Auction off Select Items From Fisher’s Collection
Noteworthy Collectibles Being Sold from the Spanish Galleon, Nuestra Señora de Atocha.
On July 20, 1985, American treasure hunter Mel Fisher discovered the sunken treasure of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the most famous member of a fleet of Spanish ships that sank in 1622 after sailing into a violent hurricane. To mark the thirty-year anniversary of this astonishing discovery, on August 5 New York City-based auction house Guernsey’s will auction off select items from Fisher’s esteemed Collection. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Michael Abt, Jr. Have a Heart Foundation, which works to provide Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to schools nationwide.
Known to many as the most successful treasure hunter of all time, Fisher’s remarkable and dedicated efforts lead to the discovery of many noteworthy undersea wrecks. The $450 million dollar cache or «Atocha Motherload» was discovered after a 16-year search by Fisher and his team. His work, well-documented in both print and film, also lead to landmark decisions by the United States Supreme Court, which confirmed Fisher’s ownership to recovered treasure.
Fisher’s daily mantra, «Today’s the Day!», kept his spirits alive throughout this lengthy and costly expedition. On July 20, 1985 his perseverance paid off: over 40 tons of silver and gold were located at the site of the wreck off the Marquesas Keys. Including more than 100,000 Spanish silver coins known as «pieces of eight,» gold coins, the finest Colombian emeralds, silver and gold artifacts, and over 1,000 silver bars, the Atocha contained riches vast enough to replenish the nearly depleted treasury of the Spanish Crown.
To mark the 30th anniversary of Fisher’s landmark discovery, Guernsey’s will hold an auction of nearly 40 treasured items retrieved from the Atocha, as well as other extraordinary wrecks discovered by Mel Fisher and his team. Guernsey’s will also be offering approximately 100 rare and sought-after silver coins from the Atocha and her sister ship, the Santa Margarita.
A portion of the proceeds from this Auction will go to benefit the Michael Abt, Jr. Have a Heart Foundation, which works to provide Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to schools nationwide. Michael was a bright, active, and popular young 12 yearold boy who collapsed during his weekly gym class. The cause was Sudden Cardiac Arrest; and despite the efforts of numerous coaches, teachers, and school officials who tried to administer CPR, no AED was present – an instrument which could have saved Michael’s life. The Have a Heart Foundation continues to raise money to purchase AEDs and professional training for school staff throughout the United States in Michael Abt, Jr.’s name.
Immediately preceding the sale of items from the Fisher family’s revered Collection will be 65 lots offered by the Arader Gallery. Beginning at 5:30pm, these pieces highlight the history of Caribbean pirates and their treasure. Amongst the items offered will be historic maps and views, paintings and watercolors, parrot engravings by Jacques Barraband, plus rare books and atlases.
A beautiful collectors’ catalogue showcases the many items with detailed photographs and descriptions. It will be available for $20 in person; $28 shipped domestically or $50 shipped internationally. To order the catalogue, for telephone bidding, to arrange for an advance preview, or for any other questions, please contact Guernsey’s or visit www.guernseys.com.
The Mel Fisher Collection Auction will begin at 7p on August 5 at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue, New York City. Public previewing of the lots will take place on Tuesday, August 4 from 10am to 7pm, and on the day of the auction from 10am until 5pm. Internet bidding will be on both liveauctioneers.com and invaluable.com.