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Freedom box

PLT0023
Decorative art

Object connections:

Collection Decorative art, Plate
ExhibitionsVoyagers
Gallery locationVoyagers (Floor plans)
PeopleProvenance: Berry, Edward
Provenance: City of London
EventsFrench Revolutionary War: Battle of the Nile, 1798
VesselsVanguard (1787)

Object details:

Object ID PLT0023
Description Freedom box presented to Captain Edward Berry (1768-1831) by the City of London in gratitude for his gallant command of the 'Vanguard', Nelson's flagship at the Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798. The oval gold box has a painted miniature set into the lid, showing the Battle of the Nile at the moment when the French flagship 'L'Orient' exploded. The enamel plaque is framed by openwork gold oak leaves and acorns, with a naval crown above and naval trophies below. The base of the box is finely engraved with a broadside view of the 'Vanguard', Berry's ship, under sail, surrounded by applied laurel and oak foliage and 'VANGUARD' on a scroll. Around the sides of the box are four oblong enamel panels with trophies of naval arms, painted with the coats of arms of the City of London and of Edward Berry, his monogram 'EB', and a pyramid, crocodile and lion symbolizing the Battle of the Nile. Inside the lid is a presentation description: 'ANDERSON MAYOR. A Common Council holden in the Chamber of the GUILDHALL of the CITY of LONDON on Tuesday the 16 day of October 1798 RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY that the THANKS of THIS COURT be given to CAPT. EDWD. BERRY CAPTAIN OF THE ADMIRAL'S SHIP & the rest of the Captains Officers, Seamen and Marines of his Majesty's Fleet serving under REAR ADMIRAL SIR HORATIO NELSON now LORD NELSON for their gallant Services in obtaining the glorious Victory over the FRENCH FLEET off the NILE on the FIRST DAY of AUGUST last, thereby manifesting to the World an additional instance of the superior Discipline, and irresistible Bravery of British Seamen RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY that the Freedom of this CITY be presented to CAPTAIN EDWARD BERRY IN A GOLD BOX as a testimony of the high sense this Court entertain of his gallant behaviour on the first Day of August last. Rix.'. The gold box was originally valued at 100 guineas. The City of London Freedom document is still enclosed in the box, and there is a red leather case for the box. A similar Freedom box was awarded to Vice-Admiral Charles Thompson (ZBA2976).
Date made 1798-99

Artist/Maker James Morisset
Place made London, England
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials enamel; gold
Measurements 30 x 100 x 73mm
Parts
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