HISTORY fans will fight to get their hands on a chair made from the tree that the Duke of Wellington stood under as he led his troops to victory at Waterloo.

In 1815, the Duke finally defeated Napoleon’s French army and ended the Emperor’s attempt to rule Europe.

For much of the battle in Belgium, the Duke stood under an elm tree, which was subsequently bought from the landowner by John Children, of the British Museum.

The chair was one of the items made from its wood.

It was bought at an Oxfordshire country house sale in the 1950s by a family living near Chipping Norton and is now set to be auctioned off.

It is being estimated to fetch £5,000 to £8,000, but some experts believe it could sell for more than £20,000 when it goes under the hammer in Cheltenham on Thursday, March 1.

Auctioneer and valuer Stephen Sheppard, of Tayler & Fletcher, which has an office in Chipping Norton and is organising the sale, said: “The historical provenance of the chair is well established, so between £5,000 and £8,000 is a very conservative estimate. It’s the genuine article, with a direct provenance back to John Children at the British Museum.

“Years ago, the Antiques Roadshow military expert Roy Butler turned up a cupboard made from the same tree and that made £25,000, so this chair is very difficult to price.”

The chair has ‘Wellington’ in brass lettering across the frame, and there is a plaque fixed on the back referring to the battle.

Mr Sheppard added: “It’s showing signs of age, but I believe it’s still sturdy enough to sit on.”