I see no sugar: Norfolk hero Nelson’s teapot was made by the french

Nelson's teapot, which is coming up for auction

Nelson's teapot, which is coming up for auction - Credit: Archant

If he ever poured himself a cup of tea from it, Nelson would probably have smiled to himself at the irony.

A teapot presented to Norfolk's hero three years before his death at the Battle of Trafalgar was made by his adversaries, the french.

The Paris china pot was presented in 1802 by the Ladies of the City of London in honour of Nelson's victory against the Danish fleet at the Battle of Copenhagan, in 1801.

After being ordered to retreat, after the battle began badly with British ships running aground, Nelson famously raised his telescope to his blind eye and told shipmates he could not see any signal, before sailing on to victory. After the battle, Nelson was made commander-in-chief of the Baltic, and Viscount Nelson of the Nile and Burnham Thorpe, in Norfolk.

The teapot, which is part of a sale of items from the Napoleonic wars, is decorated with oak leaves, anchors, a laurel wreath and gilt inscription Nelson 2nd April Baltic.

Auctioneers Bonhams of London expect it to sell for up to £25,000 when it comes under the hammer, on April 1.

Last year another teapot owned by Nelson, made in 1799, sold for £56,000 - almost five times the amount expected.

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The sale also includes an 18 carat gold box which belonged to the Earl of Uxbridge, who fought alongside Wellington at Waterloo.

When he lost his leg in a cannon blast, the Earl is reported to have said: 'By God, Sir, I've lost my leg.'

Wellington replied: 'By God, Sir, so you have.'