A port side cathead knee brace from H.M.S. Victory, 1759A port side cathead knee brace from H.M.S. Victory, 1759

A port side cathead knee brace from H.M.S. Victory, 1759


Circa 1759




Height overall: 45¾ inches (116cm) Width: 22inches (56cm) Depth: 11 ½ inches (29.5cm)

Please note that shipping costs are supplied upon purchase.


This solid piece of oak with traces of white and yellow paint is part of the anchor windlass mechanism.  It is set on a plank with a metal plate reading ‘HMS Victory’ was one of the timbers replaced during the ship’s repairs for the Trafalgar Bicentenary celebrations in 2005.  English, circa 1759.

Height overall: 45¾ in (116cm) Width: 22in (56cm) Depth: 11 ½ in (29.5cm) £22,500

The accompanying document is embellished with a stern view of Victory carrying very limited sail and the coat of arms of Admiral Lord Nelson above the legend ‘England Expects Every Man to do his Duty’ taken from his famous signal preparing his sailors for battle against the combined fleets of France and Spain at Trafalgar.  Under the heading ‘Certificate of Provenance’, Lt Cmdr Frank  Nowosielski, her Commanding Officer, states that “I hereby certify that this is original material removed from HMS Victory during her restoration and that a royalty resulting from its sale will go to the ‘Save The Victory Fund’ to assist in returning the ship to her configuration at Trafalgar 21st October 1805” followed by some dimensions and his signature.  Nowosielski was the longest serving Commanding Officer of Victory.  Extremely enthusiastic and well-informed, he is credited with finding Victory’s original foretopsail of 1805 beneath mats in a Portsmouth gymnasium.  Apparently “the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 2005 was particularly busy: he signed first-day covers and certificates of authenticity for items made from Victory’s oak, and the actual day finished with a grand dinner in Nelson’s cabin”.

HMS Victory is arguably the most famous ship in British naval history.  She is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. With 245 years of service as of 2023, she is the world’s oldest naval vessel still in commission.  Her most famous role was as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. She additionally served as Keppel’s flagship at Ushant, Howe’s flagship at Cape Spartel and Jervis’s flagship at Cape St Vincent.  From 1824 her condition was too poor for active service and by 1922 she had been moved to a dry dock in Portsmouth and preserved as a museum ship. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and attracts over 350,000 visitors a year. 

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