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Abbatucci Shipwreck Cargo Gold Pocket Watch c1869

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Directory: Antiques: Instruments and Implements: Timepieces: Pocket Watches: Pre 1900: Item # 1166083

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Roger Bradbury Antiques
Skeyton Lodge, Long Road
Skeyton, Norfolk
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Abbatucci Shipwreck Cargo Gold Pocket Watch c1869

Abbatucci Shipwreck Cargo Antique Gold Pocket Watch c1869 This is a wonderful opportunity to own a piece of maritime history Just think about what happened to this watch on that fateful day. The General Abbatucci tragically sank on the 7th May 1869 on a routine trip to Civitavecchia, Italy. As well as a normal shipment, she was said to be carrying much more exciting cargo rumoured to consist of several million French Francs destined for the Vatican, gifts for the birthday of Pope Pius IX and pay for the French army in Italy. There were many dignitaries and wealthy merchants on board, some with their families, a troop of Pontifical guards and the Pontifical Consul representing the Holy See in Marseilles. During the early hours of the morning the ship was involved in a collision 24 miles off the north Corsican coast. The General Abbatucci was holed by the 500-ton Norwegian barquentine, The Edward Hwidt. She sank within two hours. Reports after the event detailed accounts of panic-stricken noblemen desperately trying to secure their own safety by throwing jewellery, coins and watches at the feet of the crew. Their attempts however were in vain and 54 people lost their lives. An inquiry held by Italian maritime judges ruled that The General Abbatucci was negligent for failing to keep a proper look out. The Edward Hwidt was penalised for leaving the scene without attempting to rescue any survivors. The General Abbatucci and her mysterious shipment lay on the soft seabed until 127 years later when she was located in 1996. The expected cargo of gold was never found, but among the twisted metal hull and skeletal remains were pieces of jewellery, watches and coins which were recovered from a depth of over 8,000 feet. These pieces were sold at Christies Auction in 1997. It is in its original encrusted condition. It is as it was when first pulled from the seabed after 127 years of undisturbed rest. It comes with its original Certificate of Authenticity from Christies.

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