Rare 1754 Portugal Peca from the Clive of India Shipwreck
Item #CC-0388 | 1754 Portugal Peca from the Clive of India Shipwreck
Ruler/Period: King José I of Portugal
Grade: UNC Details
Provenance: Clive of India Shipwreck – Spink Coin Auction 143, September 28, 2000
For details on this coin from NGC, click on the serial number here: 6527574-001
Description: This gorgeous and rare coin was recovered from the famous shipwreck known as “The Clive of India“.
In 1755 Captain Robert Clive (1725-74), the decorated military hero of the British Navy, decided to return to India where he had made his fortune. Packing up £3,000 worth of gold coins in a chest marked “R.C.” along with his belongings, he and his wife tried to book passage on the East Indiaman ship named the Dodington. The Dodington belonged to the British East India Company where Clive’s cargo was accepted. However, a cabin was not available, so Clive and his wife booked themselves on an alternative ship, the Stretham. The Doddington sailed from Dover, England on April 22nd, 1755 bound for Fort St. George in India under the command of Captain James Sampson. The Doddington sailed in the company of the Stretham (carrying Clive of India), the Pelham, Edgecote, and Houghton. After seven weeks, the Doddington rounded the Cape of Good Hope of South Africa and on one fateful stormy night, she struck a rock in Algoa Bay and sank.
Of the original crew and passengers of 270, only 23 survived while the other 247 passengers and crew went down with the ship. The castaways subsisted for seven months on fish, birds, and eggs on a nearby island, which they named Bird Island. One of their number, a carpenter, was able to help them build a sloop, the Happy Deliverance, on which they were finally able to get off the island on February 16th, 1756.
The Clive of India treasure remained lost until it was found in 1997 by scuba divers.
Other than the matte finish of the coin which is the result of being submerged in the ocean for over 250 years, the coin looks to be uncirculated. The obverse legend of the coin reads “JOSEPHUS. I. D. G. PORT. ET. ALG. REX“, which being interpreted means “Jose the First, by the Grace of God, King of Portugal and the Algarves” On the reverse, you see the Coat of Arms of José I, with an italic shield, asymmetrical ornaments, in baroque style.
This rare coin is a beautiful specimen with a rich history and perfect for anyone who collects 18th century gold or shipwreck treasure!
For more information on the Dodington and her fate, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doddington_(East_Indiaman)
For more information on The Clive of India, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Clive