In this section of our Photo Gallery we are pleased to exhibit what we call the “Treasures of the State of Florida Collection”. Beginning in the early 60’s, the State of Florida authorized private salvage operations in Florida waters by implementing a program of leasing arrangements. The leases required each operator to share with the state a certain portion of recovered treasure. Through an annual “division” of finds with its leasees the State of Florida acquired a vast collection of Spanish colonial coins and artifacts.
This collection is now under the care of the Bureau of Archaeological Research and is located at the Archaeological Collections and Conservation Lab In Tallahassee, Florida. It is not often that one gets an opportunity to “peek” into the Lab and get a glimpse of this rich historical treasure trove. Fortunately, through permission obtained by the 1715 Fleet Society, this opportunity presents itself. Each item featured below is identified by a special inventory number. The official description of the coin or artifact is just as it is found in the directory maintained by the Bureau of Archaeological Reasarch.
Credit for the use of these photographs goes to the Florida Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research.
SPECIAL THANKS to David Dickel, Florida Division of Historical Resources for his help in securing these photographs and supplying
1715 Dated Mexican Eight Reales
A tremendous quantity of silver coinage sailed in the hulls of the 1715 Fleet. By themselves the Capitana and the Almiranta of Ubilla’s Nueva Espana Flota carried 2390 chests of Mexican cob reales at 3000 pesos per chest. Over the last 50 years the state of Florida has amassed an amazing collection of 2200 cob reales (92% Mexian cobs).
Dr. Alan Craig has studied this collection and in 2000 published an excellent monograph on this subject. Recently, through the kind auspices of the Florida Division of Historical Resources, we were provided with high resolution images of all of the fully dated or partially dated 1715 Mexico Eight reales in the State of Florida Collection. Consisting of 105 images (obverse and reverse) the Fleet Society is proud and honored to be given permission to showcase these coins. We will be featuring these coins in three groups of 35 coins each. Our first offering is below. We hope you enjoy them.
We would like to thank Marie Prentice, Senior Archaeologist with the Bureau of Archaeological Research, who very graciously agreed to photograph the cobs in question that reside in the Florida Collection. Also, I would like to thank David Rinehart of Melbourne, Florida who has been doing research on 1715 dated Mexico Eight reales who arranged for the Fleet Society to get a copy of the DVD-R that was created by Marie Prentice and her staff. All images are courtesy of the Florida Division of Historical Resources.
6 thoughts on “Treasures From the State of Florida Collection”
Incredible pics and great insight into the FL collection, thanks for displaying!
If you ever vacation in Florida, you owe yourself the favor of visiting the Museum of Florida History in The State Capitol and seeing these shipwreck recoveries “in person”! GO TO: The Museum of Florida History / 500 S. Bronough St. / Tallahassee, FL 32399 / PH: 850.245.6400. You will thank me one day! –SeaScribe
Why is that gold platter being called a “Cocoa Pot Tray” ? It would be really interesting to see some evidence of that. It is a unique
piece and I’ve never seen anything like it in any books or publications since I found it back in 1977.
An absolutely astounding collection, it was very interesting to be able to look through! Thanks for posting.
It would be nice if the wreck, the discovering vessel, and the year found was displayed. Also, how about the gold coins? I found what was called a mint test coin, in 1988, on Fred Douglass, that I would like to see. It was a one escudo. It had no date, mint mark, or assayed, just dots.
Does anyone know if any experiments have been done which recreate and fire expanding bar shot? If so, where can I read the published findings and/or see video of the experiments?