Thursday - 23 October 2014

The key differences for Nelson vinaigrettes

13 December 2008Written by ATG Reporter

Recently sold at auction, three examples of the well-known Nelson memorial vinaigrette made by Matthew Linwood of Birmingham in 1805 sold for markedly different prices – and for good reason.

Specialist opinion was that two were later engraved.

The example seen at Duke's (19.5% buyer's premium) of Dorchester on November 27 was the 'cheapest' of the quartet, selling at its low estimate of £1200. Like all these Linwood models it contains the distinctive silver-gilt Victory grille dated Trafalgar October 21, 1805 but, like many, it was originally sold with a plain case. Some rather lacklustre engraving was added later to improve its commercial appeal.

The engraving to the example seen at Salisbury's Woolley & Wallis (19.5% buyer's premium) on October 28 was of a much higher standard but it has a glaring error suggesting the embellishment was added later on the request of George Petzall.

The ribbon around the portrait reads England expects every man to do his duty - close (but not close enough) to

Nelson's actual signal England expects every man will do his duty. Nevertheless it took £2200.

The example seen at Lyon & Turnbull (25% buyer's premium) in Edinburgh on December 2 was quite rightly the most expensive of the three pictured here as the engraving is almost certainly of the period.

Against a modest estimate of £500-700, it took £3600 selling to an Australian collector.

Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.

Back to top