Dating to c.1905 for the silver settings and c.1765 for the wooden discs, this pair of earrings contain highly-important artifacts of English Naval history!
Measuring 3/4" in diameter x 4 mm thick, this pair of earrings came to me as two pendants, likely originally used as fobs, but when I received them, I knew that they would make a fabulous example of wearable history! Each disc contains an original piece of oak timber from the famous HMS Victory, also known as Lord Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship, on which Nelson won many victories during the Napoleonic Wars, and on which he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805! Each earring is mounted with a very three-dimensional Royal Navy coronet cast in sterling silver, and the timber has been bezeled in a case of sterling silver (unmarked but tested). Each disc has been hand-engraved; one reads "HMS VICTORY 1805," and the other reads "HORATIO NELSON/BORN AT BURNHAM THORPE/SEPT. 28, 1758." The font is consistent with turn-of-the 20th-century engraving.
After a illustrious career spanning nearly 150 years, the HMS Victory was put into harbor in 1889. In 1903, the HMS Neptune was being towed to the breakers yard, when she broke free and ploughed into Victory, holing her below the waterline. Emergency repairs were carried out to stop her sinking, but it was only the personal intervention of Edward VII that prevented Victory from being scrapped. During this first restoration of the 20th century, some of the workers repairing the lower original section of the ship took away bits of timber as souvenirs.
In 1905, interest was renewed in the HMS Victory during the Nelson Centennial. I believe that these discs, salvaged from the 1903 repairs, were bezeled in 1905 as a part of the Centennial celebration by one of those men on the restoration team; these are NOT mass-produced items, and they have an intensely personal feel about them. In fact, they are the only examples that I have discovered in my extensive research on the history of this most famous of British warships, and show every sign of having been custom-made. JUST OUTSTANDING!
I have set these pendants as a pair of earrings with sterling silver lever back wires, but they could easily be removed by the new owner if he or she desires. They measure 1 3/8" long from the tops of the wires. These amazing jewels have survived for 110 years in outstanding, pristine condition, without repairs or losses. They make a fantastic conversation piece, and are oh-so-elegant on the ear! Weighing in at 6.07 grams for the pair, this is a rare opportunity to own and to wear a part of the most famous warship that England ever produced!
If you collect the ULTIMATE in historical jewelry, these bespoke earrings belong in your collection! These are the sort of jewels I would love to keep for my own collection, but one cannot keep it all and pay the bills! These would also make the gift of a lifetime for anyone fascinated with Lord Nelson, the Royal Navy, or the Napoleonic Wars, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss these phenomenal rarities; up to 60-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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