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The exquisite design of the reverse conveys two scenes to communicate the journey of the Zeewijk. With the image of the ship viewed upright, the Zeewijk is shown setting sail in its full glory. Flipping the coin to view the text of ‘1727’ and ‘Zeewijk' upright depicts the ship in its final state capsized shortly after wrecking in 1727. The obverse design depicts scenes from the dramatic story of the Zeewijk.
Product FeaturesFourth and final release in the popular and unique Australian Shipwreck Series
History & Significance
The Zeewijk left the Netherlands in 1726 for Batavia with 208 seamen and a rich cargo of more than 315,000 guilders in ten chests. Having lost 28 men by the time it reached the Cape of Good Hope in 1727, further disaster soon struck when the Zeewijk hit reef off the Western Australian coast.
Managing to set up camp on a nearby island and saving the chests of guilders, 11 of the survivors later launched the longboat to raise the alarm in Batavia. Tragically, these men were never seen again.
Meanwhile, the remaining crew salvaged material from the Zeewijk’s wreck and ingeniously built another boat, named ‘Sloepie,’ reinforced with local mangrove timber. More than ten months after being shipwrecked, the men and chests of guilders set sail in Sloepie. After just four weeks, 82 survivors victoriously landed at Batavia in their makeshift boat.
The Zeewijk was the last Dutch East Indiaman to be wrecked off the Western Australian coast and Sloepie was the first boat built by Europeans in Australia.