Ahoy Me Hearties! - 11/02/2013
From the seven seas to Hansons Derbyshire showroom – a pair of Spanish coins recovered from the wreck of the H.M.S Association will be offered in our forthcoming Antique & Collectors sale on 21st, 22nd and 23rd February. The H.M.S Association launched from Portsmouth Dockyard in 1697, and was in use at the capture of Gibraltar, but lost at sea mysteriously in 1707. Described as the ‘greatest maritime disaster of the age,’ the wreck was left at the bottom of the ocean until dredged up in 1967.
H.M.S Association held many treasures from the bottom of the ocean, including two rare coins, the currency of pirates!! One is a 17th century ‘COB,’ a Spanish currency. Unusually shaped, this coin details the history of Spain, as this currency was cut crudely into shapes of an accurate weight, in preparation for its melting down and using in jewellery etc. Often pillaged and plundered for, this currency should entice many a landlubber to our Auction Centre in Derbyshire.
Also uncovered from the wreck was a sterling example of the infamous ‘piece of eight.’ The world’s first global currency, pieces of eight, or eight reales were used across the vast Spanish Empire and often outside it too – by buccaneers and seadogs no doubt!
The legacy of these coins endures, as they are often associated with merciless battles of the Seven Seas. In Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Long John Silver’s parrot had been trained to cry out “Pieces of eight!” Furthermore, in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe sells his native companion Xury for sixty pieces of eight; despite admitting “I was very loth to sell the poor boy’s liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own.” The sole association of pieces of eight and pirates thus grew, and now they are commonly used in films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean pentalogy.
So shiver me timbers! – set sail to Hansons Auction Centre on 21st, 22nd and 23rd February and purchase these coins retrieved straight from Davy Jones’ Locker, with a swash-buckling estimate of £30-£50
These Coins sold for £460