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Would you pay £5,000 for shoe buckles worn by Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar?

PUBLISHED: 15:58 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:11 14 December 2017

Admiral Lord Nelson. Picture: The Royal Navy Museum.

Admiral Lord Nelson. Picture: The Royal Navy Museum.

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It was a day of both great victory and tragedy.

Hansons’ militaria expert Adrian Stevenson with the buckles. Picture: HANSONS.Hansons’ militaria expert Adrian Stevenson with the buckles. Picture: HANSONS.

Admiral Lord Nelson’s crushing defeat of the French and Spanish navies in the Battle of Trafalgar established Britain as a dominant world naval power, but came at the cost of the great man’s life.

Now a piece of history from that famous British triumph is going up for auction.

Shoe buckles worn by Nelson at Trafalgar are expected to fetch thousands.

Nelson, Norfolk’s most celebrated historical figure, was killed in the decisive naval battle.

Nelson�s shoe buckles are due to be sold on December 20 at Hansons Auctioneers.Picture: HANSONS.Nelson�s shoe buckles are due to be sold on December 20 at Hansons Auctioneers.Picture: HANSONS.

On October 21, 1805, Nelson, aboard HMS Victory, led 27 British ships to battle in the Atlantic Ocean, just west of Cape Trafalgar, Spain.

The British defeated the 33-strong French and Spanish fleets, which lost 22 ships.

Remarkably, not a single British vessel was downed.

The victory confirmed Britain’s naval supremacy and was achieved thanks to the unconventional tactics of Nelson, from Burnham Thorpe.

The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, Dighton, Denis, circa 1825. An impression of the mortal wounding of Nelson on the upper deck of the 'Victory'; Photo credit: © National Maritime Museum.The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, Dighton, Denis, circa 1825. An impression of the mortal wounding of Nelson on the upper deck of the 'Victory'; Photo credit: © National Maritime Museum.

But the great leader was killed by a French musketeer.

The shoe buckles, which come with provenance attributing them to Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire, on December 20 with an estimate of between £3,000 and £5,000.

Presented in a framed box, the buckles date to circa 1800 and come with a document which states: “These Buckles are presented to Alexander Davison Esq of Swarland Park as a mark of my grateful respect for the many obligations. He has conferred upon me - sent from London this 2 Aug 1828 … These buckles were presented to me by the family of the late Lord Nelson … he wore [them] at the ever memorable Battle of Trafalgar R. Ro[berts?] 46 Piccadilly.”

Adrian Stevenson, Militaria expert at Hansons, said: “Nelson was an inspirational leader, a military genius who carved his name in the history books.

“It is an honour to handle the sale of these buckles and it would be an even greater honour to own them.”

Nelson’s shoe buckles will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire on December 20. To find out more, email astevenson@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk or call 01283 733988.

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