Bredenhof (1753)

Silver bar from the Bredenhof shipwreck (

VOC Bredenhof was a Dutch East Indiaman transport ship that foundered on a reef 120 miles south of Mozambique and only 13 miles off the South African coast, near the Cape of Good Hope, on the 6th June 1753. It was commercially exploited by treasure-hunters.

Built in Amsterdam in 1746, the Bredenhof measured 41.45 m (136 ft) and had a storage capacity of 850 tons. The cargo consisted of 14 barrels containing a large amount of copper coins, 29 chests of silver ingots and 1 chest with 5.000 golden ducates including silver bars that were to be set aside and minted into silver rupees in Bengal.  Divers found the shipwreck off the Silva Shoal in the Mozambique Channel in 1986 and a salvaging company was called in by the South African Government to recover the gold and silver ingots from the sea bed and transport them to Mozambique, an operation which was started in 2003. Some of the items salvaged include 15 iron cannons, 5 anchors, lead rolls and ingots, and some iron bars. A third part of the treasure was sent to South Africa after a long judicial battle which took more than four years and the part which corresponded to the salvaging company was sold at an auction at Christie's Amsterdam in that same year.

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Capital: Maputo
Region: Africa

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