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RMS Douro Shipwreck Sovereign ūüá¨ūüáß


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1871 Victoria Shield Reverse Sovereign gEF

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Princess Alexandrina Victoria was born in 1819, crowned as Queen Victoria in 1837 when her uncle, William IV, died and reigned through a period of unprecedented change until her death in 1901. Victoria ruled for 64 years, a record only recently surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II.

DESCRIPTION

Victoria¬†(1837-1901), gold sovereign, 1871, London, Tower Hill Mint,¬†third young filleted head left, W.W. raised on truncation for engraver William Wyon,¬†date below,¬†hint of doubling in legend both sides,¬†Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA (‚ÄúVictoria, by the Grace of God‚ÄĚ),¬†rev.¬†struck with inverted¬†die axis,¬†engraved by Jean Baptiste Merlen,¬†crowned quartered shield¬†of arms, laurel wreath surrounding, die number 14 below, emblems below, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID:DEF: (‚ÄúQueen of the Britons, Defender of the Faith‚ÄĚ), raised hairline flaw in¬†last A of legend to rim,¬†edge milled, weight 7.97g¬†(Bentley 558;¬†Marsh 55; M.C.E.¬†531; S.3853B).¬†Tiny¬†obverse rim nick, otherwise pleasing good extremely fine.¬†Ex¬†Douro¬†Cargo, Spink Auction 118, 20-21 November 1996, lot 1377 (part).¬†Calendar year¬†mintage 8,767,250.

HISTORY

RMS Douro was a slender iron-hulled, screw-driven steamship of 2,824 tons - distinguishable by her graceful clipper bow and two brigantine rigged auxiliary masts - built in 1865 by Caird & Company on the River Clyde at Greenock, Scotland. She measured 326 feet long by 40 feet wide and served from 1865 to 1882 with the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company.

Douro initially served the routes between the United Kingdom and the West Indies. Early in her career, she was running mates with RMS Rhone until Rhone was sank in 1867 by a hurricane in the West Indies. In 1869, Douro switched to South American service on the Southampton, England-Buenos Aires, Argentina, route. As a Royal Mail Ship, she carried mail and newspapers under contract. She also often carried precious cargo, including gold and diamonds.

Douro sank in the early morning hours of April 2, 1882, off Cape Finisterre following a collision with the Spanish steamer Yrurac Bat when en route to Southampton from Buenos Aires. Her captain, Ebenezer C. Kemp, along with five other officers went down with the ship, but all 144 other crew and passengers were saved. 

The wreck was eventually salvaged in 1995 By Sverker Hallstrom and Nigel Pickford using a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) at a depth of 1,500 feet. The cargo of gold coins, mostly British sovereigns dating from the reign of Queen Victoria, was sold at auction by Spink, London, in 1996.

https://gmic.co.uk/topic/418-the-true-story-of-the-rms-douro/

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This photo shows Douro, sister of RMS Rhone, at Charlotte Amalie Harbour, Saint Thomas, just before the 1867 hurricane; she did survive that force!

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Route of the RMS Douro.

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TO¬†THE MEMORY OF CAPTAIN E. C. KEMP, THE OFFICERS, ENGINEERS & CREW OF THE ROYAL MAIL STEAM PACKET COMPANY‚ÄôS SHIP ‚ÄúDOURO‚ÄĚ WHO PERISHED AT SEA ON THE 1ST APRIL 1882 NOBLY SACRIFICING THEIR OWN LIVES THAT OTHERS MIGHT BE SAVED.

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Queen Victoria by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1842.

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