Our featured treasure for the month of March is this delicate hand carved Madonna and Child. This item was found south of the McLarty Treasure Museum in 1977. The location of the discovery places it in the area of the Survivors and Salvagers’ Camp established by those that survived the hurricane that destroyed the 1715 Fleet.
This artifact is 2 ¼ inches high by 1 ¾ inches wide. The image is surrounded by a copper based metal with traces of gold gilding. The fact that it was a land find accounts for its remarkable state of preservation. Also remarkable is the fact that the image is not silver or gold. A recent analysis reveals that it is actually ivory.
There has not been a study conducted that we are aware of that examines the population of ivory icons recovered from the Fleet. The best source of this information would be the State of Florida Collection. Such a study might make an interesting article for future publication.
This extremely rare item is in a private collection.