Friday, October 21, 2011

Booty: Memento Mori

The beautiful ring at the header is one of a scant 58 gold and enamel mourning rings minted by Salter of London in 1805. The rings were ordered to commemorate the death of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar which took place on this date 206 years ago. Distributed to only close relatives, friends and pallbearers at the great man’s funeral, you can bet that Emma Lady Hamilton was not one of the lucky few who received such a treasure.

As noted at Marine Antique Digest from which the image comes, the ring bears the initials N and B with a Viscount’s crown over the N and a ducal coronet over the B. The initials represent Nelson’s name and his title as Duke of Bronte which he favored to the point of signing his letters Nelson & Bronte.

The ring is also engraved with Trafalgar and, along the outside of the band, Palmem Qui Meruit Ferat ~ Let him bear the palm of victory. The inside of the band reads Lost to his Country 21 Oct 1805 Aged 47.

This very rare ring was recently sold at a marine sale for $14,455 U.S. and is currently on display at Soho House in London.

My thanks to the delightful Susan and Loretta over at Two Nerdy History Girls for the heads up on this in their Breakfast Links of Sunday last.


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! Very cool. Huzzah! for Nelson... and for all the "Nerdy History Girls".


Pauline said...

Oh indeed; and are not we surprisingly numerous?