Dukes Auctioneers are proud to present a trove of historical relics pertaining the Napoleonic era, in our upcoming Autumn Auction on October 18th. The auction will contain a vast, single-owner collection centered around the legendary Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. Its esteemed heritage and historical significance are sure to catch the eye of many a lover of history, antiques, and art.
Among these icons of history, are three pieces of a French ensign, taken from the French Téméraire-class battleship Genereux at the battle of Trafalgar. Such a trophy had eternal significance to Nelson, as it belonged to a French gunship which was one of just two enemy ships that had evaded capture and destruction at the battle of the Nile. The ensign marks both Nelson’s personal triumph and the triumph of the British Royal Navy in one of the most historically consequential battles of the Napoleonic wars. With an estimate of £5,000 - £8,000, this piece is sure occupy a grand place in someone’s collection.
ADMIRAL LORD NELSON INTEREST: FRAGMENTS OF A FRENCH TRICOLORE ENSIGN
Alongside, is an eight-volume naval chronicle, containing the signature of Nelson himself. These books can trace their heritage back to Lady Charlotte Nelson, niece to Admiral Lord Nelson and wife to Samuel Hood, Lord Bridport. Tomes of such heritage and renown carry the presale estimate of £5,000 - £7,000.
THE NAVAL CHRONICLE, IN EIGHT VOLUMES, CONTAINING THE SIGNATURE OF ADMIRAL LORD NELSON (1758-1805)
With a man who lived such a life, his death, in equal part, is surrounded with the same interest. With a miniature coffin, said to be made from both material and likeness from Nelson’s own coffin, carved and decorated with various trophy of arms and naval symbols and holding a pre-estimate of £500 - £1000. A printed label underneath reads: “Mr. Walter Burke, Purser of the Victory, maketh Oath, that the wood and lead of which this casket is made, is part of the coffin that contained the body of the late Lord Nelson Sworn before me at Rochester, signed in ink and again below.” Walter Burke (1736-1815) was a purser in the Royal Navy, he was serving aboard HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and was present at the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. Nelson is quoted: “It is nonsense, Mr. Burke, to suppose I can live. My sufferings are great but they will soon be over.”
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY MINIATURE COFFIN, APPARENTLY CONSTRUCTED FROM THE COFFIN THAT CONTAINED THE BODY OF ADMIRAL LORD NELSON
Nelson’s legend continues to be a point of great wonder and fixation in the auction world, and Duke’s is elated to be at the epicentre of its most recent ascendancy. From pieces of a conquered vessel, immortalising his most excellent victory, to reformed fragments of his own carved wooden coffin, the selection aims to join together fractured memories of the Napoleonic age and the life and death of Lord Admiral Nelson.
A PARIAN WARE BUST OF ADMIRAL LORD NELSON (1758-1805)