In Australia Treasure Is Not For The Finder
Hardcover book by Allan Robinson. Self-Published in Perth, 1980.
Illustrated black and white, 140 pages.
An engaging and controversial work, covering the social history of one of the men that discovered the Gilt Dragon shipwreck.
Allan Robinson is credited as being one of the official discoverers of the Gilt Dragon shipwreck, sunk off the Western Australian coast in 1652.
The discovery of the Gilt Dragon triggered a major chapter in Robinson's life - he became well known in the media for his association with the Gilt Dragon, specifically with the salvage rights to the coins that were in it.
Robinson was accused of having used gelignite to break up sections of the wreck of the Gilt Dragon, and went on to (successfully) sue the Western Australian and Commonwealth governments for his rights to the wreck.
The merits of Robinson's case, as well as the legitimacy of the methods he used to release coins those coins from the wreck that had bonded together in lumps, have been hotly debated for decades.
It is incredibly hard not to have a strong opinion about many aspects of Robinson's life, however whichever side we take, there can be no disputing that Allan Robinson was a key person in the discovery and recovery of the Dutch shipwrecks found off the West Australian coast in the 1960's.
"In Australia Treasure Is Not For The Finder" covers a wide range of subjects - the foreword has been discusses the civil liberties aspects of Robinson's court case, while a map on the very next page lists the wrecks that Robinson stated an involvement in - the Gilt Dragon, the Batavia, the Zuytdorp, the Tryall, a Phoenician wreck (circa 600 BC), as well as a Spanish wreck off the Queensland coast circa 1599.
Given some of the above subjects, Robinson can perhaps fairly have been said to have become caught up in the excitement of the discovery of wrecks - despite that, his life story and by extension this book, is well worth exploring by any collector interested in the coins recovered from the shipwrecks discovered off the Western Australian coast.
As the images here show, there is some slight loss of detail on the front cover - there are similar white patches on the back, and there is also some very slight on the pages inside the covers.
Although it isn’t in perfect “mint” condition, it has been priced accordingly and remains a compelling read.
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