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Nelson Funeral Souvenir Needle Case, 1806
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Nelson Funeral Souvenir Needle Case, 1806

Measurements: Overall: 13.7cm (5.5in) x 14.6cm (5.75in)

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Printed card cover and fragment of felt interior; the first hand coloured and depicting Nelson’s funeral car decorated with the admiral’s personal motto 'PALMAM QUI MERUIT FERAT' (Let him wear the palm who has deserved it) and battle honour ‘TRAFALGAR’; the second printed with a depiction of Charles II’s barge with needles in place of oars. Card: 6cm (2.25in) x 6.8cm (2.75in). Framed and glazed.

Souvenirs such as this would have found a ready market amongst those who witnessed the funeral of Admiral Lord Nelson that took place over five days in January 1806. Arriving at Greenwich on 23 December 1805, the much lamented hero lay in state in the Painted Hall from 5 to 7 January in a coffin made from the main mast of the French ship, L'Orient, destroyed at the Nile. More than 15,000 people came to pay their respects and many more were turned away. Nelson's body was taken from Greenwich up the Thames to Whitehall on 8 January, spending the night before the funeral at the Admiralty. The next day it was placed in the funeral car modelled on the Victory and taken through the streets to St Paul's, where it was finally laid to rest in the crypt.
 

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