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Art Marine

The Trafalgar Medal - Malcolm Appleby

The Trafalgar Medal - Malcolm Appleby

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Malcolm Appleby comes from a family that is certainly no stranger to the sea. At Trafalgar there were no less than three Applebys present with John Appleby, ordinary seaman, on board Victory with Nelson. Malcolm’s father, James William, sailed in the windjammer Parma with Alan Villiers and J. W.’s father, Percy, was a share holder in Parma. It is because of this background that Malcolm created The Parma Medal to record his father’s voyage in the early 1930s. Today, Malcolm is possibly the most highly respected engraver in Britain. A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, his talent is in constant demand for the very finest design and his work may be seen in national collections around Britain.

The year 2005 saw several new discoveries come forward regarding the Battle of Trafalgar. Amongst them is the posthumous oil sketch of Admiral Lord Nelson painted on board Victory on 21 December 1805 by Arthur William Devis. It is the Devis / Nelson profile that provides the shape of this Trafalgar Medal.

The obverse (shown in the smaller image, previous page) shows Victory just as she raised the famous ‘England Expects’ signal at Twelve Noon on 21 October. She is under all sail as she nears what will be a wall of fire from the broadsides of the Combined Fleet of France and Spain.

For the reverse (shown above), the time depicted is 1:45 pm. Nelson has fallen. Victory and Temeraire are locked in mortal combat with le Redoutable and her brave Captain Lucas. On the far right, just coming into view, is the cannon of le Fougueux as she approaches the starboard side of Temeraire.

The view of the sterns of both Victory and Temeraire are based on the sketches made by John Livesay, drawing master at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, drawn at sea when the ships returned to Portsmouth following the battle. The stern of Redoutable is taken from a drawing of a French 74 by Jean Boudriot in his classic work, ‘The Seventy-Four Gun Ship.’

We then have the weather, or more particularly the swell of the sea as the great storm approached and the difficulties this made for combatants on all sides. A cat’s-paw of wind has been summoned to clear the sterns of the three ships of smoke, where in reality there would have been just fire and smoke and nothing else to see.

It is hoped that with this offering of a Trafalgar Medal, we not only capture the drama of Trafalgar but also the immortal memory of Lord Nelson and those who fell with him from all nations.

The casualties on board Temeraire amounted to killed 47, wounded 76; Victory killed 57, wounded 102; and Redoutable killed 490, wounded 81 with the ship being lost in the great storm that followed the battle.


Each medal is cast by using the lost wax process at the works of Niagara Falls Castings in Warwick, England. Following casting, each medal is then inspected by Malcolm, who sends them to Edinburgh for hallmarking. Upon their return, Malcolm hand finishes and numbers each medal.

Limited edition medal in hallmarked sterling silver.

3" wide x 2.5" high (7.5cm x 6cm)
2.2 Troy Ounces (68 gm)

Each medal is hand finished, numbered and signed by Malcolm Appleby and is supplied in an attractive box.

Also available is an edition of 10 medals in 18 carat gold weighing approximately 3.3 troy ounces (102 grams) and lastly, a unique medal in platinum which is approximately 5.06 troy ounces (156 grams) in weight.

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