Nelson's authograph to go under the hammer
PUBLISHED: 17:42 03 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:42 03 June 2013
Orders signed by naval hero to be sold by Honiton auction house.
An historic document signed by England’s most famous naval hero is to go under the hammer in Honiton.
Collectors from across the country will be bidding for Lord Horatio Nelson’s signature at the auction next month being held by Bearnes Hampton and Littlewood in Dowell Street, writes Katy Griffin.
The signed orders of command instructing captains to make good repairs to their ships dates back to August 24, 1803, and is signed by Lord Nelson as ‘Nelson Bronte’ – which refers to his title as Duke of Bronte.
“Nelson’s signature is one of the most significant pieces,” says saleroom manager Brian Goodison-Blanks.
He told the Midweek Herald that he expects the signature to fetch between £4,000 and £6,000 at auction.
He added: “It is quite significant for Honiton as we are the only auctioneer that regularly has a dedicated and specialised maritime sale.”
Collectors will also be bidding for 45 lots of Chinese porcelain retrieved from the Tek Sing cargo – the ship sank off the coast of Indonisia on February 6, 1822, and has been called ‘the Titanic of the East’.
The disaster claimed the lives of more than 1,600 people.
The porcelain is valued between £3,000 and £5,000.
It was salvaged by Captain Mike Hatcher in 1999 from the vessel and is expected to attract strong interest from collectors of Chinese porcelain.
Mr Goodison-Blanks said: “The Chinese porcelain market is quite strong and there is a great interest in items from China.”
An early 20th century waterline model of HMS Victory, constructed from ships’ timbers by well-known artist Harold Wyllie, is also up for auction, along with a late 18th century or 19th century bronze bow chaser cannon and a host of other maritime items.
He added: “It is not the sort of thing you expect to find in Honiton.
“Unusual bits and pieces that people don’t think of placing into auction or they don’t know where to place them. Having specialist sales, we have the facility to put them into auction.”
The auction takes place on Wednesday, June 12, and is expected to be well attended with collectors traveling from London and even further afield.