It reads A small Token of Friendship & Gratitude from Lady Hamilton to her Friend Mr Parrott for his very great attention to her late much beloved Husband the Rt Honble Sir Willm Hamilton KB.
The physician John Parrott (1764-1832) was a neighbour of the Hamiltons and Horatio Nelson when the trio were living in a loving ménage à trois at Merton Place, Mitcham.
During the Peace of Amiens from March 1802 to May 1803 Nelson spent much of his time at home – cherishing his time at “dear dear Merton”. Sir William Hamilton had died in April 1803, having moved out of Merton Place to his own home in Piccadilly the previous month.
This goblet, perhaps an object Nelson himself commissioned for his de facto wife, was later passed from Parrott to his daughter and then to her son in-law Robert Kelham (1788-1862) of Bleasby Hall, Southwell, Nottinghamshire.
It then came by descent to the vendor who offered it for sale at Mellors & Kirk (24% buyer’s premium) in Nottingham on October 18.
Of impeccable provenance and never previously offered for sale, it was guided at £5000-8000 and got away at the low estimate.