Sunday, February 10, 2013

2/10/13 Report - Franciscan Religious Medallions, Olive Jar Stoppers & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The Spanish vessel El Buen Consejo, carrying thousands of bronze religious medallions which were being taken by Franciscan priests to the Phillipines, wrecked near Anguilla on June 8, 1772. Another Spanish vessel, El Prusiano, sank along with the El Buen Consejo.
It appears that those religious medallions were illegally removed from Anguilla and were being sold on eBay for hundreds of dollars each.   I had noticed them listed on eBay myself.
Some have now been returned to Anguilla.
Here is the link for more of the story.

Some time ago someone wrote in saying they thought they had found olive jar "stoppers."  Most Spanish colonial olive jars that I am aware of were closed with corks not ceramic stoppers.  Corks were often found in salvaged olive jars as they were pushed in by water pressure as they sank.

While cork seems to be the more common closure for olive jars, I did find mention of a couple of ceramic closures.  Unfortunately I haven't found a picture or illustration of the shape of those.  The ceramic stoppers were mentioned by Stephen James Jr. in the following study of olive jars.

Here is the reference.

An Olive Jar assemblage recovered from the River
Rance in France contained two ceramic closures.
Unlike the Fort Louisbourg specimens, the Rance
examples taper from top to bottom, and one
specimen has a handle (Langouet 1973:lOl).

The same study also mentioned that wax was used to seal ceramic disk closures.

People use whatever they find that works.  I suspect that artifacts are not as uniform as our generalizations derived from the few objects found and studied.

Here is the link if you want to read the study on olive jars.

Dug Copper Object.
Talking about stoppers: here is a dug object.  Obviously a plug of some sort.  It seems I should know what this is but can't quite place it.  Do you recognize it?  It's bugging me because I feel like I  know what it is.

The wind has picked up today  along the Treasure Coast.  The surf web site says that the wind is from the east today, but looking out my window it looks more like from the southeast this morning.

The surf is to be up to about three feet today and four feet tomorrow, going back down to three feet on Tuesday.

I like the wind strength and direction this morning even though it isn't likely to significantly improve conditions for finding shipwreck coins.  The way it looks, I would expect some refreshing of the front beaches and the swash area that I've been talking about in recent posts.

At least we're not getting three feet of snow.

Here is the Fort Pierce web cam view.

Of course you can take a look at the other web cams around the Treasure Coast too.

Happy hunting,