Wellington. A 19th century copper box with discs recording the Iron Dukes Peninsula and French campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars


A small circular box with a profile portrait of the Duke forming the lid and a summary of his importance struck to the base of copper coloured metal. The box measures 47mm in diameter [just under 2 inches] contains 13 thin card discs with the Duke’s battles with dates, all with battles on both sides apart from the one which was originally glued to the lid [Almarez, May 19, 1812] and the one for the base [Rolica & Vimiera, Augst 17 & 24, 1808]. The battles range in date from Rolica through the other Peninsular War battles to culminate in Waterloo, June 18, 1815. Originally the discs were linked by a ribbon of silk running between the two discs which make up the two pieces of paper of which each is constructed. The battles listed are Rolica & Vimiera, Almaraz, Corunna/Salamanca, Oporto/Madrid, Coimbra/Pyrenees, Busaco/Vitoria, Arroyo/Orthes, Almeida/Pampeluna, Barrosa/St Sebastian, Ciudad Rodrigo/Toulouse, Fuente de Honor/Biddassea, Talavera/Castalla, Badajos/Waterloo. As is usual this has rotted but the discs are all in decent condition.         aug2/1

These delightful little souvenirs [there was a similar one made for Nelson] are no longer easy to find. Larger boxes exist and they contained little coloured battle scenes. We include this box in the Indian section as well because of his spectacular career in India, even though those earlier battles are not recorded in this box.

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