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I am the curator at Marchmont House in Berwickshire and it appears that the hand-coloured print mentioned in ATG No 2523 is taken from the original chalk and watercolour portrait now in the Marchmont collection.

We acquired the portrait in July 2016 at Sotheby’s.

This rare work was considered by the late scholar Richard Walker to have been drawn from life in either late 1797 or early 1798. Nelson is shown wearing his rear-admiral’s uniform, a naval gold medal and the star and sash of the Order of Bath. His serious expression and unkempt hair lend the image a romantic air, the Sotheby’s catalogue noted.

Daniel Orme engraved this work in February 1798. The image was extremely popular and Lady Nelson reported that “Orme must have made a great deal of money”.

Later that year he painted an oil on canvas, entitled The Surrender of the San Josef at the Battle of St Vincent, and the present drawing may have been used as a preparatory study.

It appears that Orme developed a close working relationship with the Nelson family and he painted a portrait miniature of Nelson which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1799.

Literature: GPB Naish, Nelson’s Letters to his Wife and other Documents 1785-1831, London 1958, p429.

R Walker, The Nelson Portraits, An Iconography of Horatio, Viscount Nelson, London, 1998, pp24-27 and 197.


Marchmont House in Scotland.

I hope this information helps Richard Morris with his research and will conclude by venturing that he has a fine eye!

Francis Raeymaekers


Marchmont House

Greenlaw, Berwickshire, Scotland