British Boxlock Flintlock Pistol by W. Jover Inscribed to British Naval Hero, Adm. Lord Nelson, 1794

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  Lot #13  (Sale Order: 13 of 1143)  
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.50 bore diameter, 2 in. smooth bore barrel length, no S/N. Markings on the left side of the frame in 2 lines W. Jover over London. Right side of frame engraved with panoply of arms. German silver plaque on the backside of the grips with inscription H. Nelson R.N. 1794. Proof marks on the frame and barrel. Walnut stock and folding trigger. While the gun and inscription are likely of the period, we cannot confirm that the pistol belonged to Horatio Lord Nelson.

Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson (1758-1805) was a British naval commander and national hero, famous for his naval victories in the Napoleonic Wars. The tragedy of his mother's death allowed Nelson to begin his naval career at age twelve, when his uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, agreed to take him to sea. Spending his formative years at sea allowed him to grow into an impressive young man with an unparalleled knowledge of navigation and nautical warfare. When he reached twenty years of age, he passed the examination for lieutenant and sailed for the West Indies. He was promoted to captain two years later, in 1779, and given command of the frigate HMS Hinchingbroke. Peace after the American Revolution did not suit him well. Policies enacted by the defeat caused him to work at half pay and without assignment until Britain entered the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793. He took command of the Agamemnon and helped capture Corsica. He saw battle at Calvi, but lost sight in his right eye after a shower of gravel hit him in the face. Later, he lost his right arm at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife while leading one of the landing parties in an assault. The loss of an eye and limb did not hinder his ability to command. In the most overwhelming victory in the age of sail, he successfully destroyed Napoleon's fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 which opened a direct trade route to India. By 1801, he earned a promotion to vice-admiral and continued to display British naval dominance over the French until his death at the battle of Cape Trafalgar. In the thick of heavy fire, a sniper shot him while he sent out his last signal to his fleet, "England expects that every man will do his duty". His parting words solidified his position as one of Great Britain's most heroic figures. Instead of burying him at sea, his men preserved his body in brandy and transported him back to England where he received a state funeral; a fitting tribute to one of the greatest officers in the history of the Royal Navy.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Nice gray patina blending with some staining on the metal surfaces with very light salt and pepper pitting. The markings and engraving are sharp and crisp. The stocks are very good with minor nicks and dings. Mechanically good. Bore is good.

EST $ 2000 - 4000

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This item is part of Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction
 Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016 | 10:00 AM  Eastern
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British Boxlock Flintlock Pistol by W. Jover Inscribed to British Naval Hero, Adm. Lord Nelson, 1794
British Boxlock Flintlock Pistol by W. Jover Inscribed to British Naval Hero, Adm. Lord Nelson, 1794
Lot number: 13
Seller: Cowan's Auctions
Event: Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction
Ends: Wednesday, November 2 | 10:00 AM  Eastern

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