Intact silver wine goblet marked twice with crowned-pomegranate silversmith mark, ex-Atocha (1622).

Currency:USD Category:Artifacts / Shipwreck Artifacts Start Price:4,000.00 USD Estimated At:5,000.00 - 10,000.00 USD
Intact silver wine goblet marked twice with crowned-pomegranate silversmith mark, ex-Atocha (1622).
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Intact silver wine goblet marked twice with crowned-pomegranate silversmith mark, ex-Atocha (1622). 136 grams, 4" tall, 3" across the top. see separate writeup From the Atocha (1622), with original Fisher photo-certificate 85A-A131 and archeological drawings by K. Amundson, also with cover letter to a previous owner from the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society that says: "From June 2006 through July 2011 your silver cup was highlighted as some of the rare surviving examples of 17th century silversmiths. Museum visitors marveled at your silver cup. It is with great remorse that we return this fabulous artifact to you."

In 1985 a very interesting conglomerate was found near the Atocha “mother lode” that consisted of seven exceptionally well-crafted silver artifacts, all bearing a crowned-pomegranate silversmith mark, that were probably the possessions of one wealthy traveler. Two more objects from the same shipment were found elsewhere (one of them years later). Four of these relics were offered in the original Christie's (New York) auction of June 1988 in a separate section within the catalog entitled 'CROWN AND POMEGRANATE' GROUP, lots 69 through 72, and sold as follows: Lot 69 (incense burner), sold for $11,000; lot 70 (castor), sold for $13,200; lot 71 (gilt rosewater dish), sold for $49,500; and lot 72 (gilt two-handled cup), sold for $165,000. All the “exceptional quality” pieces with this unique silversmith mark, which was attributed to Colombia because of the pomegranate, were specially noted on page 33 of the Christie’s catalog, with a footnote on the following page specifically mentioning the present goblet as not being auctioned but rather “now in a private collection” (a Chicago banker known to us).

To value such a piece it is useful to superimpose the Christie’s results onto the “point values” given by Treasure Salvors in 1986. It was these point values that determined what the investors received, and all the artifacts had to be accurately assessed, at least relative to each other. The Christie's lots had the following point values: Lot 69 (incense burner), 333.33 points; lot 70 (castor), 1388.89 points; lot 71 (gilt rosewater dish), 5555.56 points; and lot 72 (gilt two-handled cup), 6666.67 points. As stated on its accompanying original certificate, the silver goblet we are offering here was assigned 2222 points, placing it somewhere between the castor and the rosewater dish in initially recognized importance, therefore establishing a value range of $13,000 to $50,000 for our goblet based on the Christie's prices realized. Clearly, unique items like these have value well beyond the normal coins and bullion from this wreck.

It is also worth noting that this goblet (XRF tested at 92.32% silver) and its companion pieces were deemed so important that Treasure Salvors' archeologists made special drawings for them, included in the accompanying documents for this lot. Also included are letters relating to the fact that the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society Museum borrowed this piece from the consignor for display in their 2006-2011 exhibit “La Plata del Mar: Silver of the Sea.”

It is not hard to see why the Fisher Museum chose this piece to display, as it is perfectly intact—not dented or misshapen in any way, which is amazing considering how thin the rim is—and its surfaces are pristine, with minimal corrosion only inside the cup. The two stampings near the rim are bold and fully detailed. The ringed stem is very solid, as is the round base. It is unquestionably one of the most impressive objects we have ever seen from the Atocha.