NELSON (HORATIO) Autograph letter signed ("Nelson & Bronte"), to Emma Hamilton ("My Dear Emma"), headed "Just Anchored" [HM Ship Amazon], Deal, 4 October 1801

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Lot 28
NELSON (HORATIO)
Autograph letter signed ("Nelson & Bronte"), to Emma Hamilton ("My Dear Emma"), headed "Just Anchored" [HM Ship Amazon], Deal, 4 October 1801: 'JUST ANCHORED... YOU ARE RIGHT NO CHAMPAGNE TILL WE CAN CRACK A BOTTLE TOGETHER'

Sold for £ 8,187 (US$ 10,014) inc. premium
NELSON (HORATIO)
Autograph letter signed ("Nelson & Bronte"), to Emma Hamilton ("My Dear Emma"), headed "Just Anchored" and opening: "You are right no champagne 'till we can crack a bottle together. Your letter with the papers I suppose are gone to Romney, I shall have them in the Evening heavens bless You..."; in a postscript he sends compliments to the new Neapolitan Ambassador and tells her that Admiral Lutwidge sends his to her; with franked autograph address ("Deal October Fourth 1801/ Lady Hamilton/ 23 Piccadilly/ London/ Nelson & Bronte"), seal in black wax of an antique lady in profile (as used on other of his letters to Emma), date-stamped 5 October 1801; with 19th century catalogue entry, 1 page with integral address leaf, seal-tear (affecting seal), traces of guard at right-hand edge and small traces of adhesive elsewhere, dust-staining, 4to, [HM Ship Amazon], Deal, 4 October 1801

Footnotes

  • 'JUST ANCHORED... YOU ARE RIGHT NO CHAMPAGNE TILL WE CAN CRACK A BOTTLE TOGETHER' – NELSON TO EMMA, written while waiting to be reunited after a long absence at sea; and while impatient to make his first visit to 'Paradise' Merton, the house where they planned to set up home together and into which Emma had only just moved. He was, in fact, to be delayed on board the Amazon for three weeks and did not get to set eyes on their new home until early in the morning of 23 October.

    Their new home was to be festooned with portraits of Emma, as well as Nelson; in Lord Minto's words 'Not only rooms, but the whole house, staircase and all, are covered with nothing but pictures of her'. The reference in our letter to "Romney" might well be to the artist, George Romney, who had produced at least fifty pictures of Emma. By the time of our letter, however, Romney was living in retirement in Kendal. So, if it does refer to him, the chances are that Nelson was attempting to buy portraits from the artist's stock. There is however an intriguing record of a portrait which was sold with the furniture from Merton long afterwards and which was rumoured to have been commissioned for the house, depicting as it does 'a very young-looking Emma posing as Lady of the Manor'; the possibility being that Romney adapted an earlier portrait to hang at Merton (see Peter Warwick, 'Here was Paradise: a Description of Merton Place', Newsletter of the 1805 Club, 1995).
Contacts
NELSON (HORATIO) Autograph letter signed ("Nelson & Bronte"), to Emma Hamilton ("My Dear Emma"), headed "Just Anchored" [HM Ship Amazon], Deal, 4 October 1801
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