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Barber's bowl from the wreck site of the VERGULDE DRAECK (GILT DRAGON)

Date: before 1656
Overall: 80 mm, 0.5 kg
Medium: Brass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transferred from Australian Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks (ANCODS)
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Bowl
Object No: 00016335
Place Manufactured:Nederland

User Terms

    This brass barber's bowl was excavated from the merchant ship VERGULDE DRAECK, chartered by the Dutch United East India Company (VOC) and wrecked on Western Australia's coast in 1656 on its voyage to Batavia.
    SignificanceThis bowl highlights the presence of the powerful Dutch East India Company in Australia, prior to British exploration. It illustrates the significant role Dutch merchants played in putting Australia - then referred to as New Holland - on the map.
    HistoryDuring the 1600s the Dutch United East India Company or Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) was a rapidly expanding merchant organisation. The VOC established a trade network throughout Asia by transporting rare spices, exotic textiles and seeking new markets. Asian goods - especially spices and Chinese ceramics - were highly sought after in Europe, allowing the VOC to establish a profitable enterprise between Europe and the East Indies. A number of Dutch ships are known to have wrecked on the west Australian coast, leaving evidence of their passing in the form of wreckage, coins and pottery. Dutch maps at this time also began to portray the coastline of Australia (New Holland), which would be a great benefit for later explorers.

    The VOC ship VERGULDE DRAECK (GILT DRAGON) was under the command of Pieter Albertszoon on 28 April 1656, when it hit a reef off the coast of Western Australia, between the present day towns of Seabird and Ledge Point. It was carrying 193 crew and passengers, of whom only 75 survived. The ship was also transporting a cargo of trade goods and silver coins for Batavia (Jakarta) worth 185,000 guilders. After the wreck a crew of seven men set out for Batavia while 68 remained on the Australian mainland. The party arrived safely to Batavia and numerous search expeditions were sent out to find any survivors. These expeditions all encountered difficulties, and eventually in 1658 the possibility of any future searches was ruled out by the VOC.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Barber's bowl from the wreck site of the VERGULDE DRAECK (GILT DRAGON)

    Collection title: ANCODS (Australian Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks) collection

    Related Sites Ledge Point

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