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£13,000 vase up for auction

PUBLISHED: 12:44 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 12:15 07 May 2010

Royal Worcester's Les Halls with the unique £Nelson vase which 200 man hours to make. Photo:  Simon Finlay.

Royal Worcester's Les Halls with the unique £Nelson vase which 200 man hours to make. Photo: Simon Finlay.

It might set you back the same amount as a new car but this very special 250th birthday souvenir is one of a kind.

The vase's reverse side. Photo:  Simon Finlay.

It might set you back the same amount as a new car but this very special 250th birthday souvenir is one of a kind.

And the unique completely hand-crafted Nelson vase yesterday got its first airing in Norfolk - birthplace of the hero it commemorates.

The piece was commissioned by an unnamed Norfolk collector to celebrate the vice-admiral's birth at Burnham Thorpe 250 years ago in September, but he has allowed its creators at Royal Worcester to make just nine more to order only.

Standing at nearly 2ft tall, it took 200 man hours to make and at the moment is the only one in the world.

Royal Worcester, which unveiled it at Jarrold department store in Norwich, has already received an order for the next one at £12,995 without the plinth made from wood and copper from HMS Victory, but it is unlikely to be finished before the year is up.

In addition to 168 hours of free-hand painting, the painstaking creation of the vase involved 11 hours of gilding and another 5½ hours of polishing the gold. It underwent eight firings up to a maximum temperature of 1,235 degrees centigrade, where any mishaps would have led to the complete loss of the piece.

To contact Royal Worcester, visit the basement at Jarrold, call 01603 660661 ext 257 or go to www.royalworcester.co.uk

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