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Georgian Musical Fob Pendant

Georgian Musical Fob Pendant



DATE: George III, c.1800

There is more to this antique fob than meets the eye... the top bail can be wound, turning the gold orb beneath it, and ultimately winding a music box concealed within the base. Remarkable, but that's not all. The base is inscribed with the words:

"Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton, 1803"

Exciting, certainly, but before we get too far down the rabbit hole of this piece's historic potential, I'd like to point out that it's extremely unlikely it was gifted by Horatio to his beloved Emma Lady Hamilton. More likely, in reality, is that the inscription has been added later (probably in the late 19th century judging by the engraving and wear) in order to trick some unfortunate individual into spending up on an important piece of English history. There's no doubt that the dates match up, the fob was made around the turn of the 19th century, by 1803 Admiral Nelson had left his wife and was living with Lady Hamilton, and it's within the realms of possibility that the inscription is genuine and he did indeed gift this remarkable musical device to his dearly beloved. I'm not saying he didn't. But I'm also definitely not saying he did. If there is any further provenance to be applied here I haven't been able to find it. Which is a shame as it would add a at least one extra zero onto the end of the price ticket.

It's crafted in 15 karat gold, made by hand in England with what's likely to be a Swiss-made mechanism inside.


Height: 3.5cm

Base: 3.0 x 2.2cm




No marks present, tests as 15k gold


Good, evidence of an old repair to one arm (solder). Base is loose at one point