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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 January, 2005, 10:43 GMT
Stamps made from Trafalgar ship
Wooden stamp depicting barrel containing Nelson's body after Battle of Trafalgar
One stamp depicts the barrel of brandy Nelson's body was stored in
Powdered wood from Nelson's flagship HMS Victory has been incorporated into stamps marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Using an advanced printing technique, the stamps used traces of oak timbers on the surface of images depicting the ship and Nelson - alive and dead.

The stamps, marking the decisive battle with the French off the coast of Spain, were printed by a French company.

They are only on sale in UK territories Gibraltar and Tristan da Cunha.

The Battle of Trafalgar, which was fought off Cape Trafalgar, near Cadiz, on 21 October, 1805, pitched the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of France and Spain.

Stamp expert Peter Jennings said: "The French printer, Cartor, has achieved what the French and Spanish fleets failed to do 200 years ago and capture oak timbers from Nelson's flagship."

Wooden stamp depicting HMS Victory
Powdered wood from HMS Victory is on the surface of the stamps

Crown Agents Stamp Bureau consultant Nigel Fordham said he bought 50kg of Victory's oak timbers after the ship was refitted in Portsmouth Naval Dockyard and had "a Certificate of Provenance to prove it."

"Nelson knew he had to win in order to prevent the invasion of Britain," said Mr Fordham, a member of the Nelson Society.

He said: "The Battle of Trafalgar was one of the most decisive naval actions in British history.

"It established Britain's supremacy at sea and freed this country from the long-standing fear of invasion by Napoleon's armies."

One stamp image depicts the barrel of brandy that Lord Horatio Nelson's body was returned to Britain in after he died during the battle.

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17 Nov 04 |  Scotland

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