Atocha Silver Salamander with Conch Pearl

This was made with genuine Atocha Silver Bar #393

Details: This Atocha Silver Winged Salamander with Conch Pearl is a hand-created pendant made with authentic silver from the Spanish galleon Atocha, shipwrecked in 1622 off the coast of Key West, Florida.  Entirely made using silver from Atocha Silver Bar #393, this Winged Salamander is a re-creation of styles discovered on Spanish ships sailing to and from The New World.

Medieval in artistry, this talisman was believed to offer protection over the person wearing it.  The salamander is a real lizard, but is historically revered as a mythical creature with the occult ability to survive and extinguish fire.  The original artifact was likely given to an officer or a person of noteworthy importance on board the vessel, signifying the animal's protection over the person in case of fire on a floating wooden vessel.

Early travelers to China were presented with garments supposedly made from salamander "wool," or "silk," and were sold as fire-retardant fabrics (asbestos) along the Silk Road.  In a letter sent in 1165, John Prester says this; "Our realm yields the worm known as the salamander.  Salamanders live in fire and make cocoons, which our court ladies spin and use to weave cloth and garments.  To wash and clean these fabrics, they throw them into flames."  John Prester was a fabled Christian King descended from one of the Three Magi, and an ancient legend of the 12th Century.  In the ten-page letter dated 1165, Prester wrote a letter that was sent to Manuel I of the Byzantine Empire, and The King of France, promising his return to the Kingdom with an army of monsters to reclaim the City of Jerusalem from the Saracens.  His army of monsters included the creatures Gryphon, Centaur and Salamander, among others.