'Mutiny on the Bounty' captain's medals are set for $273,000 auction

Captain Bligh's Naval Gold Medal could make $218,000

From Paul Fraser Collectibles

Two medals awarded to Captain Bligh, who survived the 1789 mutiny aboard the HMS Bounty, are coming to auction this week.

The medals, which postdate the mutiny, are estimated to achieve a combined $273,000 when they appear at Noble Numismatics in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday, July 28.

The first, estimated to make $55,000, was awarded to Bligh by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for successfully bringing back breadfruit from Tahiti in 1794.

The second, known as a Naval Gold Medal 1795, was awarded following Bligh's successful 1797 Battle of Camperdown against the Dutch. It has a $218,000 estimate.

The medal features an inscription which reads: "William Bligh esquire the Dutch fleet defeated".

The fame attached to Bligh, who managed to return to England via Timor after he and several others had been set adrift in the Pacific Ocean by 18 mutinous crew members, should ensure that these medals from his later career are valued highly by collectors.

"You'll never see the likes of the Bligh medals again. They're so historical," a spokesman for Noble Numismatics said.

"He's one of the most famous sea captains in history and I doubt there would be many other gold medals around from that period."




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