Nelson Trafalgar vinaigrette by Matthew Linwood, £5500 at Woolley & Wallis.

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The best-known of the Nelson ‘memorial’ models is that made by Matthew Linwood of Birmingham in 1805. It contains the distinctive silver-gilt Victory grille dated Trafalgar, October 21, 1805. Many were sold in plain cases but the most desirable are engraved with a portrait within a ribbon that reads England expects every man will do his duty.

There were several offered at the January 24-25 sale, led at a punchy £5500 for one that was both finely engraved and unusually large at 4.2cm across. Another measuring the more typical 3.1cm took £2200.

Arguably rarer were three Nelson vinaigrettes made by different Birmingham smallwork specialists. These are all have subtle differences.

A box hallmarked for John Hart & Co, 1805 featured an embossed silver-gilt grille with a different scene of HMS Victory facing left and the words Victory and Trafalgar. Engraved to the hinged cover and base with lozenge decoration, it took £1500 (estimate £800-1200).

Another by John Shaw, 1805, with a different grille with the Victory facing right and the words Immortal Nelson took £800 (estimate £800-1200).

Estimated at £500-700 but sold for £1800 was a box (possibly by John Brough) with a Battle of the Nile theme. Although hallmarked London 1806, a full eight years after the battle off the coast of Alexandria in August 1798, its references were clear: the cover was engraved with a recumbent lion and a shield while the grille features the Sphinx bearing the head of Napoleon.