NELSON (HORATIO, Lord)
Lot 117
NELSON (HORATIO, Lord)
Sold for £47,800 (US$ 77,379) inc. premium

Lot Details
History
NELSON (HORATIO, Lord)
Two fragments from the flag flying on HMS Victory at Trafalgar and torn by his sailors while being placed on his coffin in St Paul´s Cathedral, comprising a strip of blue cloth, hemmed at one edge (40 by 120 mm.) and a smaller strip of white cloth (20 by 100 mm.), the latter with two later wax seals impressed ‘Enys´; together with an accompanying letter, sent by registered post, by Henry Hoper [antiquary and Vicar of St Nicholas Portslade, 1815-1859] to J. Enys Jr, dated 9 May 1856: “The scrap of bunting was part of the Flag born by the Victory at Trafalgar – afterwards carried by Sailors at Nelson´s funeral – & torn to pieces after the ceremony – & scrambled for by the by-standers – one of whom was my Wife´s Cousin Mr J. Constable – from whom I obtained the Relic”, in a folder

PART OF THE ENSIGN FLOWN BY THE VICTORY AT TRAFALGAR AND CARRIED BY HER SAILORS AT NELSON´S FUNERAL. The tearing of the flag described in Henry Hoper´s letter (quoted above) is perhaps the best-known episode in Nelson´s state funeral at St Paul´s; in Carola Oman´s account: “The final incident of Lord Nelson´s funeral, found by many spectators the most impressive, was undisciplined and unrehearsed. It had been set down that the men of the Victory were to furl the shot-rent colours which they had borne in the procession and lay them upon the coffin; but when the moment came, they seized upon the ensign, largest of the Victory´s three flags, and tearing a great piece off it, quickly managed so that every man transferred to his bosom a memorial of his great and favourite commander”. As the wife of one of Nelson´s captains remarked, “That was Nelson: the rest was so much the Herald´s Office” (Nelson,1947 (1950), p.566 and Colin White, ‘The Immortal Memory´ in The Nelson Companion, 1995, p.14).
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