Pair of blue glass vases, possibly made in France and alleged to have been recovered from the Loch Ard wreck by the donor's great-grandfather William James and his brother James James. The two men were shipwrights and were allegedly given salvage rights (although this cannot be substantiated.)

The Loch Ard departed England for Melbourne on 2 March 1878. Commanded by Captain Gibbs, with a crew of 17, the ship was carrying 37 passengers and various cargo, much of it for the Melbourne 1880 International Exhibition. On 1 June, the ship was expecting to sight land when it encountered heavy fog. When the fog lifted around 4am, the crew were greeted with heavy breakers and a cliff face, unable to clear the coast in time the Loch Ard ran aground on a reef. The masts and rigging came crashing down, and the ship sank within 10 or 15 minutes of striking the reef.

There were only two survivors of the wreck, Eva Carmichael, who survived by clinging to a spar for five hours, and Thomas R. Pearce, an apprentice who clung to the overturned hull of a lifeboat. Tom came ashore, then returned to the Ocean to rescue Eva, after hearing her shouts. Following the wreck much of the ship's cargo was recovered, surprisingly largely intact.

Physical Description

Pair of blue glass vases, with rounded bases and fluted tops. The vases would have made by blown into a mould and hand-shaped at the fluted top with pincers. The clearer glass handle would have been added afterwards.

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