Lot 283: Royal Navy vessel under the command of William Bligh sent to Tahiti in 1787 to acquire breadfruit plants; the ship's master, Fletcher Christian, led a mutiny and seized command on April 28, 1789, after the mutineers attempted to build a colony on the island of Tubuai. Curved bronze sheathing nail recovered from the HMS Bounty, approximately 1? long, affixed to the original transmittal letter by Luis Marden, who recovered this nail from the remains of the ship after discovering it at the bottom of Bounty Bay at Pitcairn Island. The letter is on National Geographic Society letterhead, August 2, 1971, in part: "This was recovered by me in 1957 from the bottom of Bounty Bay at Pitcairn Island, in some thirty feet of water…This nail is from the remains of the Bounty and was used to fasten the copper sheathing to the hull below the waterline." Framed to an overall size of 8 x 11. In fine condition, with toning to the glue used to affix the nail to the letter. The HMS Bounty vessel itself was built in 1784, purchased and refit by the Royal Navy in 1787, and burned and sunken on January 23, 1790—making this nail approximately 225 years old, recovered after spending 167 years at the bottom of the sea.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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