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Hook and eye from the wrecked VERGULDE DRAECK

Date: before 1656
Overall: 22 x 10 mm
Medium: Brass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transferred from Australian Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Hook & eye
Object No: 00016336
Place Manufactured:Nederland

User Terms

    This brass hook and eye were excavated from the VERGULDE DRAECK, a Dutch East India Company vessel wrecked off the Western Australian coast in 1656. They are associated with clothing.
    SignificanceThese objects highlight 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 East India Company or Verenigde 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.

    On 4 October 1655 the VERGULDE DRAECK set sail for Batavia from Texel as part of its second trading voyage between Holland and the East Indies. Under the command of Captain Pieter Albertszoon the ship carried a crew of 193 and a cargo of trade goods and silver coins worth 185,000 guilders. After a brief stop at the Cape of Good Hope the VERGULDE DRAECK followed the Brouwers course to the East Indies until she struck a reef off the Western Australian coast on 28 April 1656. Immediately the vessel began to break up, and the 75 survivors were marooned on the mainland with only a few provisions and stores. Albertszoon dispatched Under steersman Abraham Leeman and six other crew to obtain help, and after a 40 day voyage on the ships small boat they successfully reached Batavia. On hearing the news of the wreck two Dutch ships left the next day in search of survivors. The ships failed to find any survivors and returned to Batavia four and five months later. Two more expeditions were mounted in the following years however they encountered various difficulties and failed to turn up any of the missing crew. Eventually in 1658 the possibility of any future searches was ruled out by the VOC.

    Additional Titles

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

    Web title: Hook and eye from the wrecked VERGULDE DRAECK

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