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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Record price for Trafalgar medal
Captain Hardy's Trafalgar medal
Captain Hardy was present at all three of Nelson's great victories
A gold medal awarded to Nelson's right hand man Captain Hardy after the Battle of Trafalgar has sold for 248,800.

The lot, part of a sale at Christie's in London held to mark this week's bicentenary of Trafalgar, set a world record price for a medal at auction.

The prototype portrait of Lemuel Francis Abbott's iconic image of Nelson was bought for 164,800 by the Compton Verney Gallery in Warwickshire.

A quill recovered from Nelson's desk on the Victory went for 8,400.

The quill was found after the Battle of Trafalgar beside an unfinished letter to Nelson's mistress Emma Hamilton.

Stolen from exhibition

Hardy was the captain of the fleet at Trafalgar.

Nelson's quill
The quill was found in Nelson's desk after his death

He was the only officer of rank to have been present at all three of Nelson's victories at the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar.

His medal features the figure of Victory on the prow of an antique galley, crowning Britannia.

It is inscribed: 'Thomas Masterman Hardy Esquire Captain of HMS Victory on the 21 October MDCCCV, the combined fleets of France and Spain defeated.

A similar gold medal, posthumously awarded to Nelson, was stolen from a public exhibition at in Greenwich in 1900 and have never been recovered.

Other lots at the auction included a beaver skin bicorn hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte, which fetched 66,000.

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