Permanent exhibition

Maritime Collection - The Nelson Collection

Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation-Maritime Collection - The Nelson Collection

Unique artefacts of nautical history

The Maritime Collection of the Foundation consists of individual collections related to the sea and shipping. Includes rare nautical instruments, medical instruments and items carried on ships of previous centuries, items recovered from shipwrecks, early 20th century divers’ uniforms, natural marine finds, paintings and artwork, navigation charts, maritime publications, as well as the archive of hydrobiologist Dr. Constantinos Laskaridis on ichthyology, oceanography and all fishing.

The Collection's sections

Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation-The Nelson Collection

The Nelson Collection

The largest collection about the English Admiral and national hero Horatio Nelson outside the UK.

It includes personal items, dozens of letters and documents relating to Lord Nelson, his wartime action and his turbulent life.

The collection is accompanied and documented by an extensive library about the Admiral and his times.

In winter 2022-2023, part of the Foundation’s Nelson collection was exhibited at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) at the Nelson Gallery, Portsmouth, England, under the title “Nelson in his own words”.

The digital part of this exhibition is accessible HERE.  These are personal letters and documents that were first presented to the general public, as very few had been published in the past. Through his correspondence, a unique insight emerges about the life and occupations of Vice-Admiral Nelson.

The letters in the collection were written during the turbulent years in which Nelson’s fame had reached its peak: from the breaking news of the Battle of the Nile, from his relationship with Emma Hamilton to a few days before his death at the Battle of Trafalgar, which was his greatest victory. Some of the letters Nelson sent while at sea in the Atlantic and others from the Mediterranean, some were written while he was in a hurry to get his furniture to HMS Victory or as he chased the French Fleet. We can imagine them being signed and sealed, sent by boat, transported by boat and carriages to the houses of his friends and family. All together, they enliven thoughts and illuminate the character of the famous admiral, professionally and personally.

Collection catalogue
Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation-Nautical Instruments Collection

Nautical Instruments Collection

The collection includes rare nautical and navigational instruments (sextants, tetrants, octants, compasses, telescopes, etc.), century-old medical and design instruments, items recovered from shipwrecks, diving equipment and other nautical memorabilia.

The exhibits reconstruct moments of sailors’ daily life, from the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th.

Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation-Collection of Bone Ship Models

Collection of Bone Ship Models

An exquisit collection of ship models, built by French prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), who were imprisoned in camps in England.

Among them were artisans and apprentices experienced in working with ivory, who used their food leftovers, the bones, and made ship models in order to earn some money by selling them. Human or animal hair was used for the ships’ rigging. Not all models may be exact replicas of real ships, but the end result is quite often a masterpiece.

Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation-Scrimshaw Collection

Scrimshaw Collection

The art of the 19th century’s whalers is presented in a collection of numerous objects. A technique that was originally used to make tools, has evolved into a very interesting art form.

Designs carved on the teeth or bones of marine mammals (whales, walruses, dolphins), capture their daily life, but also what they miss from land.

Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation-Collection of Lighthouse parts

Collection of Lighthouse parts

The collection includes items on loan from the Hellenic Navy’s Lighthouse Department.

The lighting mechanism of the Cape Maleas lighthouse, which adorns the garden of the Historical Library, stands out. It is complete, with the lighting body and its rotation mechanism, as well as the impressive Fresnel-type lens.