THIS locket, believed to contain the hair of Admiral Lord Nelson to one side and Lady Emma Hamilton to the reverse, was previously unknown to Nelson experts but it turned up at Woolley & Wallis of Salisbury after being consigned by a vendor in Australia who has family connections to Portsmouth.
The 3in (8cm) gold locket had a lock of pale coloured hair on
the obverse tied as a bow set alongside a seed pearl and gold
anchor. On the reverse, a simple tied spray of auburn hair set with
It also featured, in the centre, the initial N, and
1st Aug. 1798, the date of the Battle of the Nile and a
month before Nelson was introduced to Emma Hamilton.
The auburn hair on the reverse of the locket closely matches
other known surviving hair of Lady Hamilton.
The following year Nelson (made Duke of Bronte by Ferdinand of
Naples) insisted on the duel initials NB, so the locket
may date from the first months of his enduring love affair with
At the Salisbury sale on January 27, it sold for £44,000 (plus
19.5 per cent buyer's premium), nine times the top estimate.
The buyer was London fine antique jewellers Sandra Cronan.