Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00–17.00
Admission: 
Free
Location: 
National Maritime Museum, Second floor, Nelson Navy Nation gallery

Sometimes fame and glory just aren't enough. This rifle is believed to have been presented to Nelson together with a scimitar and canteen by the Sultan of Turkey after the Battle of the Nile. 

Ivory stocked, the rifle is decorated with silver and gilt studs and with bands of gilt brass and mother of pearl. The lock is a Turkish variant of the Spanish miquelet lock on which is gold koftgari decoration (an ornamental work produced by inlaying steel with gold). 

This rifle was bequeathed by Nelson to Alexander Davison, his friend and prize agent. After Nelson’s death, Lady Hamilton wrote to Alexander Davison, ‘I am very unwell, BrokenHearted and going to Norfolk with Lady Bolton. I shall beg of my mother to send you the gun and cantine that our departed angel left you’. It is inscribed on the butt: ‘This gun together with a scymetar and canteen were presented by the Grand Signior to Horatio Viscount Nelson and by will bequeathed to his friend Alexander Davison 10th May 1803'. In 1873 Davison’s son gave the rifle to Greenwich Hospital, where it was originally displayed with other Nelson relics in the Painted Hall.