Bonhams auctions the 'Nelson touch'

A remarkable variety of Nelson-related memorabilia - including a rare George III mourning ring, a collection of Baltic service dinner plates and a silver urn given by Lady Emma Hamilton to her chemist - is being sold as part of The Marine Sale at Bonhams on March 24.

One of the most outstanding and rare lots is a George III gold and enamel mourning ring (estimated at £12,000-15,000).

It is one of 58 rings made by Salter that were distributed by the Executors of Nelson's will to relatives, close friends and pall bearers at his funeral in 1805.

Meanwhile, an engraved presentation silver urn (estimated at £7,000-9,000) given by Nelson's bereaved mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton, five years later, to her devoted chemist, Thomas Field Savory, will also sell.

It is thought to be one of the last expensive items she bought before she went bankrupt, and was eventually arrested for debt in 1813.

A George III silver cup and cover, Lady Hamilton, 1810

Harking back to Nelson's life at sea is a George II silver commemorative salver.

Owned by Admiral John Jervis, who was elevated to Earl St Vincent following his defeat of the Spanish Fleet off St Vincent in 1797, the salver depicts the action between the British ship Monmouth and the French ship Foudroyant in 1758.

It was inherited by the Earl's great nephew, John Jervis Carnegie, and has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £13,000-18,000.

A washstand which belonged to Nelson's friend and fellow Commander at the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood (1748-1810), is also up for sale, 200 years after Collingwood's death.

Nelson's own washstand sold for £36,000 in 2005, while Collingwood's is expected to fetch between £6,000 and £8,000.

Another interesting lot is a fine French Prisoner of War bone domino set, intricately decorated with English warships and trophies of arms. It features an outer sliding cover with a portrait of Napoleon (estimated at £1,200-1,800).

Finally, a collection of eight commemorative dinner plates from Nelson's service in the Baltic have attracted a pre-sale estimate of £1,000 each.


Image: Bonhams

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