Sharman Trafalgar battle medal with Nelson connection up 50% on estimate


2015-06-26 12:55:14


Sharman Trafalgar battle medal with Nelson connection up 50% on estimate

The Battle of Trafalgar medal was awarded to James Sharman, who carried a dying Nelson below decks

A naval medal, awarded to a man who carried Lord Nelson below decks following his mortal shooting at the Battle of Trafalgar, has beaten its estimate by 50% at an auction in the UK.

James Sharman was one of three men who transported Nelson below after the naval hero was shot by a French bullet while commanding HMS Victory. Nelson died three hours later.

Battle of Trafalgar James Sharman naval medal auctionNelson collectibles are a boom market

The Naval General Service Medal, which features a Trafalgar clasp, had been given an estimate of 18,000 ahead of the July 11 auction.

Yet it sold for a substantial 27,000, a testament to the Nelson connection and Sharman's own fascinating life.

It is a further example of the upward trend for Nelson collectibles. In January 2011, a locket containing a lock of Nelson's hairsold for 44,000, 1,366%above the3,000 estimate, while signed Nelson letters are up 16.3% pa, from 1,800 ($2,835) in 2000 to 9,500 ($14,970) in 2011.

We have a snuff box gifted by Nelson to his secretary available for you to purchase today.

Sharman, who was just 16 at the time of Trafalgar, had been press ganged into the navy two years earlier in 1803. Having been discharged from the navy for an injury he himself received at the Battle of Trafalgar, Sharman was given the role of caretaker to a monument erected to Nelson in the admiral's home portof Great Yarmouth.

He was also the inspiration for the character of Ham Peggotty in Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, having been interviewed by the author.

Chris Large of the auction house told local newspaper the Crewe, Nantwich & Sandwich Guardian prior to the auction: "Sharman is believed to have been awarded three medals during his naval career. One is lost, and another is in the United States, so this is a rare opportunity."

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