A plate from Lord Nelson’s service commissioned after the Battle of Copenhagen goes up for auction in Diss

A painting of the Battle of Copenhagen.

A painting of the Battle of Copenhagen.

It was granted to Admiral Lord Nelson as a gesture of gratitude following his stunning victory at the Battle of Copenhagen.

Nelson's armorial crest which is engraved on the silver plate up for auction. Photo: Kate Royall

Nelson's armorial crest which is engraved on the silver plate up for auction. Photo: Kate Royall - Credit: Archant

A silver service set - worth £500 at the time - added to the sailor's growing collection of treasure, amassed through his glittering naval career.

Now, more than two centuries on, a silver plate from the collection is to be auctioned in Nelson's county, where it is expected to reach up to £12,000.

The item is being sold by an anonymous vendor, after spending several years hidden in a wardrobe.

Made by silversmith Timothy Renou, the circular George III silver plate, dated 1801, features a decorative border and is engraved with Nelson's armorial crest.

Edward Taxil-Webber from TW Gaze with the silver plate from Nelson's Copenhagen service. Photo: Kate

Edward Taxil-Webber from TW Gaze with the silver plate from Nelson's Copenhagen service. Photo: Kate Royall - Credit: Archant

Edward Taxil-Webber, from auctioneers TW Gaze in Diss, said: 'It's a pleasure to be able to sell such a rare item - something which was more-than-likely handled, and potentially eaten off, by Lord Nelson himself.

'It amazes me that such rarities can still be discovered in the home, especially in a wardrobe.

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'With Norfolk being Nelson's county, it is quite special to think that this plate is coming home 210 years after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.'

Following his victory at Copenhagen, Nelson was gifted £500 to enlarge his growing collection of silver, and to complement his Nile service, commissioned after his victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798.

He instructed his friend and agent, Alexander Dawson, to 'make what you think necessary to add to the rest, to make a complete set, such as plates or whatever you think right'.

The order included six dozen gadrooned circular plates and eighteen soup plates, supplied by a number of London silversmiths.

On receiving his Nile service in 1801, whilst at sea in the Baltic, Nelson said: 'I shall take my plate with me, sink or swim it goes with me.'

On Nelson's death his collection was divided, however the bulk of the silver went to his brother, Earl Nelson.

The plate up for auction came into the seller's family in 1963 when it was bought by Mr Cecil Gadd at Sotheby's - its authenticity was confirmed by The National Maritime Museum in 1985.

The item will take pride of place in an auction of more than 400 lots of militaria at TW Gaze in Diss on Saturday, November 28 at 10am.

Have you found an historic item of importance? Email kate.royall@archant.co.uk