This octagonal walnut box has a lid with a silver hinge, and a close-fitting inner tea cover. It is decorated with delicate silver wire inlay embellished with incised shading. The front shows a commander’s panoply including cannon, a drum, standards and a range of weapons with floral stems growing from classical urns on the cut corners. In the centre is Nelson’s tomb surmounted by Britannia seated on a recumbent lion and inscribed ‘To the memory of Ad. Ld. Nelson slain Oct 21 1805’.
The death of Admiral Lord Nelson during the victory at Trafalgar cast the general population into a frenzy of grief. It was estimated that every household in the land had something marking the event; mourning ribbons, commemorative prints, trinket boxes, ceramic items and, later, souvenirs made of HMS Victory copper and oak.