We remember the big and the bold but sometimes the items that stay longest with us are the oddly personal or just plain odd. Follow us for a tour of our favourite odd items.
We have a remarkable collection of items relating to Nelson. Yes of course we have fine paintings and uniforms but you may also be surprised to find a mask of his face, his monogrammed high socks, the saw that cut off his arm (or one much like it) and a lock of his hair for his mistress to remember him by.
But it is not just Nelson who features in this off-the-beaten-track tour. Another lock of hair belongs to one of the mutineers from the Bounty, we have a rare 'scare devil' from the Nicobar Islands, snow goggles taken from a frozen skeleton and an opium pipe. Welcome to the weird and wonderful tour.
Blistering barnacles, what's that doing in here?
These were used to guard Nicobari homes against illness, bad luck and other evil spirits.
Better known as Jack Adams, the mutineer was the last to survive the disease and murders that did for his fellows.
What is an opium pipe doing at the National Maritime Museum and what does it tell us about our attitude to trade?
A rather grizzly medical saw, was it the one used to amputate Nelson's right arm?
Nelson's pigtail (or queue), was cut off after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar 21 October 1805.
A set of 57 wooden play blocks depicting Nelson's funeral procession, 9 January 1806.
We know exactly how Nelson looked (without the flattery of painters) thanks to this remarkable mask taken of his face five years before his death.
On that bloody but victorious day Nelson stood and fell in these very clothes.