Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson with 25 Ships
2018 Woven labels include Davies & Son, 38 Savile Row and name tapes of 25 ships with dressmaker pins on canvas, 72 x 88cm.
Capturing some key historic moments in the Napoleonic Wars, this portrait lists the 25 ships that Nelson served on as Midshipman, Lieutenant, Captain, Commodore and Admiral from 1770-1803.
Admiral Lord Nelson was an early customer of Davies & Son (Est. 1803) and their bespoke woven label is pinned to the canvas in a temporary state, or ‘baste’, a tailoring term used for a first fitting. An impermanent pinning process and visual sketch reflects the handmade tailoring, pattern cutting and craftsmanship associated with Savile Row.
The chelengk jewel gifted to Nelson by Sultan Selim III of Turkey and orders of chivalry and medals are reproduced in gold and silver metallic woven labels. It was Nelson’s desire to wear all of the honours that he collected during his lifetime, a true complement to his Royal Navy Uniform. The coat boasted blue-black wool cloth with a stand up collar, button-back lapels and a gold trim, a tailored masterpiece that certainly created the man.
25 ships: - 1770 Raisonnable 1771 Triumph 1772 Carcass 1773 Seahorse 1776 Worcester 1777 Lowestoffe 1778 Bristol 1778 Badger 1779 Hinchinbroke 1776 Janus 1781 Albermarle 1784 Boreas 1793 Agamemnon 1796 Captain 1796 Minerve 1797 Captain 1797 Theseus 1798 Vanguard 1799 Foudroyant 1801 San Josef 1801 St George 1801 Elephant 1801 Medusa 1802 Amazon 1803 Victory
Savile Row Window Exhibition at Davies & Son, 38 Savile Row, London W1S 3QE from 30 November 2018.
Work in progress and research visits: -
My research during 2018 has taken me north, south and east. North to visit the Nelson Monument at the top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, the tower recalls Admiral Lord Nelson's victory, and death, at the battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 (aged 47). Also heading south to London to visit Nelson’s Column and the Maritime Museum at Greenwich. I recommend visiting this amazing exhibition if only to see the actual coat that Nelson was wearing at his death. Finally I headed east to Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk, a sleepy little village and the birthplace of Horatio Nelson on 29th September 1758.