Hollandia Treasure Wreck
Hollandia was a ship belonging to the Dutch East India Company which was wrecked in the area of Gunner Rock, NWW of the uninhabited island of Annet in the Isles of Scilly on 13 June 1743. 276 people died in the wreck.
Hollandia was 150 feet long, 40 feet wide and weighed about 700 tons. The Hollandia was thought to be carrying at least 40 cannon. Her cargo included 129,700 silver coins.
Salvage of the Hollandia Treasure
A diver named Rex Cowan began searching for the Hollandia in 1967 and began salvage operations in the Gunner Rock area in 1971. Rex Cowan's dive team, Lt. Cdr. Jack Gayton, Nowell Pearce, Terence Hiron, James Heslin and magnetometer operator Anthony Lonsdale, recovered 35,000 silver coins and many other artifacts, including a very rare Dutch bronze mortar made by Ciprianu Jansz Crans of Amsterdam, from the Hollandia. They were later sold at auction.
Sale of the Hollandia Treasure
Above: Cover of the auction catalogue for the sale of the Hollandia treasure on 21st of September, 1973.
The coins and artefacts recovered by Rex Cowan's divers were sold at the auction house of W. H. Lane and Son. located in Penzance, Cornwall on Friday 21st of September, 1973.
Above: A photograph of a selection of coins from the Hollandia wreck treasure. © W. H. Lane and Son./Keith Dugdale/Rex Cowan.
- The Hollandia Treasure, Catalogue Of Coins And Other Artifacts
- Treasure Lost at Sea: Diving to the World's Great Shipwrecks
- Maritime Archaeology: A Technical Handbook