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Florence Nightingale’s desk lamp to go under the hammer

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A rare 150-year-old brass lamp that belonged to Florence Nightingale is to appear at auction later this year.

The 10” tall lamp still contains remnants of a very old candle, the flicker of which would have been greatly reflected by a canopy that is no longer in place.

The lamp originates from Lea Hurst, Florence Nightingale’s family home near Matlock in Derbyshire. It was here that Ms Nightingale returned in 1856 and wrote about her experiences in the Crimean War.

The lamp, which has been given a guide price of £1,000-2,000, will feature in Hansons Auctioneers’ summer fine arts and antiques auction on 26 June.

Charles Hanson, manager of Hansons Auctioneers, said the lamp had been given as a gift by Ms Nightingale to some of her servants.

“Our clients ancestor’s sister had two daughters who as young ladies went in to service at Florence’s home, Lea Hurst in the 1850s,” he said.

“When the Nightingale family took the decision to leave Lea Hurst and the sisters were informed they would no longer be required they were given this lamp by Florence and told ‘to take best care of it’, which by descent is now with its current owner,” he added.

Mr Hanson said he expected the object to create worldwide interest at the auction.

“I really hope the lamp stays in Britain and is placed in a Florence Nightingale Museum perhaps in London or even stays within Derbyshire,” he added.

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