One of the Victorian dining chairs crafted from the salvaged timbers of Nelson’s second flagship was sold for £6,000 at Bonham’s, Chester on March 17th. The ornately carved, leather upholstered William and Mary-style open armchair (similar to a carver), was one of a number of pieces fabricated from the timbers of the Foudroyant, after she ran aground at Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1897. A copper plaque reads, ‘Manufactured from the oak and copper salved from Nelson’s ‘Foudroyant’, Goodhall, Lamb & Heighway Ltd., Manchester.’
It was a sad end to a noble vessel. Commissioned for Lord Nelson in 1788, the 80-gun two-decker H.M.S. Foudroyant was still unfinished when Nelson was ordered to the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, she served as his flagship (after the Agamemnon) from 1799 to 1801, predating the 100-gun Victory by a full four years. She then passed to Admiral Lord Keith and 15 other admirals seeing service at the Battle of Malta before being retired from active service in 1812.
In 1891 the Foudroyant was sold by the Navy for £2,350 to a German ship breaker. Saved from demolition, she was in use as a pleasure vessel until the disastrous storm which saw her run aground on Blackpool Sands – damaging Blackpool Pier in the process. The crew all safely rescued, Goodhall, Lamb & Heighway put her timbers and copper to good use in their cabinetmaking business. The chair sold at Bonham’s for £6,000 retailed in their catalogue for £10.3s.6d.
Goodhall, Lamb & Heighway were highly respected craftsmen. Antique dealers in Preston often have Victorian dining chairs, antique cabinets and antique desks bearing this Lancashire firm’s emblem.
No comments yet.