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Chance to drink from Nelson's coffee cup - the legend of the seas?

Posted on 02/06/2021 in Press Coverage

A coffee cup believed to have been used by Admiral Lord Nelson is expected to get bids sailing in at Hansons’ Connoisseur Ceramics Auction on June 9.

The important early 19th century Continental coffee can from Nelson's Baltic service dates back to circa 1802. Decorated with an oak leaf border and gilding, the front displays an anchor with 'Nelson' above, and ‘2nd April, Baltic’ beneath. The sides read: ‘14th February and Glorious 1st’.

The origin of the Baltic service is not fully known but it’s thought the coffee mug was owned by Nelson. It’s believed the service was made in Paris and Coalport but decorated in London and presented to Lord Nelson by the Ladies of the City of London in 1802.


Much of this service was inherited by Nelson’s niece, Charlotte Nelson. A great quantity of the service was eventually bequeathed to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich in 1946.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: "What a treasure to own - a coffee cup believed to have been used by Nelson, the legend of the seas. It's a fascinating find and it will be interesting to see what it achieves at auction thanks to its links to one of Britain's most famous historical figures."

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson was an English flag officer in the Royal Navy. His inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics brought about decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was fatally shot in 1805 shortly before his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, often regarded as Britain's greatest naval victory.

The item, lot 61, has an estimate of £200-£300. For further information, contact Dr Richard Halliday: [email protected]. Catalogue: www.hansonslive.co.uk