Christie's Auctioneers become 500th member of            The 1805 Club

The 1805 Club, the only organisation that conserves and maintains monuments and memorials to Lord Nelson and the Royal Navy of the Georgian era, has just welcomed aboard its 500th member -Christie's auctioneers.

This landmark in the Club's 16 year history coincides with the end of the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar when both the battle and Nelson took centre stage nationally and internationally.

As a result of the unparalleled interest stimulated by the 200th anniversary's programme of exciting and numerous activities, the Club's membership grew steadily throughout the year and Christie's became its 500th member just before Christmas.

Christie's joining of the Club as a corporate member was spearheaded by Charles Miller, specialist in maritime collectibles based in South Kensington, London.

Since his appointment to the department in 1995, Charles has sought to emphasise its importance and introduced new collectors to a wide variety of historic pieces - from ship models to maritime instruments and memorabilia.

Christie's has set several world auction records in this increasingly popular category, most notably the £663,750 achieved for an early 18th century Admiralty Board Model (November 2003); also a Gibraltar Chronicle Extraordinary from 22 October 1805 containing the first London reports of the Battle of Trafalgar, which fetched £9,400 (November 2000).

Charles said Christie's was pleasantly surprised to find itself helping the Club reach this milestone so close to the bicentenary year of the famous Battle of Trafalgar. "We look forward to building on our long history of Maritime and Naval sales alongside the Club," he said.

Club Chairman, Peter Warwick, said: "This demonstrates the growing importance of the Club. Our association with Christie's will be of particular interest to our many members who specialise in collecting memorabilia relating to Nelson and the Royal Navy. Their collections have added considerably to our understanding of the period."