Locks of Nelson’s hair to go under the hammer in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 16:21 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:21 20 July 2020
Two extremely rare locks of Norfolk hero, Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson’s hair will go under the hammer next week.
They are part of the Nelson collection amassed by the late Ron Fiske of Morningthorpe Hall in south Norfolk, who was an inaugural member of the Nelson Society, and its chairman for nine years.
Other related items going under the hammer at Keys auctioneers and valuers in Aylsham, as part of its two-day summer fine sale on Wednesday, July 29 and Thursday, July 30, include medals from campaigns when Nelson led the fleet, rare contemporary porcelain, including a cup and saucer, which may have belonged to the admiral, pictures and books.
More than 100 items from the Fiske collection are up for auction at the sale.
Highlights include two paper packets containing locks of Nelson’s hair, the first packet inscribed in ink ‘The hair of Horatio Lord Nelson, given me by Horatia, 22 May 1818’ and the second ‘The great Lord Nelson hair cut off when he left off tying his hair’. The pre-sale estimate is £2,000-£3,000.
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Another highlight is an important early 19th century English porcelain cup and saucer, probably Coalport, decorated with the arms of Viscount Nelson of the Nile, KB.
A similar example is in the British Museum; it is thought the piece was commissioned for a banquet in Nelson’s honour, and may have been presented to him. The estimate is £2,500-£3,000.
The medals include a Naval General Service Medal, clasp Copenhagen 1801, to Gunner Henry Harms, HMS Zephyr, estimate £3,000-£3,500, and a Naval General Service Medal, clasp St Vincent, to John Smith, estimate £2,000-£2,500.
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David Broom of Keys said: “Despite some recent controversy about historical figures, interest in Nelson remains very high. He was perhaps Norfolk’s most famous son, so it’s appropriate that these items are going under the hammer in his home county, but we expect interest from throughout the UK and overseas.”
The Lord Nelson statue in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral was recently targeted in two graffiti attacks, and has been fenced off by contractors. Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe.
Keys sale takes place online at bid.keysauctions.co.uk
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