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Keystone Auction 7 – The J. Eric Engstrom Collection of Admiral Nelson Medals

Lot nuber 17

Nelson’s Return to England. Æ Medal (38mm, 29.05 g, 12h). By T. Halliday. Dated 5 November 1800.


Keystone Auction 7 – The J. Eric Engstrom Collection of Admiral Nelson Medals
Lot: 17.

Closing Date: Jul 6 2022 10:00 ET

Admiral Nelson Medals, Bronze

Estimate: $ 100

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Nelson’s Return to England. Æ Medal (38mm, 29.05 g, 12h). By T. Halliday. Dated 5 November 1800. ADMIRAL LORD NELSON, uniformed bust left / HAIL! VIRTUOUS HERO. THY VICTORIES WE ACKNOWLEDGE/ AND THY GOD, Britannia standing left, holding spear and extending laurel wreath towards ship approaching right under full sail; to right, Union shield set on lit altar inscribed AUG 1/ 1798; in exergue, RETURND TO ENGLAND/ NOV 5 1800. Hardy 22; BHM 490; Eimer 918. Brown surfaces with hints of blue toning. Near EF.

From the J. Eric Engstrom Collection.

The Battle of Cape St. Vincent was one of the opening battles of the Anglo-Spanish War and took place in 1797. Admiral Sir John Jervis commanded the British fleet of ten ships of the line while Admiral Moreno commanded a much larger force of twenty-five ships of the line. The Treaty of Ildefonso in 1796 had formally allied the French and Spanish and the British were worried about having to confront their combined navies. The Spanish force under Moreno had been on its way to Cadiz when an easterly wind blew it off course, placing it off the coast of Portugal. A frigate under Nelson’s command spotted the Spanish fleet, but not its numbers and hurried back to Jervis to inform him of their presence. Jervis determined he would attack the Spanish fleet, not knowing he was outnumbered nearly two to one, and so the British fleet moved to attack its larger foe.

Despite standing orders that placed him in the rear of the British fleet, Nelson defied his orders and attacked the Spanish fleet directly, engaging in a fire fight with three larger Spanish ships. Once close enough, Nelson led a boarding party and yelled the battle cry, “Westminster Abbey or glorious victory!” Nelson and his men quickly overran the first ship before using it to board yet another Spanish ship which was also captured. The Spanish fleet managed to flee, but left four of their own ships in British hands. Two of which has been personally captured by Nelson. The battle assured that the Spanish fleet would remain bottled up in port and allowed Nelson the freedom he would need to chase after the French fleet carrying Napoleon to Egypt. In 1847, the Admiralty authorized the issuance of the Naval General Service Medal with the clasp St. Vincent to all surviving claimants from the battle.

Closing Date and Time: 6 July 2022 at 10:05:20 ET.



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