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Boulton�s Trafalgar Medal, by C. H. K�chler, 1805; silver (frosted proof, in watch-glass case)

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Boulton's Trafalgar Medal, 1805

In the eighteenth century the Royal Navy became the largest in the world, with a global reach. Earl Spencer, First Lord of the Admiralty, reformed the Navy in the early years of its epic struggle with the French that culminated in Nelson�s victory at Trafalgar. After that final victory in 1805 the prominent Birmingham industrialist Matthew Boulton distributed Boulton�s Trafalgar Medal, at his own expense. Bronze medals were awarded to sailors and marines present at the battle, and a few gold and silver medals were made for presentation to ladies at the court of George III.
The medals all share the same design, which shows a view of the battle, with Nelson�s signal �ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY� above.
The Watson Collection includes one in each metal, but the silver is here featured, partly because of its pristine preservation within a watch-glass, and partly because of the interest of that particular form of display.