Luxury Design, Past & Present
The enamel and gold Nelson memorial ring made for his aunt, Mrs Thomasine Goulty (1733-1821), commemorating the death of Admiral Viscount Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, the shank is engraved with Nelson’s heraldic motto: ‘Palman Qui Meruit Ferat’ (Let him bear the palm of Victory who has won it), mounted with a rectangular plaque enamelled in black and decorated with the initials in gothic script: N B surmounted, respectively, with a viscount’s and ducal coronet. The reverse of the plaque is inscribed: Lost to this Country 21 Oct 1805 aged 47. By John Salter, Jeweller & Goldsmith, 35 Strand, London. Some damage to the enamel. English, 1805.
Footnote: Following the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson’s brother, heir and executor William, first Earl Nelson (1757-1835) ordered some fifty-eight such mourning rings from sword cutler, jeweller and silversmith John Salter at 23, Strand. Nelson had been a client and friend of Salter who managed to complete the large order ahead of Nelson’s State Funeral on 9 January 1806 at a total cost of £139 10s. A manuscript in the British Library apparently lists the rings’ recipients, including thirty-one family members. Today, most of the rings, which were unnamed, survive in public and private collections around the world including three examples at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Lymington SO41 9BB