Between March 4th and 5th, an auction was held with the relics of the famous ship SS Central America, from the Gold Rush era. The vessel was wrecked off the coast of South Carolina in 1857 while carrying treasure from a gold mine in California. This is the second auction held with the remains of the ship – to give you an idea, in the first, a bag of gold dust was sold for R$ 5.65 million.
Known as the “Holy Grail of shipwrecks”, the vessel was found 35 years ago, but it was only 26 years after she was pulled from the bottom of the sea. Considered by the American magazine Life as the greatest treasure ever found in America, the ship brought 422 new lots to her second auction.
Jewels, gold bars and even a robot are part of the relics found on the ship. However, the biggest highlight of the auction was the portrait of the “Mona Lisa of the Deep Sea”, which got its name for revealing the image of an unknown woman with a mysterious smile. The piece is a daguerreotype, which represents the beginnings of photography, and was sold for US$ 73.2 thousand (about R$ 383.2 thousand).
The object that was sold for the highest price was a gold bar weighing almost 1 kg: whoever bought it had to spend approximately R$ 722,400. Another piece that drew attention was a brooch with a quartz pendant made to measure for the son of millionaire Sam Brannan, founder of the newspaper California Star and great promoter of mining at the time.
Another impressive acquisition was the scale model of the SS Central America, which has faithful details. The replica was sold for BRL 263,800. And there’s more: the robot Nemo, which recovered the wreckage of the vessel, was also part of the auction’s collection and was purchased for R$ 226,100.