William III silver Crown, 1696
Obverse: Third, laureate and draped bust facing right, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding: GVLIELMVS. III. DEI. GRA.
Reverse Crowned cruciform shields, Lion of Nassau at centre, early harp, date either side of top crown (1696), with Latin legend surrounding: .MAG. BR.FRA. ET.HIB. REX.
Edge inscribed in raised letters and dated, +.+.DECVS. ET. TVTAMEN. .ANNO. REGNI. OCTAVO.
S.3472, Bull 1004
40 mm in diameter, 28.4 grams.
A scarce full crown from the reign of William III from this famous now highly sought after shipwreck.
*Complete with an original issued HMS Association certificate.
The sinking of HMS Association and the four others in a fleet of 21 returning from the Mediterranean was one of the worst British naval disasters of all time.
The Association sank on October 22nd 1707 under stormy conditions after what can only be described as guess work navigation, that led the ships straight onto the rocks of the Scilly Isles. Where as many as 2,000 sailors lost their lives as a result. The admiral of the fleet, Sir Clowdisley Shovell, whose ten chests of personal wealth, in addition to several other chests that were rumoured to be aboard the Association, was one of the casualties of the sinking, although legend has it he reached the shore alive, only to be murdered there by a local woman for a ring on his finger.
The wreck site was located in 1967 by British Navy divers, starting off a frenzy of activity on the site for years to come. Cannons and a few coins were raised in the 1960s, but it was not till 1973 that a significant amount of coins were found (8,000 in that year alone). These coins, mostly British silver milled and gold but also many Spanish and Spanish-American silver cobs were sold at auction beginning in 1969 and into the early 1970s.
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