The buyer, prepared to double the top estimate, was a private collector from the south of England.
This ring differs significantly from the well-known group of 58 enamelled rings made by the Strand jeweller John Salter in 1806 and given to Nelson’s family, friends and Trafalgar admirals and post-captains. This ring was given to Admiral Sir Benjamin Hallowell (Carew).
It is cast with maritime motifs and inscribed Lord Nelson Obt. 21st October 1805. A.47. It was last exhibited at the Chelsea Royal Naval Exhibition in May 1891, where it was described as ‘Ring, with Nelson’s hair, formerly belonging to Mr Benjamin H Carew. Lent by Admiral Sir Arthur Farquhar, KCB.’
Born in Jamaica Plain, near Boston in the US, Hallowell (who in 1828 took the name Carew) was the only America-born member of Nelson’s Band of Brothers. His career spanned the American Revolutionary Wars, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.
The ring has been in a family collection for over a century.