Thu, 17th Jul 2008 12:00

Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art (Phoenix)

 
  Lot 20
 

20

An historically important plaque to Lord...

An historically important plaque to Lord Nelson, believed to be the first memorial placed on the spot he fell shortly after the Battle of Trafalgar
comprising a 6in. brass roundel stamped twice from opposing views with inscription reading HERE / NELSON / FELL and dated over central securing bolt OCT 21 / 1805, set within an ornately carved oak surround of laurels inscribed with the 'England Expects..' signal over crossed swords and surmounted by the naval crown with brass suspension loop to top, now mounted in a glazed display case with brass plate.

The carved surround 14½ x 11in. (37 x 28cm.); the case 22 x 18in. (56 x 46cm.)

After the battle, Victory limped into Gibraltar under jury rig and towed by H.M.S. Neptune where she became an instant tourist attraction. Captain Hardy found himself busy showing a constant succession of curious dignitaries over the ship and perhaps giving the more important ones a souvenir from the Great Cabin. One of the essential sights must have been the spot where England's greatest hero fell and it seems probable that he asked the ship's carpenter to sort out an appropriate marker. The hastily constructed nature of this lot - a simple inscription with punched letters rather than fine engraving, bolted with a single central pin - is precisely what one would expect a sailor to make utilising materials to hand on board. Letter punches were used to mark many items of ship equipment and these characters are also understood to compare with other stamped items from the period.

Literature: Heapy, M: "The First Memories to Lord Nelson", for The Kedge Anchor, 18 March 2007, p.24

Sold for £10,540
Estimated at £6,500 - £7,000

(inc. buyer's premium of 24%)


 
An historically important plaque to Lord Nelson, believed to be the first memorial placed on the spot he fell shortly after the Battle of Trafalgar
comprising a 6in. brass roundel stamped twice from opposing views with inscription reading HERE / NELSON / FELL and dated over central securing bolt OCT 21 / 1805, set within an ornately carved oak surround of laurels inscribed with the 'England Expects..' signal over crossed swords and surmounted by the naval crown with brass suspension loop to top, now mounted in a glazed display case with brass plate.

The carved surround 14½ x 11in. (37 x 28cm.); the case 22 x 18in. (56 x 46cm.)

After the battle, Victory limped into Gibraltar under jury rig and towed by H.M.S. Neptune where she became an instant tourist attraction. Captain Hardy found himself busy showing a constant succession of curious dignitaries over the ship and perhaps giving the more important ones a souvenir from the Great Cabin. One of the essential sights must have been the spot where England's greatest hero fell and it seems probable that he asked the ship's carpenter to sort out an appropriate marker. The hastily constructed nature of this lot - a simple inscription with punched letters rather than fine engraving, bolted with a single central pin - is precisely what one would expect a sailor to make utilising materials to hand on board. Letter punches were used to mark many items of ship equipment and these characters are also understood to compare with other stamped items from the period.

Literature: Heapy, M: "The First Memories to Lord Nelson", for The Kedge Anchor, 18 March 2007, p.24