More Nelson fever to report. The exterior to this rounded rectangular George III silver vinaigrette by Birmingham smith Matthew Linwood is really very plain but open it up and it reveals a gilt hinged grille embossed with a ship portrait inscribed Victory and flanked by the word Trafalgar and the date Oct 21 1805.
Evidently, Linwood was quick off the mark with his Nelson vinaigrettes as this example - like others seen in the salerooms in recent times - was hallmarked in the year of Britain's most famous maritime victory.
A Linwood vinaigrette engraved with a half-length portrait of Nelson and the legend England Expects Every Man Will Do His Duty sold at Gorringes of Lewes in July for £2700. However this one, offered by Woodford auctioneers Maxwells (15% buyer's premium) on January 21, was very close to the example, with its ship portrait in a roundel, sold at Byrne's of Chester for £2400 on October 2003. All of which made the £180-250 estimate appear very conservative and the final bid of £1740 a relative bargain. The other lot of real note from this Cheshire sale was a Wedgwood fairyland lustre Candlemass pattern vase decorated with Daisy Makeig-Jones' usual display of ghouls and goblins and standing 7 1/2in (18cm) high. It sold at £2300.