Fragment of flag Nelson flew at Trafalgar sells for almost 300,000 pounds

Fragment of flag Nelson flew at Trafalgar sells for almost 300,000 pounds

Nelson flag
A member of Sotheby's staff poses for a photograph with a large fragment of Lord Nelson's union flag which flew from HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar London, Jan 11, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

LONDON: A piece of the Union Jack flag believed to have been flown from the flagship of Britain's Lord Horatio Nelson's ship during the Battle of Trafalgar sold for £297,000 (US$410,000) at an auction in London on Wednesday (Jan 17).

The item was part of a collection of Nelson memorabilia that went up for sale at auctioneers Sotheby's and included weapons, his "grog chest" and personal letters.

Another item, a portrait of Nelson's mistress Emma Hamilton, sold for £369,000, significantly more than the estimate price of between £150,000 and £200,000.

The 86cm by 92cm flag fragment, dubbed The Victory Jack, had an estimated price of between £80,000 and £100,000.

"The flag has a wonderful story," Gabriel Heaton, specialist for books and manuscripts at Sotheby's told Reuters.

"It was used as part of the great ceremonial funeral of Nelson after his death at the battle. And pieces of it were broken up and kept by the loyal sailors who had lost their very, very deeply loved commander."

The last surviving complete Union Jack flag flown at the battle fetched £384,000 pounds in 2009, more than 20 times its estimated price.

The battle of Trafalgar was a naval clash that took place in 1805, and saw the British defeat a numerically superior French and Spanish fleet. Nelson was fatally wounded during the battle, which cemented his status as a national hero in Britain.

Source: Reuters/zl