This tea chest commemorates the life and victories of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, one of Britain’s greatest naval leaders. Nelson’s triumph and death at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 elevated his status to that of a national hero, prompting the production of commemorative souvenirs and memorabilia in his honour.
The tea chest was designed by Captain George Browne, an officer who accompanied Lord Nelson to the Mediterranean and fought alongside him aboard his flagship HMS Victory. The sides are inscribed with the names of other important naval battles won by Nelson, while two internal tea canisters labelled ‘Powder’ and ‘Shot’ refer to ammunition used for muskets during naval battles. The accompanying letter indicates that Browne gifted this tea chest to William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and son-in-law of King George III.