Flag from HMS Victory raised to £297,000

A large fragment of the flag from the HMS Victory was sold at Sotheby's for £297,000, sparking interest and competition from four bidders.

 Image: Sotheby's

The exceptionally large fragment of the flag was flown by order of Lord Horatio Nelson. It was raised on the day of the Battle of Trafalgar, French on 21 October 1805, the battle against the French which is famous both for being Nelson's greatest victory, but also costing him his life.

Initially purchased by the vendor in 2005 at £120,000 including premium from Wallis and Wallis, it was given to the Museum of the Royal United Services Institute by Captain William Dobbie, where it remained until it was auctioned off in the 1960's.

The flag was sold as part of a collection of 80 items relating to Lord Nelson with estimates ranging from £100 to £200,000. Included in this collection was a portrait of Nelson’s lover Emma Hamilton by Gavin Hamilton. Painted in around 1786, it sold for well over its initial estimate of £150,000-200,000 at £369,000 including premium.

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