Here is a an early 19th century circular mahogany snuff box with a label to the lid with an inscription and the makers name.

The inscription on the label says;


'This box is made of part of the timbers of the Dutch ship "Amsterdam" of about 800 tons which drove ashore at Bulverhythe Nr Hastings, on the 15th January 1749 and sunk in the sand, where she remained buried until the year 1827, when part of the hull and cargo were saved from future ravages of time and the sea, by some labourers from the adjacent county'.

T Beaney Carver and Turner.

The boix measures 7cm w x 1.75cm h


The ship Amsterdam was owned by the Dutch United East India Company (VOC), which left the Dutch Republic in January 1749 for its maiden voyage to the East Indies. The newly built and fully equipped vessel was wrecked near Hastings on the south coast of England on the first leg of the journey. Many of the crew were suffering and 50 had died already from yellow fever, others were drunk having broken into some of the wine cargo. Apparently there was mutiny on board. 

The ship when entering the English Channel came up against a severe gale the ‘Amsterdam’ ship struck the seabed so hard that her rudder was torn off and the ship beached at high tide at Pevensey Bay. Many of the remaining crew were able to clamber down the sides at low tide to safety in Hastings.

The owners of the ship were less fortunate and lost their lives on the maiden voyage.


Smugglers raided the ship and took silver bars from the 2.5 tonnes of bullion the ship was carrying.

Within a few months the ship had sank 8 metres into the sea bed with much of the cargo intact.

The wreck together with most of the goods were buried within the sand. When some workers digged into the wreck in the late 1960s they found bronze cannons, clay pipes, personal possessions etc. As a result - archaeologists were horrified at the damage and sought its protection as an historic site.

The Amsterdam is of global importance since she is two-thirds complete.


Some of the wood from the hull was used in the early 1800s to make items like this snuff box. The maker was a Thomas Beaney who is listed as being turner on Pelham Street Hastings Sussex in 1839.


Antique Snuff Box - from the Amsterdam Ship