Auction Results: September 2022
The September 24th auction at Chudleigh will be remembered for the historically interesting wall cabinet made of oak and copper salvaged from Nelson's flagship, HMS Foudroyant. The 64" wide cabinet was bought by the vendor at auction around three years ago. He was particularly keen to acquire it at the time, because he had fond memories of serving on the training ship of the same name in Portsmouth as a teenager. Sadly, the cabinet proved too unwieldy for the walls of his small cottage in Brixham and was never given pride of place as had been planned. It was offered in Michael Bowman's September auction with a conservative estimate of £2,000 - 3,000 in the hope that it would attract strong levels of interest.
Two telephone bidders were in action on the day, one dropping out at £20,000, the other pushing on against an internet bidder, but finally admitting defeat as the hammer fell at £41,000!
The new owner is a collector in London, who plans to have the cabinet on display to the public in his business premises.
HMS Foudroyant was Nelson's flagship prior to Trafalgar, the copper frieze beneath the portrait of Nelson, inscribed '1798 Foudroyant 1801'. 100 years on, long after her retirement, she became shipwrecked off Blackpool and the Manchester firm of Goodall, Lamb & Heighway were given exclusive rights to salvage the wreck, marketing a range of furnishings created from the timber and copper that remained. Cigar boxes, racks, chairs and tables all featured, but the most expensive at £58, was the wall cabinet modelled as the stern of a ship. The manufacturers admitted that prices being asked were relatively high, on account of the old nails and scars in the timber and were willing to provide similar items from standard oak at a discounted rate. A plaque on the cabinet included in the auction confirms that it was indeed once part of the flagship of one of our nation's greatest heroes.
Michael Bowman is now accepting suitable entries for the November 26th auction at Chudleigh and is available every Monday afternoon by appointment for free valuations. Tel 01626 324071 www.michaeljbowman.co.uk