Battle of the Nile medals sell for a hammer price £100,000 at Noonans

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Battle of the Nile medals sell for a hammer price £100,000 at Noonans
The Important ‘Battle of the Nile 1798’ Post Captain’s Naval Gold Medal awarded to Davidge Gould. Photo: Noonans.

LONDON.- The Important ‘Battle of the Nile 1798’ Post Captain’s Naval Gold Medal awarded to Davidge Gould, Captain of the 74-gun H.M.S. Audacious was sold by Noonans in their sale of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria for a hammer price £100,000 on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Estimated at £80,000-100,000, it was bought online by a private collector [lot 316].

Gould had also been embroiled in the controversy around Lord Nelson’s affair with Lady Emma Hamilton. Before the sale, Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison at Noonans commented: “The Gold medal speaks for itself in that very few of these ever come on the market having survived being melted down for their gold content, were only awarded to the Captains of The HMS Ships in such important and successful naval actions. It is being sold by a collector.”

Elsewhere in the sale, the historically important First and Second China Wars campaign pair awarded to Sir Harry S. Parkes, G.C.M.G., K.C.B. sold for £30,000 against an estimate of £15,000-20,000. These medals were bought by an overseas collector, after strongly contested bidding on Noonans Live.

Prior to the sale, Nimrod Dix, Deputy Chairman of Noonans and Head of the Medal department said: “These historically important medals are being sold by a private collector. Sir Harry S. Parkes, G.C.M.G., K.C.B. (1828-1885) travelled to South China at the age of 13yrs, and had a prolific and, somewhat daring, career as British Consul in Canton and Shanghai, Ambassador to Japan and then to China. He also served as Chief Political Officer during the Second China War, when he played a key role in conducting negotiations and seizing high- ranking Chinese Officials. His heroic defiance of the torturers in the Board of Punishments in Peking’s Forbidden City led to the destruction of the Summer Palace and established his reputation. Despite large bounties on his head, he survived multiple assassination attempts.” [lot 173].

Also of note was an outstanding and rare Great War ‘Gallipoli’ C.G.M. group of five awarded to Acting Leading Seaman W. J. Pierce which sold for £18,000 to a private collector via Noonans Live. Part of Howe Battalion, Royal Naval Division, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, the medals were awarded to Pierce for his great gallantry during the Third Battle of Krithia, in which his Battalion suffered over 80% casualties; one of only a handful of men who reached and held the Turkish front-line trench [lot 158].

Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison at Noonans commented: “The Navy is often forgotten about in the famous story of Gallipoli where they were instrumental in the dangerous landings, but the Royal Navy also provided a naval brigade of seaman who fought alongside the soldiers on the Gallipoli peninsula and this CGM (2nd only to the VC at the time for the Royal Navy) is therefore a very rare Naval Gallantry award for Gallipoli. It was being sold by a collector.”

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