Book Signing at The Armoury of St. James

Posted: 2017-11-06 14:45:00 - Last updated: 2017-11-06 14:45:49

BADA members The Armoury of St. James’s will be offering visitors the chance to meet Martyn Downer, the leading specialist in the identification of artifacts relating to Admiral Lord Nelson, at their 17 Piccadilly Arcade premises on November 17-18, 2017.

A former Director at Sotheby’s, Martyn will be signing copies of his latest work ‘Nelson’s Lost Jewel’, which tells the tale of Admiral Nelson’s missing diamond Chelengk. Visitors will also have an opportunity to view a replica of the famous piece, recreated by London’s finest craftsmen.

Perhaps Nelson’s most iconic prize, the diamond Chelengk was presented to the Admiral by Sultan Selim III of Turkey after the battle of the Nile in 1798. The jewel was usually worn on Nelson’s dress uniform and is frequently depicted in portrait and sculpture.

Fully set with rose cut diamonds, the jewel had thirteen diamond rays each representing a French ship captured or destroyed in the battle. The central diamond star on the jewel was powered by a hidden clockwork mechanism to rotate, catching the sunlight as it turned.

After Trafalgar, the Chelengk was inherited by Nelson’s family and worn at the Court of Queen Victoria. Sold at auction in 1895, it eventually found its way to the newly-opened National Maritime Museum in Greenwich where it was a star exhibit.

In 1951 the jewel was stolen by a notorious cat-burglar in a daring heist, and despite a large reward offered for its return, the relic has never been recovered.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet Martyn Downer, purchase a copy of his new book, and get a close-up look at the authentic recreation of the most treasured possession of our greatest naval hero. Meet Martyn at The Armoury of St. James’s on Friday 17th November, between 11am and 6pm, and on Saturday 18th November, from 12noon to 4pm.

Powered by Online Galleries