Wilkinson’s of Doncaster sold 230 pieces of 16th century metalwork from the so-called Pewter Wreck.
The unprecedented auction event
followed the discovery in 2011 of the remains of a mid-16th century
ship and its cargo of European trade goods just off the coast of
Punta Cana on the island of Hispaniola.
While every lot sold for a total over
£250,000, there were undoubted bargains to be had.
A Wiltshire collector, who had viewed the
sale in South Yorkshire but was bidding on the internet, had taken
a £1000 punt on one of a small number of lots that remained in
their excavated state and appeared later in the sale.
Careful use of a mallet and wooden wedges to
remove a thick layer of calcium carbonate have since revealed a
total of nine puntschotels or pointed dishes by
Sir Thomas Curtis of London c.1550.
Although they were not all in the best
condition (several were cracked and corroded) an ongoing cleaning
process has revealed remarkable levels of preservation to some -
with three still showing the turning rings acquired when these
unused plates were 'finished' on the lathe.
A full report of the sale on November 24
which one dealer called "a once in a lifetime opportunity" appears
in this week's ATG.