18 carat Gold plated Cross of a Knight of Malta with blood red enamel
This cross belonged to Fabricio Spinola of Gerona. He was Captain of the Girona, one of the Galleas of the Spanish Armada, sent by Philip II of Spain to attack Britain in 1588.
A Galleas was a hybrid of oars and sail. The ships were dispersed first by the British fire ships then by a storm that sent them up the North coast and around Scotland. The girona stopped on the Irish coast to take on survivors from the 'Duquessa Santa Ana' amounting to 1300 men on a ship designed for 550.. The Girona ran aground and sank off Laccado Point. Only 5 men survived. In 1967 the wreck was discovered by Robert Stenuit, a Belgian nautical archaeologist. The cross was damaged when found byt remarkably, one of the points was recovered from the seabed with evidence of white enamel on it. This cross has been specially enamelled with translucent blood red enamel using the Basse-taille technique. Height 57 mm.