Discovered in a New Town attic, the 205-year-old news of Nelson's victory
A RARE poster proclaiming Nelson's historic victory at Trafalgar is expected to fetch more than £10,000 at auction next week after being discovered in the attic of a home in Edinburgh.
• The historic poster found in an Edinburgh attic and due to be auctioned next week Picture: PA
The 205-year-old poster was one of thousands distributed throughout Britain in the days after the 1805 battle.
But is thought to be one of only two known to survive - the other having pride of place in the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth.
The single sheet broadside was found, framed and "in impeccable condition", in the attic of a house in the New Town. It is thought the owner of the property, who has not been identified, had no idea of its existence.
The poster, printed in London's Fleet Street, informed people across the country that "Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson" had won the battle. It proclaimed the victory as "the most decisive and glorious naval victory that ever was obtained since the creation of the world".
It it believed to have been sold in ale houses and on busy street corners for just two pence.
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However it is expected to trigger a bidding war at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh next Wednesday, thanks to heavy interest from museum officials and collectors.
Simon Vickers, a specialist in rare books and manuscripts at the auctioneers, said: "Thousands of these posters or broadsides - the newspapers of their day -would have been produced and sent around the country to proclaim Nelson's victory.
"They were sold for two pence and would probably have been pinned up where people could read of Nelson's crucial victory, in pubs or village greens.
"The majority would have been ripped down or just fallen into disrepair over time, but this one appears to have been kept as a souvenir.
"It was found in a house in Edinburgh, and it has survived more than 200 years in impeccable condition.
"An almost identical poster, in red ink and printed by a different company, but worded almost exactly the same, was sold by Sotheby's in London in 2005 for 38,400.
"We have priced our article conservatively at 10,000 to 15,000, but it may fetch far, far more as there is great interest in Nelson in Britain and in the US."
The poster, featuring an image of "Britannia Triumphant", details the names of all the ships together with the numbers of guns and men of both sides.
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