Nelson treasures on show - one day only

MARK NICHOLLS A preview exhibition of Nelson treasures is being held in Norwich on Friday April 8 ahead of a national sale of maritime items.

MARK NICHOLLS

A preview exhibition of Nelson treasures is being held in Norwich on Friday April 8 ahead of a national sale of maritime items.

The exhibition at the Assembly House in Theatre Street opens for one day only and will preview rare items from Bonhams' Nelson sale in London on July 5.

It includes a pair of rings estimated at £20,000-£30,000 that were reputedly exchanged between Lord Nelson and his mistress, Lady Hamilton, on the day that he left for the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The exhibition has been set up in conjunction with a valuation day where Bonhams' maritime specialist Lionel Willis will be hoping to uncover other naval treasures from Norfolk.

Mr Willis said: “We wanted to do a preview of our sale in Norwich. Nelson was born in Norfolk, which obviously has a special connection with him.

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“We will be bringing along some really unusual pieces for the exhibition. We have a silk panel which covered Nelson's coffin during its journey up the Thames from Greenwich to St Paul's Cathedral and an invitation to Lord Nelson's funeral, issued to a John Pape.

“We will also be exhibiting a lock of Nelson's hair, a handsome Lloyd's Patriotic Funds Trafalgar sword and a speaking trumpet from HMS Victory.”

Bonhams' specialists have already made a number of discoveries in East Anglia, including a presentation sword given to Capt Thomas Wolley, of HMS Arethusa, estimated at £30,000-£40,000.

The preview exhibition is open from 10am to 3pm with free admission.

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