This week there will be a special book signing at Armoury of St. James’s on 17th & 18th November 2017 where you will have the opportunity to see Admiral Lord Nelson’s lost ‘Chelengk’ newly recreated by London’s finest craftsmen.
Of all the accolades and prizes awarded to Admiral Nelson, none is more iconic than his diamond Chelengk, presented to Nelson by Sultan Selim III of Turkey after the battle of the Nile in 1798. This jewel, worn on Nelson’s dress uniform hat and frequently depicted in portrait and sculpture, was fully set with rose cut diamonds, and had thirteen diamond rays to represent the French ships captured or destroyed at the action. 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 was lost forever. For the first time, author Martyn Downer tells the extraordinary true story of the Chelengk in his new book ‘Nelson’s Lost Jewel’. It charts the jewel’s journey through history forging sparkling new and intimate portraits of Nelson, of his friends and rivals, and of the woman he loved. Martyn Downer is the world’s leading specialist in objects, relics and artefacts relating to the life and career of Admiral Lord Nelson. Formerly Head of Jewellery at Sotheby’s London, he is author of several books including Nelson’s Purse, a bestselling account of his discovery of a lost trove of Nelson treasures.
We are thrilled to be able to offer you a unique opportunity to meet Martyn, 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 national hero here at the Armoury on Friday 17th November, between 11am to 6pm, and on Saturday 18th November, from 12noon to 4pm.
The Armoury of St. James’s, 17 Piccadilly Arcade, London SW1Y 6NH