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Gold and Enamel Nelson Mourning Ring (Horatio Nelson Part 1)

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    Posted 6 years ago

    (103 items)

    A rare memorial ring commemorating the death of Admiral Nelson at Trafalgar. As was customary, memorial rings were produced for the Vice-Admiral's family and friends to wear. The enamel rectangular bezel is decorated with the Gothic letters N for Nelson surmounted by a Viscount's coronet and a B for Bronté (he was Duke of Bronté in the Kingdom of Sicily) surmounted by a ducal coronet with Trafalgar below, the inside inscribed, "lost to his Country 21 Oct 1805 Aged 47" and the shank engraved with Nelson's Latin motto 'PALMAN QUI MERUIT FERAT', (let him bear the palm of victory who has won it).

    There is slight enamel loss to the white enamel surround and a slight scratch on the face.

    Memorial rings were distributed to at least fifty-eight recipients, thirty-one of which were Lord Nelson's relatives. This ring is engraved VI (which corresponds to the ring associated with Catherine Matchum, Nelson's sister); ring was made by John Salter and its provenance is the Matcham Family Sussex by descent. Several of the 58 rings made are in National Maritime museum.

    Information below from a number of sources...
    It is difficult to appreciate today the symbolic significance of the victory at Trafalgar to the British nation in 1805. Nelson was worshiped as a secular deity, the savior of the nation. His victory guaranteed British control of the seas and created a global maritime power that endured for over a century.

    Despite persistent seasickness, his career flourished as he moved from ship to ship in the East Indies and the Caribbean, showing a flair for naval strategy. He became one of the youngest ever captains in the Royal Navy. He saw active service in the American War of Independence, in the wars of the French Revolution and in battles in the East Indies, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, with his most famous battles being the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar (considered one of the most important battles in British history).

    Before the battle of Trafalgar, Nelson sent a signal in semaphore to his fleet: "England expects that every man will do his duty." Nelson died in the battle; his last words were "Thank God I have done my duty." When the news of his death reached England, the king wept, as did thousands of ordinary citizens, who lined the route of his funeral.

    Nelson was one of the most loved leaders among the seamen of the Royal Navy and fought side by side with his crews during many of the battles. He was wounded often, losing an arm and the sight in one eye. He lost most of his teeth to scurvy in 1782 and fought to eradicate it from his ships in later voyages.

    However, Nelson's personality was complex, often characterized by a desire to be noticed, both by his superiors, and the general public. He was easily flattered by praise, and dismayed when he felt he was not given sufficient credit for his actions. This led him to take risks, and to enthusiastically publicize his resultant successes. Nelson was also highly confident in his abilities, determined and able to make important decisions. His active career meant that he was considerably experienced in combat, and was a shrewd judge of his opponents, able to identify and exploit his enemies' weaknesses. He was often prone to insecurities however, as well as violent mood swings, and was extremely vain: he loved to receive decorations, tributes and praise.

    His personal life came to be as well known as his military career. He was quite a womanizer, and ultimately left his marriage to Lady Nelson, formerly Frances Nisbet, to live with his mistress, Lady Hamilton, and their child, Horatia.

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    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      The stories behind history !!!!
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 years ago
      Loved your narration & will search for more of his history. I didn't know he was in our Caribes? Thanks!
    3. kiwipaul kiwipaul, 6 years ago
      Another extraordinary piece with historical significance. Bluboi you must have one of the greatest collections of historical jewels in private hands - certainly among the greatest where the owner so graciously shares the details of their collection, thanks so much.
    4. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
    5. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      A great piece of British history. Apparently Nelson was stripped of his clothes and his body hair was removed before putting his body inside a water leaguer. The water leaguer was used as there was not enough lead on board to make a coffin. The leaguer was then filled with Brandy(not Rum as is often thought) to preserve his body.
    6. Bluboi Bluboi, 6 years ago
      Thank you all! This ring has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I was a history major in college and jewelry of this sort is so fascinating to me!

      Jean you are totally correct -- the battle was still raging when he died (3 hours after being shot by a French sailor, severing his spine). During that 3 hours, he continued to issue battle orders and consult with his captains.
    7. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      I do love my history and Nelson was a tough nut, a very brave man.
    8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 years ago
      Certainly one of our grandest postes!! Thanks again.
    9. Caperkid, 6 years ago
      By far the coolist ring ive ever seen. Lord Nelson,s classic oil painting hangs on my wall. I consider him as important as the kings he served if not more. The Fortress of Louisbourg was near my home he was a captain then along with Captain Cook during the seige. Stunning thanks for sharing. Roy.
    10. Windwalker, 6 years ago
    11. Windwalker, 6 years ago
      wondering if this might be a knock off ...the crowns on them don't look right...maybe its just me ...
    12. Bluboi Bluboi, 6 years ago
      Windwalker--there are actually two different representations of the crowns, though I have not been able to get more details on this.

      Thanks all for your comments and loves.
    13. Windwalker, 6 years ago
      ya I known I posted them in reply to your post . bottom of the page shows the 2 of them for sale ,..but all the ones I show, the crowns are level or square to the ring,,,. yours on the left crown is on an angle ...while none of theirs are...
    14. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Though, Windwalker, this one is the same as Bluboi's.
    15. Windwalker, 6 years ago
      A George lll gold and enamel mourning ring, Admiral Nelson.

      Probably by Salters, Strand, c.1806.
      Rectangular head in black enamel with white border, bearing a Viscount's coronet above the initial "N" and a Ducal crown above the initial "B" over the word "Trafalgar". The gold tapered hoop shank engraved on the outside "Palmem Qui Meruit Ferat" (Let him bear the palm of victory who has won it) and on the inside "Lost to his Country 21 Oct 1805 Aged 47".

      By repute from Surgeon Beatty, who attended Nelson on the Victory. Acquired by Dr Carlyle of Langholm, Dumfries, from a patient and thence from him to Mr Alex Scott of Arkinholm and then by descent.

      Some 58 original recipients are listed for these mourning rings, although slight differences in the style of examples surviving, suggest that more may have been made. Two similar examples are in the National Maritime Museum collection. I guess there could be a thousand out by now....
    16. Bluboi Bluboi, 6 years ago
      If you go to this link:!cbrowse

      and search: mourning ring you will be able to see the different styles.

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