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DATELINE: Vero Beach, Florida

Pelican of Piety

Today we contacted Captain Bonnie Schubert. Bonnie is the treasure salvor who in the summer of 2010 recovered this magnificent Gold Pelican. Bonnie skippered the “Gold Hawg” and was working the Douglass Beach site as a sub-contractor for 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewel, LLC.  Bonnie, who is a big supporter of the 1715 Fleet Society, talked to us about the negotiations that recently concluded with the state of Florida. Regarding the Gold Pelican, she said its sale at auction or by private treaty is now anticipated.  Bonnie very much hopes funds can be raised to purchase and donate the Gold Pelican to a Florida Museum.

A leading authority on Spanish Colonial Florida, Dr Eugene Lyon, first identified the religious iconography of the Pelican. The theme of a “pelican in her piety” was often explored in Spanish and Spanish Colonial art of this era. Without question this Gold Pelican is one of the most significant artifacts recovered from the 1715 Fleet. Finely worked in 22K, The Golden Pelican weighs 177 grams and stands just under 14 cm. For more information, please visit Bonnie’s website at

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