The watch Admiral Lord Nelson carried through the Battle of Trafalgar is expected to sell for nearly half a million pounds next month.
The timepiece was taken from Horatio Nelson’s pocket after he was fatally shot in his shoulder by a French sniper in the Battle and could sell for up to £450,000 when auctioned at Sotheby’s on 7 July.
The gold watch, one of Lord Nelson’s most prized possessions, has been kept in private collections for centuries.
It was made for Lord Nelson by one of the most well-known watchmakers in Georgian England, Josiah Emery, and is now mounted in a carriage clock case.
Daryn Schnipper, chairman of Sotheby’s International Watch Division, says: “The perfect timing of the British assault at the Battle of Trafalgar was key in the historic victory of the Royal Navy, so to be able to offer for sale the watch that Nelson probably used to establish the timing for this decisive battle, is a real privilege.”
The watch was taken from Lord Nelson’s pocket for safe-keeping when he died at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 as the HMS Victory ship surgeons struggled to save his life.