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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.
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The enamel and gold Nelson memorial ring made for his aunt, Mrs Thomasine Goulty (1733-1821)