THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798
THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798
THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798
THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798
THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798
17

THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798

Estimate: 70,000 - 90,000 GBP

THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798

Estimate: 70,000 - 90,000 GBP

Description

THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798


the cane fitted with a textured gold loop decorated with two diamonds and black tassels, plain gold trim above the metal tip

115cm., 45 1/4in. long

Condition Report

To request a condition report for this lot, please email Oana.Barbu@sothebys.com

Provenance

1799: Rear-Admiral Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805)

1800: his father, the Rev. Edmund Nelson (1722-1802), by gift

1802: the latter's son-in-law, George Matcham (1754-1833) who married in 1787 Catherine (1767-1842), Viscount Nelson's sister

then by descent until sold by the owners of 'The Matcham Collection,' Sotheby's in association with Morton & Eden Ltd., London, 5 October 2005, lot 7

Literature

M. Eyre Matcham, editor, The Nelsons of Burnham Thorpe, London, 1911, p. 196

Colin White, editor, The Nelson Companion, Stroud, 1997 (first published in 1995), p. 73

Rina Prentice, The Authentic Nelson, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, 2005, p. 156

Exhibited

1891: Royal Naval Exhibition, Chelsea, London, cat. no. 3228: 'Diamond headed cane presented to Lord Nelson by the inhabitants of the Island of Yuaba [sic].'

1900: Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall, London, 'A Malacca cane, presented by the inhabitants of the island of Zanta. . . This has a circlet of diamonds round the top.' (St. James's Gazette, London, Saturday, 20 October 1900, p. 15b)

1905: Exhibition of Nelson Relics, Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall, London, cat. no. 3039

Sometime on loan to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Catalogue Note

In Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas’s The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson (vol. IV, London, 1845, pp. 151 and 152), the following letter from Nelson to the President of Zante, addressed from Palermo on 21 December 1799, is transcribed:

‘Gentlemen,

‘I have received, through the hands of Mr. Sprirdion Foresti, your very elegant and highly flattering present of a Sword and Cane, with a letter, valuable ten thousand times more than any gold and diamonds; and I shall preserve them for my descendants, who, I trust, never will forget for a moment the honour conferred upon me by the Inhabitants of the Island of Zante. To be considered by you, Gentlemen, as the first cause of your liberation from French tyranny, is, although true, yet such an example of gratitude, as will ever do you the highest honour. I only wish for an opportunity to mark the sense I entertain of your goodness to me, by doing something more to increase the prosperity of your Island. That all the Inhabitants of Zante may increase in happiness is the sincere prayer, and shall be the exertion of, Gentlemen, you most faithful and obliged, BRONTE NELSON.;’


Some three weeks before, Nelson had written on 28 November to Evan Nepean of The Admiralty that he had just received ‘a very massy and elegant gold-hilted Sword, and a beautiful Cane, enriched with diamonds. . . .’ (Nicolas, pp. 114 and 115) In a list of ‘Presents to Lord Nelson for his Services in the Mediterranean between October the First 1798 and October the First 1799,’ published in The Naval Chronicle (April 1800, pp. 187 and 188), the cane is described as, ‘From the island of Zante, a Gold Headed Sword and Cane, as an acknowledgement, that had it not been for the battle of the Nile, they could not have been liberated from French cruelty.’ Of the twelve trophies identified in this list, a silver ‘Turkey’ cup, presented by the ‘Merchants of the Levant’ (now in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich), is the only other known survivor.


On his return to England in November 1800, Nelson evidently gave the cane to his father, the Rev. Edmund Nelson. Following the latter's death two years later, the admiral wrote to George Matcham to inform him that, ‘The Cane my Father always told me was for You therefore for his & my sake keep it.’ (M. Eyre Matcham, The Nelsons of Burnham Thorpe, London, 1911, p. 196)

THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798
THE MALACCA CANE, ITS GOLD TOP SET WITH A BAND OF 21 DIAMONDS, PRESENTED TO REAR-ADMIRAL HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE GREEK ISLAND OF ZANTE FOLLOWING HIS VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH FLEET AT THE BATTLE OF THE NILE, WHICH TOOK PLACE NEAR THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT BETWEEN 1 AND 3 AUGUST 1798
Lot Closed