Ad Victoriam – Trafalgar and the 2nd Earl Spencer

Earlier in January we posted about the new “Nine Earls” selection, signature pieces of furniture in tribute to and inspired by each of the successive Earls of Althorp who have helped to shape and define British history. These pieces will be available at selected Althorp Living History retailers in 2012.

The second in our series is the remarkable chair seen below which was originally crafted from actual timber taken from H.M.S. Victory, flagship of Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

As First Lord of the Admiralty between 1794-1801, George John, 2nd Earl Spencer made the significant decision to appoint Horatio Nelson to the position of Commander of the English Fleet in the Mediterranean which in turn led to the naval victory at Trafalgar.

The back of the chair, as in the original, is in the shape of a ship’s transom carved with the Royal Coat of Arms. Note the two finely rendered victory wreaths to each side. Along the centre rail is carved the word ‘Victory’, beneath which is carved the ship’s rudder. The arms are in the form of cannon which represent the powerful twenty-four pounders used by the flagship.

AL41067 - Ad Victoriam

George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer oversaw Nelson’s promotion to the Mediterranean fleet which presaged the great naval victories.

Ad Victoriam is a a stunning testament to the foresight of the 2nd Earl Spencer and one of the defining battles of British history.

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