A silver bar from the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde
Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch) was one of several highlights
in Schulman b.v.’s July 5 auction.
The bar realized €4,560 (about $6,201 in U.S. funds) including the
20 percent buyer's fee. The bar was graded Extremely Fine by the
Few lots have such a rich story.
The silver ingot was recovered from the wreck of the
Rooswjik. According to the certificate accompanying the bar, it
weighs 75.45 troy ounces (its fineness and other specifications were
The 30-gun VOC merchant ship and its cargo were bound for the Dutch
East Indies with some 200 people aboard and carrying 10 chests of
silver coins and an unspecified quantity of silver bars on its last
voyage. It foundered in a storm in 1739 or 1740 (depending on sources)
and sank on the treacherous Goodwin Sands in the English Channel. All
people aboard perished in the wreck.
The rise of the VOC in Asia between 1602 and 1799 led to the
development of a complex trade network. Ships came back from Batavia,
now Jakarta, filled with spices and textiles to sell on the Dutch
market, and while Dutch goods weren’t popular in the East, there was
strong demand for silver and gold coins and silver bars (like the one
in this lot), which came into the trade beginning in 1646, according
to the auction house.
This bar bears the Chamber of Amsterdam A mark with the VOC brand,
among other markings.
The trip to Jakarta, only the second after the ship was built in
1737 in Amsterdam, was captained by Daniel Ronzieres.
The ship was reportedly discovered and salvaged in 2004. Sales of
items from the wreck began in 2005, according to the auction firm.
The bar had an estimate of €2,500 ($3,349 U.S.)
The auction, the firm’s 345th, was held at Stadsarchief (Amsterdam
City Archives) and included coins, medals, paper money, decorations
and numismatic literature.
For more details about the Schulman auctions, telephone the firm at
(011) 31 20 320 9101, email it or visit its website.