Nelson memorabilia in demand at auction with hair lock and shipwreck furniture smashing estimates

A brooch containing a lock of hair from Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) and a bookcase made from the wreck of Nelson’s former flagship HMS Foudroyant have both been snapped up at auction.


The gilt brooch containing a lock of Lord Nelson's hair.

The brooch, given to an officer who fought alongside Nelson, sold for a hammer price of £9000 at Cheffins’ September 21-22 Fine sale (plus 29.4% buyer’s premium). The price was more than double the £2000-4000 estimate.


The inscription on the brooch.

The keepsake had belonged to William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock (1753-1825), who served with Nelson at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797.

The hair brooch is engraved to the reverse 'Lord Nelson’s Hair’.

Bookcase-display cabinet

Bookcase-display cabinet made from oak and copper from material salvaged from HMS Foudroyant – £41,000 at Michael Bowman.

Last week a cabinet made of wood from Nelson’s flagship made 13-times estimate.

Auction house Michael Bowman in Devon sold a bookcase made with wood salvaged from HMS Foudroyant, which served as Nelson’s flagship in the Mediterranean Squadron.

It sold at a hammer price of £41,000 on September 24 (plus 17.5% buyer’s premium).

The ship had been touring English seaside resorts as an attraction when it was wrecked off Blackpool Sands in 1897.

HMS Foudroyant furniture brochure

The sales catalogue for the furniture made from the wreck of HMS Foudroyant.

When the ship went down a consortium of Manchester antique and furniture dealers purchased the salvage for £250 and created furniture and memorabilia to sell on.

The bookcase-display cabinet made from oak and copper had been made by Goodall, Lamb & Heighway (since 1899 incorporating the firm of Lamb of Manchester and wallpaper manufacturer Heighway).

Duke of Wellington hat

Lastly, something a bit different.

During the London 2012 celebrations a series of 21 hats were created for statues around London. Named Hatwalk, the outsize hats were made for well-known London landmarks such as statues of Lord Nelson, Queen Victoria and George IV.

A bicorne hat made for the bronze equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington by Ian Bennett Millinery is coming for sale at Chiswick Auctions.


The foam, oversized bicorne hat by Ian Bennett Millinery and made for a Duke of Wellington statue.

It was commissioned by the Mayor of London’s office for the monument in front of the Bank of England. The hat decorated with the colours of the Union Jack and a plume of red, white and blue feathers measures close to 1m across and made primarily of moulded foam. 

It comes for sale from a vendor who bought it at a charity auction held by City Hall after the event.

Wellington's over-sized hat is offered for sale with an estimate of £500-700 on October 12 at Chiswick’s Autographs and Memorabilia sale.

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