Nelson memorabilia for Essex museum

A VALUABLE collection of priceless maritime memorabilia has been donated to a historical society in Harwich.German Dr Sebastian Braunvisited the seaside town during the summer and was impressed by the conservation work of the Harwich Society.

A VALUABLE collection of priceless maritime memorabilia has been donated to a historical society in Harwich.

German Dr Sebastian Braunvisited the seaside town during the summer and was impressed by the conservation work of the Harwich Society.

He decided to donate a collection of Nelson memorabilia and other maritime items to the society to be put on display.

Harwich Society secretary Andy Ruttersaid the society received two emails from Dr Braun, who lives in Frankfurt, saying he wished to donate the collection.


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On SaturdayDr Braun personally delivered 11 boxes which included a Nelson death mask, a Duke of Wellington memorial coin, a model of the Mayflower, a navy barometer, three model cannons and a brass sextant.

The society has so far only unpacked two of the 11 boxes and has been stunned by the quality of the items.

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Mr Rutter said: "We are delighted. He has been extremely generous and we are flattered he has chosen Harwich to give this collection to.

"There are more important naval places like Portsmouth, which is very much associated with Nelson, which would have qualified.

"But he has chosen us and our museums and we feel very flattered."

A reception was held for Dr Braun by the Harwich Society committee and he has been made an honorary member of the society.

Dr Braun said: "First I made the decision to donate my collection, which I have been building up for 20 years. Then I decided it would be the Harwich Society which would be given the collection.

"They are very enthusiastic and very caring about the neighbourhood and I am very sure that they deserve this and they will make good use of this collection."

Dr Braun said he was very interested in Britain and British history, from Roman times up to the 1800s.

He added: "I am very happy about it as I was given such a brilliant and warm welcome by the Harwich Society that I knew I had made the correct decision.

"They were so friendly and kind that it proved to me I had made the right decision."

Dr Braun's collection will be catalogued and put on display to the public by the spring. Internet Link: www.harwich-society.com

Meanwhile a piece of Sir Winston Churchill's birthday cake was among a collection of memorabilia that fetched more than £1,000 at auction at Reeman, Dansie and Howe, in Colchester.

The items included two trademark cigars and some signed memorabilia from his son, Randolph. The objects belonged to a woman who used to work for Randolph at Stour House, in East Bergholt.

The cake, which comes from Sir Winston's 80th birthday celebrations, was wrapped in greaseproof paper and had a letter of provenance with it.

A set of monogrammed handkerchiefs fetched £110 against an estimated £100 and the cigars fetch £230, on an estimate of £100. The highest bid for the signed memorabilia was marked at £620 while the piece of cake - a mere morsel in comparison - raised just £20.

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