Hoard of Silver Rupees Recovered from the Wreck of the ‘Taj Mahal’

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Object Description

A Hoard of Silver Rupees Recovered from the Wreck of the ‘Taj Mahal’ Lying off Sri Lanka near the Great Basses Reef by the famous British Science Fiction Writer Arthur C. Clarke (1917 – 2008)
The Coins now contained in an Old Dutch 17th Century Pottery Bellamine
Circa 1702 – 1703

Size: approx: 2.5cm dia. each – 1 ins dia. each / pot: approx: 11cm high, 10cm dia. – 4¼ ins high, 4 ins dia.

Object History

Ex Private collection William MacQuitty (1905 – 2008) British Film Producer gifted to him by Arthur C. Clarke
Thence by descent

Object Literature

Arthur C. Clarke was the author of ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ amongst other science fiction books. He moved to Sri Lanka in mid-life for the climate and took up scuba diving. In 1963 he found the wreck of an Indian merchant ship and nearby hundreds of silver rupees scattered across the Great Basses Reef, many of which he recovered. The coins were struck during the reign of Aurangzeb (1658 – 1707) the sixth emperor of the Mughal empire and many were still inside their original money bags. Clarke donated most of the coins to the Smithsonian Museum, but these fourteen he gave to his good friend the film producer William MacQuitty.

Object Details

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