Trafalgar Medal featuring the "Trafalgar Clasp"

In total, the 94 Naval General Service 1793-1840 medals are expected to realise around half a million pounds.

Meanwhile, other highlights of the auction are from collections related to the Royal Air Force pilots of World War One.

One such collection, belonging to "Italian Front" fighter pilot Charles M Maud who fought in the Great War of 1918, is expected to be among of the top lots.

Maud's collection includes the Distinguished Flying Cross, special constabulary long service medals and a bronze Italian War Cross. Also included are an officer's sword and photographs.

The lot has been given an pre-auction estimate of £6,000-8,000.

Similarly, a collection belonging to Royal Air Force Squadron leader Ben Draper could also prove popular.

A veteran of the notorious Battle of Dunkirk, Draper's collection includes a distinguished flying cross, a 1939-145 star with battle of Britain bar and both an Air Crew Europe and Burma Star.

The collection - which will also feature log books, photographs and other medals - will appear with a pre-sale estimate of £18,000-22,000.

And last, but not least, the finest piece for many will be the first lot on offer: the medals of Admiral Salmon, which are selling alongside his sword, for an estimated £130,000-150,000.


Join our readers in 184 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock