Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Davison sword pistol.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:43 pm 
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I have just noticed a sword pistol originally owned by Alexander Davison is due to go to auction this coming Friday 7th December.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-20612757

Not sure it would have been Nelson's weapon of choice? But the name always generates added interest!

Here is the catalogue entry:
http://www.cuttlestones.co.uk/salecatalogue/FA071212.htm?s=545&f=555
lot 510, good luck to anyone tempted!


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 Post subject: Re: Davison sword pistol.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Well, between them, the auctioneer and the Daily Mail now reckon that the sword-pistol is 'thought to have been brandished by Lord Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar': http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z2EIyZZGaA

It is wild surmise like this that gets auctioneers a bad name. There seems to be no evidence whatsoever that Nelson ever saw the sword-pistol, let alone owned it. You can be sure the evidence would have been cited if it existed. For Trafalgar, the evidence is of course the exact opposite - Nelson is recorded by Dr Scott as having forgotten to put on his sword that day. Up to the time he was shot, he calmly paced the quarterdeck, conversing with Hardy, and certainly not 'brandishing a sword-pistol'!

Dear oh dear oh dear! I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

The sword-pistol sold for £20,000 in the Sotheby's Alexander Davison sale 10 years ago, when Sotheby's made no claims that it was likely to have been owned by Nelson.

It was also listed in a Bonhams sale earlier this year, but not sold - perhaps withdrawn.

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 Post subject: Re: Davison sword pistol.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:38 pm 
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I can't really imagine Nelson using something like that - wasn't it his uncle's sword that he always held in battle? It just doesn't seem his style, somehow.

Regardless of whether he had any actual connection to it, it's very pretty on its own merit! How common would a weapon like that have been at the time? I don't think I've read about them before.

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 Post subject: Re: Davison sword pistol.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:12 pm 
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Even The Times has given space to this story in today's edition. Ben Gamble of Cuttlestone's auctioneers says: The likelihood is that Nelson would have used it in [sic] Trafalgar. You could be holding something used by Nelson in battle.'

Let's see if someone falls for the guff.

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 Post subject: Re: Davison sword pistol.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:33 am 
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It sold for £11,000! :roll:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-20645630


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