Suffolk

Antiques Roadshow values Nelson drawing at £100,000

Admiral Lord Nelson portrait, believed to be by Henry Edridge
Image caption The Antiques Roadshow's Philip Mould believes the drawing is by Henry Edridge

A school's drawing of Admiral Lord Nelson has been valued at £100,000 by an expert on the Antiques Roadshow.

A teacher and pupils from the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, Suffolk, took the drawing to be assessed as the BBC One show was filmed in London.

Expert Philip Mould said he believed the drawing dated back to 1798-1800 and was the work of Henry Edridge.

It had been hung at the entrance to the boarding house, where pupils would play ball games nearby.

Teacher Rober Mann said the drawing had been at the school since the 1820s.

Mr Mann said Nelson had served on the committee of the school, which is celebrating its 300th anniversary.

Spectators gasped

Expert Graham Lay was first to cast his eye over a variety of Nelson-related memorabilia taken to the roadshow.

He said a sword could be worth up to £40,000 if a connection to Nelson could be proved, but only "a few hundred pounds" if not.

He dismissed the school's belief that a necklace in their possession had been given by Nelson to Lady Hamilton, saying it was produced after his death.

But Mr Mould's assessment of the drawing prompted gasps from spectators and the school's representatives.

He said the particular type of cross-hatching and the "velvet"-like use of the pencil suggested it was the work of Edridge.

"I know that this is just the sort of image of the great Lord Nelson that many collectors across the world would almost die for.

"You have the great man, the hero, the victor of Trafalgar, who tragically died, with ships behind on one level, you've also got the soul of the man - so both aspects of the great hero."

Head boy Sam Kester said pupils were used to playing ball games around the drawing.

It will now be moved to the school's new heritage centre.

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