Complete gold "wedding" chain, uncleaned with shells attached, 74 links, 291.13 grams total, housed

Currency:USD Category:Artifacts / Shipwreck Artifacts Start Price:100,000.00 USD Estimated At:100,000.00 - 200,000.00 USD
Complete gold  wedding  chain, uncleaned with shells attached, 74 links, 291.13 grams total, housed
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Complete gold "wedding" chain, uncleaned with shells attached, 74 links (each money link approx. 18-19mmx15mm), weight 291.13 grams total, housed in presentation case, with original 1976 certificate hand-signed by Mel Fisher (and others). The perfect combination of man's handiwork combined with the art of the sea, this impressively ornate and heavy chain was wisely left as found, for one link is completely embedded into the encrusted exterior of a clam shell and another link clings to the side of different kind of shell, offering a unique display that only a shipwreck artifact can provide. As for the chain itself, the links and size are identical to lot 174 of the original Christie's (New York) auction of June 1988, described as A MAGNIFICENT AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT RENAISSANCE GOLD CHAIN (interestingly from the Santa Margarita instead of the Atocha) and pictured next to a 1641 portrait of a noblewoman wearing the same type of chain over her wedding gown, hence the style has become known in our time as the "wedding" chain. The Christie's example (136 links, so almost twice the length of ours) sold for a whopping $319,000 (in 1988 dollars, remember). Adding to the oceanic allure of our piece (and lacking in the Christie's specimen, which was thoroughly cleaned) is the fact that the ornate links (alternating between spiral twists and four-bladed flats with serrated edges) harbor light encrustation throughout, dulling the luster of the gold somewhat but creating a unique and irreplaceable reminder of what this piece has been through since 1622. Lastly, the wooden presentation box (which actually shows some age too, as made in the 1980s) provides the perfect finishing touch, with red cloth interior backed by padding that has two depressions for the shells to rest in, hinged in the back and with latch in front, with brass plaque engraved with Nuestra Senora de Atocha on top and felt on bottom. Truly this is one of the most impressive shipwreck artifacts we have ever offered. With original, hand-signed Fisher photo-certificate #986 (6000 points) from 1976 (Cape Coral Bank) and Sinclair appraisal from 2004 ($200,000). Recovered from: Atocha, sunk in 1622 west of Key West, Florida