Would you buy a lock of Lord Nelson's hair?

Three locks of Lord Admiral Nelson's hair are expected to sell for more than £2,000 when they go up for auction in his home county of Norfolk.

The naval commander died in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar meaning, if the hair is genuine, it is more than 200 years old.

Two locks of Lord Admiral Nelson's hair which will go up for sale in Norfolk in July 2020 Credit: ITV News Anglia

Experts at Keys Auctioneers in Aylsham, who are running the auction, are convinced they are the real thing.

Both come with inscriptions which claim they were passed along through his family.

Both have inscriptions: one given by Horatia, Nelson's daughter, and the other by Suzanna who was Nelson's sister and was married to the recipient of the second lock of hair. Provenance is a little bit tricky in these situations but we're quite confident the provenance through the family is correct.

David Broom, Keys Auctioneers Aylsham

For Keys, the locks are the star lots of a sale that will include dozens of pieces of Nelson memorabilia including a copy of his death mask and a porcelain cup and saucer which are also thought to have belonged to him.

A copy of Horatio Nelson's death mask is among dozens of auction lots in a sale of memorabilia taking place in Norfolk in July 2020 Credit: ITV News Anglia

They were all part of a collection belonging to the late Norfolk historian Ron Fiske - who was a founding member of the Nelson Society and a former chairman. He died in 2018.

Having been born at Burnham Thorpe, in north Norfolk, Nelson has long been considered a local hero in the Anglia region as well as a national one.

He was celebrated as a British naval commander thanks to his victories over the French during the Napoleonic Wars.

But more recently, his heroic status has come into question with some - including the Topple the Racists campaign group - suggesting statues of him should be taken down.

They claim Nelson was a supporter of the slave trade - opposing the abolition of slavery and describing the abolitionist William Wilberforce as "damnable" in a letter in 1805.

Earlier this month, a statue in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral was defaced.

Statue of Nelson in Norwich found sprayed with graffiti

Anti-racism activists reveal list of monuments they want removed

A statue of Horatio Nelson in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral was defaced in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests Credit: ITV Anglia

The Nelson Society rejects those claims, insisting Nelson's over-riding ethos was "to serve his country".

Auctioneers Keys said the controversy did not seem to have diminished interest in the sale.

He was a man of his time. He was not a saint by any means so there are parts of his character that perhaps we now need to see in a greater context and perspective but certainly this collection honours the fact that his military, or his naval achievements, were at the time extremely significant for this country.

David Broom, Keys Auctioneers

The auction will take place on Wednesday July 29. Online bids only - so don't turn up to the auction house - but viewing appointments can be made.

View the sale catalogue here.