Lord Nelson Battle of Copenhagen Wine Glass

  • This singular wine glass was made for and owned by the British hero Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson
  • It was crafted in order to commemorate Nelson's important victory at the Battle of Copenhagen
  • The glass comes from the collection of Nelson’s great-niece Frances Girdlestone
  • Exceptional in provenance, this wine glass is a remarkable piece of history
  • Get complete item description here
Price available upon request Item No. 31-1842

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This singular wine glass was made for and owned by the great British hero Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, the most legendary figure in naval history. The only one of its kind in existence, it is the sole surviving wine glass from a set commissioned by Nelson himself. It was crafted in order to commemorate Nelson's important victory at the Battle of Copenhagen, eventually passing by descent through his family before entering our collection.

In April of 1801, Nelson won what he considered one of his greatest victories, the hard-fought Battle of Copenhagen. It was early in the Napoleonic Wars, and at that time Nelson was second in command to Admiral Sir Hyde Parker. The northern powers of Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Prussia had formed an armed coalition deemed a threat to British interests in the Baltic. Therefore, a British fleet under Parker’s command was dispatched to dismantle the coalition. Nelson recommended an assault on the Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored in the harbor outside of Copenhagen on April 2; fighting against all odds, the British won the day for direct access to the city. It was a decisive victory for Nelson and the Royal Navy.

However, the victory came at a politically inopportune time for the British government, and thus the battle was not recognized with any official medals or souvenir items. Yet, Nelson perceived its importance both for himself personally and for the country historically. Thus, he commissioned his own set of souvenirs, the first being his famed Baltic porcelain service, and the second being a set of commemorative glasses to toast his own victory, of which this is the sole surviving example.

The glass comes from the collection of Nelson’s great-niece Frances Girdlestone, a custodian of many important Nelson relics. Her mother was Anne Bolton, daughter of Nelson’s eldest sister Susannah who had received numerous heirlooms after his death at Trafalgar. In the 1930s Miss Girdlestone sold several items at auction, including other wine glasses from Nelson’s collection, which were purchased for the newly established National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

The glass itself is beautifully crafted, with a facetted stem and bowl that is inscribed in an oval cartouche “Ld Nelson Copenhagen 2nd April 1801.” Under the circular foot is pasted a hand-written note reading “One of a set of wine glasses presented to Lord Nelson after the battle of Copenhagen and given to me by his great niece Miss Girdlestone on the 2nd April 1891 – 90 years after the battle. C Berwin Brown.”

Circa 1801

Glass: 2 3/8" diameter x 4" high
Case: 5 1/4" wide x 5" deep x 7 3/8" high
Lord Nelson Battle of Copenhagen Wine Glass
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Historical Memorabilia
Depth: 2.38
Width: 2.38
Height: 4.0

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