Sunday, August 17, 2014

8/17/14 Report - The Purpose of the Mysterious 1715 Fleet Inscriptions Solved. Zacharias Blessing. Found Bronze Shipwreck Pins.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Cross Showing Zacharias Blessing.
There are times when you slap yourself in the head and mutter, "I should have known that."  It happens. 

It is hard to keep everything in memory.  And sometimes you knew something and then it just doesn't come to mind at the right time.   Fortunately a lot of good people read this blog and participate.  They are people that pitch in and help me when I almost knew or should have known something, but also when I have absolutely no clue.  Both of those happened recently.  I'm glad I have the help of so many well-informed people.

Jason H. sent the following concerning the bronze pins I showed yesterday.  ... The photos shown are hull pins. Used for the bottom of the boat the "washer" type rings help keep the boards together in open ocean or rough seas.  Hull pins are round and usually about twice the thickness as spikes. Spikes are usually square , but not always.

Thanks much Jason!

Eric L. added.   Your bronze rod with the washers is pretty standard fare for an old wooden ship. Made a few of those myself in my shipwright days. We usually would refer to the long ones as drift rods. Essentially a long rivet for timber work. The washers were referred to as roves.

If there's fancy markings on them it was for something fancy and visible, no telling what. Often used in keel work or when joining other heavy timbers in the marine world. One of the advantages was if things got to working loose you would put a heavy dead weight on one side and peen the other taking up any slack and making it tight again.

Very common before threaded bolts were common but still used by some traditional builders.

Thanks Eric!

I also learned about the inscriptions found on the 1715 Fleet rings and bracelet.  I posted those inscriptions yesterday.

Jonathan W. gave me a link to a Wikipedia article which shows that the following formula is a abbreviated form of what is known as Zacharias' blessing.

+ Z + DIA + BIS + SAB + Z + HGF + BFRS

Here is the link.

Here is part of what it says.

Seems the article is in German, but the above is a translation. 

The picture at the top of the post, which shows the cross bearing the inscription was found on a link submitted by Trez.

It seems the inscription was used as early as 1546.  Originally it was to ward off the plague, but it seems was later used to ward off other bad things.  I also read that a Bishop wore a bracelet with the inscription.

Thanks to Jonathan and Trez.

One of the readers of this blog is working on a very exciting project.  I was invited to participate but couldn't make it.   I wish I could tell you about it.  Maybe some day I will be able to.  Very exciting. 

The weather system coming off of Africa is still out there but still only has a 10% chance of becoming a hurricane in the next couple of days.  It is still closer to Africa than us.

In the mean time on the Treasure Coast, our one-foot surf is predicted to continue for about a week.

Happy hunting,