ATOCHA PILOT’S COMPASS SUNDIAL DATED 1615 Mel Fisher SHIPWRECK PIRATE TREASURE Appraised at $75,000 this Historic Ivory Compass Sundial found in 1986 by Mel Fisher and crew in the Pilot’s Treasure Chest that was in his Cabin. Inside were several navigational instruments, Eight pieces of 2 Escudos, several bags of Silver and of course this Ivory Compass Sundial. We know the Pilot was Martin Jimenez (highest ranking Officer aboard the Atocha). Perhaps most astounding is that after over 350 years the lid still retains the DATE of 1615. Ivory after all is an organic material and atypically can withstand such long periods of submersion of salt water. Knowing the actual ownership of this particular piece is really amazing, especially considering there are none even in museums around the world that have such an artifact from such a famed Shipwreck. This opportunity is beyond RARE! Please read the 11 page appraisal and Historical facts disclosed in the featured sheets, as I’m sure you’ll find it quite Mesmerizing. It is our honor to offer such an important piece of Shipwreck History ~ The Pilot’s Compass Sundial.
“OUR LADY of ATOCHA,” SANK IN 1622 OFF THE FLORIDA KEYS, HAVANA BOUND FOR SPAIN. HER GALLEON FILLED WITH ALL TREASURE: GOLD, SILVER, COPPER, TOBACCO, GEMS, AND JEWELRY. SHE NEVER MADE IT OUT OF VERACRUZ TO HAVANA – TO JOIN THE FLEET OF THE TIERRA FIRME (MAINLAND) FLEET. HER TREASURE WAS SO ENORMOUS THAT IT TOOK 2 MONTHS TO LOAD THE GALLEON FULL (IN THE SUMMER OF 1622 IN WHAT IS NOW PANAMA CITY). SHE SET SAIL 6 WEEKS BEHIND SCHEDULE ON SEPTEMBER 4TH, 1622. ONLY TWO DAYS LATER ON THE 6TH, SHE WAS PUSHED ONTO THE CORAL REEFS BY A SEVERE HURRICANE (APPROX. 35 MILES WEST OF “KEY WEST.”) ALL BUT 3 SAILORS AND TWO SLAVES DROWNED QUICKLY AS HER HULL WAS RIPPED APART BADLY.
AUTHORITIES IN SPAIN DISPATCHED FIVE MORE SHIPS AFTER RECEIVING THE NEWS FROM OTHER SURVIVING SHIPS IN EFFORTS TO SALVAGE BOTH THE ATOCHA AND HER SISTER SHIP THE “SANTA MARGARITA,” WHICH HAD ALSO RUN AGROUND NEAR THE ATOCHA. DUE TO THE GALLEONS SITTING IN 55’ OF OCEAN AND YET A SECOND HURRICANE HITTING (FURTHER SCATTERING THE TREASURE) THE FOLLOWING MONTH, SALVAGE EFFORTS WERE SEVERLY HINDERED. WITH THE HELP OF INDIAN SLAVES, OVER A COURSE OF YEARS, ALMOST HALF THE TREASURE WAS RECOVERED FROM THE SANTA MARGARITA. THIS WAS MAINLY ACCOMPLISHED, CRUDELY ENOUGH, BY SENDING SLAVES DOWN IN A BRASS MAKESHIFT DIVING BELL (WITH A WINDOW ON THE SIDE). MANY OF THESE EFFORTS ENDED IN DEATH FOR THE SLAVES.
SPAIN’S SHIPWRECKED TREASURE CAUSED NOTHING SHORT OF DEVESTATION TO IT’S FINANCES, WHICH WERE IN DIER NEED TO FUND THEIR 30 YEAR WAR. THIS FORCED THEM TO BORROW MONEY AND SELL OFF GALLEONS TO RAISE THE MUCH NEEDED FUNDS. ALTHOUGH THE SPANISH RECOVERY EFFORTS WERE SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL OVER 10 YEARS, THEY NEVER DID FIND THE “ATHOCHA!” FINALLY, AFTER 16.5 YEARS OF SEARCHING SHE WAS FINALLY DISCOVERED IN 1985 BY MEL FISHER (TREASURE SALVORS), PRODUCING HER GOLD AND RARE MUZO EMERALDS. MOST OF THE GOLD AND SILVER COINS WERE MINTED BETWEEN 1598 TO 1621 (THERE WERE ALSO EARLIER DATES, EVEN AS FAR BACK AS THE EARLY 1500’S ON BOARD). TREASURE IS STILL BEING BROUGHT UP TO THIS DAY. RECENTLY, IN JUNE 2011 AN EMERALD AND GOLD RING WAS BROUGHT UP BY TREASURE DIVERS FROM MEL FISHER’S CREW THAT WAS VALUED AT OVER $500,000 (35 MILES FROM KEY WEST).