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Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC
Treasure Auction 21  3-4 May 2017
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Lot 2020

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Starting Price: 25000 USD
Price realized: 72500 USD

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Gold and red-coral rosary from the Atocha (1622), ex-Christie's (1988), ex-Mathewson (1986), ex-Queens Museum (1981), ex-National Geographic (1976). 26" long; 45.09 grams total; display box 7-1/2" x 6-1/2". An impressive religious jewel in an excellent state of preservation (no porosity or other typical damage), all intact, comprising 50 spherical red-coral beads representing five "decades" around the neck and three beads down to the cross, all connected with gold loops, separated by five fluted gold beads (known as "paternosters"), the ornate cross at bottom measuring 1-1/4" and consisting of equal-length baluster arms and sunburst flower in center, with integrated loop and jump-ring at top and bottom. Evidence indicates that this piece dates to the late 1500s. Generally very rare and expensive today, red coral was a popular constituent of rosaries as it was believed to protect against magic spells, going back to Greek mythology that gave red coral's origin as "the spurts of blood that gushed forth when Medusa's head was cut off by Perseus." Significant as a very early find (1973) from the ship's sterncastle in the "Quicksands" area, and with important pedigrees including various publications and exhibitions around the country (including the Queen Museum in New York City in 1981). With Fisher photo-certificate #73A-527R; pedigreed to the Christie's (New York) auction of June 1988 (lot #155); pictured on page C-28 of Duncan Mathewson's book Treasure of the Atocha (1986); pictured on page 33 of the Queens Museum's SHIPWRECKED: 1622 - The Lost Treasure of Philip IV (1981); and pictured in the June 1976 issue of National Geographic magazine (page 806), a copy of which accompanies this lot. Recovered from: Atocha, sunk in 1622 west of Key West, Florida (Estimate: $25000 - 50000)
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