The telescope was due to be sold in Derbyshire on July 2 with an estimate of £6000-8000. The move follows queries about the item’s historical provenance and low estimate.
“We have pulled the telescope from sale pending further investigations which will be carried out with due diligence to all concerned,” Hansons Auctioneers’ owner Charles Hanson said.
“I am convinced this is an important historical object but, after listening to eminent experts on the subject of Nelson, I have decided to withdraw it from sale for further investigation."
According to Hansons’ original press release about the telescope, the Australia-based vendor said her ancestor, a cabin boy and personal servant to Lord Nelson and Captain Hardy on board HMS Victory, was given the telescope by Hardy after Nelson’s death.
Another lot withdrawn by Hansons from the same vendor was a bucket with a claimed link to Nelson, estimated at £2,000-3000.
"I appreciate concerns"
Hanson said he had “listened to those who have taken the time and trouble to contact me personally and have taken on board all they have to say. I appreciate their concerns and have acted accordingly to do what is proper and right for all concerned.”
Hanson said both objects had been displayed at the Sydney International Boat Show in 2006.
In an announcement on its website, the auction firm states:
"Following some press stories relating to the telescope and bucket believed to belong to Nelson, Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, would like to issue the following statement.
"It was our intention to share the story of the vendor in its entirety thereby allowing people to make their own decision about the authenticity of the item. The information was not new and had been published previously in the Australian press.
"The information comes from stories passed through the generations in our vendor’s family."