Following on from yesterday’s memories of brave men and women in the last war, yes even these pigeons who were dropped behind enemy lines in occupied countries, I promised a trip to France today, so where better to start than with a HERMES of Paris scarf.
This one is a classic designed by Hugo Grygkar, who reputedly never signed his work. The Vue du Carosse de la Galere La Reale was designed in 1953 so this is indeed one of my vintage collection. It shows the flagship galley of the French fleet under Louis IV which was built between 1692 and 1694 in Marseilles. If you ever visit Paris when we get travelling again, you can see a model of La Reale in the muse de la Marine.
So, why don’t we fly off to Marseilles now and I will take you to a sunken treasure ship. No, not the Reale, but the Guaidara which was sunk in 1792, a century after the royal galley of King Louis was built. There she lay 90 metres deep in the Rada de Marseilles, retaining her secrets until she was discovered and her treasure revealed.
Michel Pavetto had been a resistance fighter I suspect, and somehow he ended up working for the British Navy as a diver. After the war ended, he returned to Marseilles and in 1949-50 he led a small team to find the Guaidara. The treasure was enormous, sculptures, precious plates, and a lot of gold. There was a huge levy to pay to the French Government, but enough treasure left for Michel, the tall fellow in the beret, to give my husband, in 1970 the gold coin you see in the photo, together with a letter expressing his friendship. I have no idea which coin this is, but there may be a keen numismatic out there who will tell me.
Perhaps tomorrow we will look further into this...... it just depends where my scarf takes me.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!