Rare coins recovered from famous shipwrecks go under the hammer in Harborough

The sale, at Gildings Auctioneers, includes 51 coins in lots grouped in the wrecks they were recovered from, ranging from 1686 to 1806.
The coins have been recovered from some of the country's most infamous shipwrecks.The coins have been recovered from some of the country's most infamous shipwrecks.
The coins have been recovered from some of the country's most infamous shipwrecks.

Rare coins recovered from famous shipwrecks will go under the hammer at a Harborough auction.

The sale, at Gildings Auctioneers, includes 51 coins in lots grouped in the wrecks they were recovered from, ranging from 1686 to 1806.

Some 20 coins originate from the 90-gun ship HMS Association, which served the capture of Gibraltar in 1704. However, along with other vessels in the fleet, Association was wrecked on the Isles of Scilly’s notorious Western Rocks during her return voyage from the Mediterranean. Sinking in just three or four minutes with a loss of over 800 men, contributing to the total 2,000 people lost that night, it was the greatest maritime disaster of the time. The coins are expected to fetch between £1,000 and £1,500.

Another 17 coins, estimated between £850 and £1,250, were recovered from Hollandia, a Dutch East India Company ship which was wrecked on Scilly’s Gunner Rock in 1743.

The pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Hollandia, was on her maiden voyage when she went down. As well as the 276 passengers and crew, a vast load of silver, coins and personal artefacts was lost with her.

A further eight coins originate from Spanish South American colonies. They come from the 66-gun ship HMS Athenienne, which was lost off the Italian island of Sicily in 1806. A survivor’s account recalls how the masts and spars fell, with the crew attempting to make rafts to no avail.

Ship captain, Robert Raynsford, refused to abandon the sinking vessel and went down with her, alongside 347 other crew members, with 121 men and two women surviving.

The coins are estimated from £400 to £600.

Gildings’ jewellery specialist Denise Cowling said: “As a result of their direct ties to famous maritime disasters of yesteryear, we expect these coins to attract great interest.

“Due to the dramatic events associated with them and that they lay undisturbed at the bottom of the sea for hundreds of years, we expect them to realise between £2,000 and £3,000.”

Visit www.gildings.co.uk for more information.

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