Engraving - Profile Portrait of Nelson, 1807
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Overall: 18.3cm (7.2in) x 16.5cm (6.5in)
Head and shoulders profile portrait in uniform with hair worn en queue. Contained in a period glazed ebony frame with oval fire gilt bronze slip and oak leaf suspension loop. Original publisher’s label verso, inscribed ‘HORATIO NELSON / LORD VISCOUNT AND BARON NELSON /DRAWN FROM LIFE / THE 11TH DECEMBER 1800 BY S DE KOSTER / ENGRAVED FROM THE ORIGINAL DRAWING IN HIS POSSESSION BY T. BURKE’.
The present portrait derives from Simon De Koster’s portrait of Lord Nelson which was executed at Merton in 1800, a few days before Nelson left for Denmark and the Battle of Copenhagen. It was considered both by Nelson and his immediate circle to be a true and favourite likeness. The original, contained in a locket, was given to Emma Hamilton, but it was also produced as a small line vignette engraving by James Stow that was published by J. Brydon at 7 Caring Cross in 1801. Interestingly Nelson himself said of De Koster’s image ‘There are so many prints of me that it is not in my power to say which is the most like the original, for no one of them is like the other but I rather think a little outline of the head sold at Brydon’s Charing X is the most like me.’ An example of the present engraving in the National Maritime Collection includes the additional details on its label verso: ‘… London. Published as the act directs by S. de Koster , 25 Suffolk Street, Charing Crofs / Jany. 1st 1807’.