The Lost Treasure of Emperor Maximilian

bulletproof002000

Full Member
Nov 5, 2019
117
409
Big Spring Texas
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT pro, Garrett AT max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
The Lost Treasure of Emperor Maximilian.

This legend is near and dear to me, because I have 640 acres of land in the area the treasure is supposed to be buried. The treasure is thought to be buried at King mountain in the castle gap. People have been hunting there for years, but nothing has been recovered.

Here is a link to the story.

The Lost Treasure of Emperor Maximilian - Mexico Unexplained
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
The Lost Treasure of Emperor Maximilian.

This legend is near and dear to me, because I have 640 acres of land in the area the treasure is supposed to be buried. The treasure is thought to be buried at King mountain in the castle gap. People have been hunting there for years, but nothing has been recovered.

Here is a link to the story.

The Lost Treasure of Emperor Maximilian - Mexico Unexplained

Hello Bullet proof f002000.

What you like to see some of Maximilian's treasure?

Kanacki
 

BillA

Bronze Member
May 12, 2005
2,186
3,200
Drake, Costa Rica
from https://www.lifeofadventure.com/lost-treasure-of-emperor-maximilian/

Castle Gap — A Treasure Hunters Mecca

Castle Gap is somewhat of a Mecca for Treasure Hunters. In addition to Maximilian’s Gold, there are no fewer than seven other well know treasures supposedly secreted near this remote section of Texas:

maximilian_gold_coins.jpg


During Maximilian’s reign, coins were struck with his bust on the obverse, and the Mexico Coat of Arms on the reverse. These little beauties would, no doubt, make up a large portion of his fabled stash.


  • Gold carried by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540.
  • The Catholic Cross Cache of 1780.
  • A horseshoe keg full of gold lost by a returning California Forty-niner.
  • A Butterfield stage treasure hidden in 1860.
  • A gold cached buried by Old Bill Castle and Little Bill Castle in the 1860’s.
  • Another $40,000 stashed by outlaws who preyed on passing wagoners.
  • Gold and rifles from a United States Army wagon train of the late 1860’s.
Only 12 miles north-northeast from Horsehead Crossing the legendary Castle Gap is a mile-long break between two mountain ranges. King Mountain on the southern and Castle Mountain to the north.

Everyone who was anyone in West Texas history seems to have visited the Gap, beginning with Cabeza de Vaca. The scouting expedition of Captain Felipe Teran is believed to have visited the Gap as well as multitudes of Comanches and later Texas Ranger “Rip” Ford.

It was also used by the Butterfield Stagecoach Line as a way station. Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight later made the Gap a crossing on their soon-to-be-famous cattle trail.
 

Attachments

  • maximilian_gold_coins.jpg
    maximilian_gold_coins.jpg
    32.8 KB · Views: 159

BillA

Bronze Member
May 12, 2005
2,186
3,200
Drake, Costa Rica
some difficult parts: the 6 men killed all the others (~ok), and then buried 45 small barrels and burnt the wagons on top
even horseshoe barrels, how long for 6 men to bury ? - did the transporting group have some shovels and picks ?
too much for too few methinks
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hello Bill I suspect such stories become polluted over time with peoples assumptions attached to the story changing it out of all proportions.

Kanacki
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hello Bill

Hardluck a business partner of mine showed me showed me the following version of the story below.

Here is another story version by John A Kimmey Jr

liberal for some Mexicans and Napoleon III wanted to collect a debt from Mexico and furtherThe Emperor of Mexico and Denton, Texas
by John A. Kimmey, Jr.

Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph (1832-1867) was crowned Emperor of Mexico on 10 June 1864. How this younger brother of Francis Joseph I of Austria came to be in Mexico and his lost fortune linked by legend to Denton, Texas is a story of political circumstance, schemes, lies and human greed.

While the United States was busy with its Civil War and the Monroe Doctrine was merely paper, a group of conservative Mexicans and the French Emperor Napoleon III contrived to put Maximilian on the Mexican throne. The Mexican government of Benito Juarez was far too his imperialist dreams in the Americas of a Latin league of Mediterranean countries and their former colonies. The debt Mexico owed the French was $15 million on which Juarez had suspended payment. To further this scheme Maximilian was lied to and believed the Mexican people had voted him their king. and he agreed to move to Mexico as elected emperor. Backed by support from the French army, Maximilian and his wife

Marie-Charlotte-Amelie-Augustine-Victoire-Clementine- Leopoldine (know as Carlota to her friends), daughter of Leopold I, King of the Belgians, set sail for Mexico in 1864. Maximilian seems to have thought of the Mexicans as simple peasants and felt called upon to rule with a paternal benevolence. The conservatives, landed gentry and the Roman Catholic Church, were disappointed in Maximilian as he refused to undo the sweeping land reforms made by the Juarez government. Maximilian's liberal plans were doomed to failure.

The American Civil War ended in 1865 and the United States demanded the withdrawal of the French from Mexico whose presence was seen as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine. Carlota went to Europe to enlist the help of Napoleon III and Pope Pius IX only to be rebuffed by them. She then suffered a complete mental and emotional collapse and never returned to Mexico. She spent the rest of her life in seclusion in Laeken, Belgium where she died in 1927. The French finally withdrew from Mexico in 1867 and Juarez and his Mexican army moved back into Mexico City. Maximilian refused to abdicate and fled, with a few supporters, to Queretaro where he finally capitulated on 15 May 1867. In spite of the protests by many of the crowned heads of Europe he was executed outside Queretaro on 19 June 1867.

Months before Maximilian was executed he sent what was left of his personal fortune in Spanish, Australian and American gold coin, gold and silver plate and some bullion back to Austria. The fortune never made it out of Texas, or so the story goes. The gold and silver were loaded onto wagons and the drivers instructed to go to San Antonio, Texas and then on to Galveston, Texas. The gold and silver were then to be sent to Austria where Carlota was waiting for the shipment.

This was 1867 - Reconstruction in Texas and times were bad and lawlessness was the rule of the day in many parts of the State. The Rio Grande was the dividing line between two kinds of men who felt themselves, because of circumstances, to be outlaws: ex- Confederates who could not or would not live in Reconstruction Texas; and, those fleeing Mexico because of sympathy with Maximilian whose power was fast coming to an end. It so happened that in this year a group of ex-Confederates heading into Mexico and some of Maximilian's supporters heading into Texas chanced upon each other. The ex-Confederates were hoping to make their fortune in Mexico; the Maximilianos were hoping to get to Austria with his gold and silver. Their immediate objective, however, was to get to San Antonio and they did not know the road conditions and solicited the aid of the Americans. Both of these groups were on the Chihuahua Trail when they ran into each other and when the political conditions in Mexico were explained to the Americans they agreed to help the Mexicans get to San Antonio with their cargo of "flour."

The travelling group was made up of fifteen people including one woman who was the daughter of the leader of the Maximilianos. It was not very long before the Americans noticed cautious the Mexicans were about their cargo of flour, staying by it all day and sleeping in each wagon at night. Quite naturally the curiosity of the Americans was aroused. Upon closer inspection, the flour turned out to be gold and silver. All this happened as they were approaching the Pecos River. Finally, the dirty deed was done at Castle Gap, fifteen miles east of Horsehead Crossing. All the Maximilianos, including the woman, were killed and the bodies and most of the wagons burned. So much gold and silver could not be carried by the remaining Americans so they agreed to bury most of it, make a map and return later for the loot. Having done this, they rode east with as much of the gold as they felt they would need for the trip.

The leader of the pack, Bill Murdock in some accounts, became so ill that he had to be left behind when the group reached Fort Concho. It was his good luck because his compatriots, who went on ahead, were attacked by Indians and killed. When Murdock was well enough to travel he set out for San Antonio. On the way he discovered the mutilated bodies of his friends. He now was the only person who knew the location of Maximilian's gold. He decided to go to Missouri and enlist the help of the James boys, then come back to Texas and divide up the fortune. On his way to Missouri it was his ill fortune to fall in with a group of men who turned out to be horse thieves.

A sheriff's posse from Denton captured the group and took all of them, including Murdock, to the Denton County jail. While in jail, Murdock's old malady resurfaced and a Dr. Black was called in to minister to him. Dr. Black felt that Murdock had little time to live and sent for a lawyer named O'Connor to try to secure Murdock's release. Murdock did not make it out of jail and in his last moments he told Black and O'Connor his story and gave them his map. He then died. Black and O'Connor eventually went to Castle Gap but time and the weather had so altered the landscape they could not read the landmarks on the map. To this day no one has been able to discover the whereabouts of Maximilian's gold, although many have tried.

NOTE: Most of the above information was gleaned from J. Frank Dobie's Coronado's Children. A search through the census records for Denton County for 1860 and 1870 turned up no Dr. Black nor and O'Connors.

Hardluck told me he searched for fort Concho and it seems they was only one recorded death of a soldier that died at the fort, in its entire history as a military camp. It was a Sargent, one of the buffalo soldiers who were stationed there. Not our elusive Mr Bill Murdock.

He tried to find any death records for the Denton jail for Bill Murdock. He found jail records but not 1867 records. It appears that the jail was operational from 1848 to present day.So Hardluck speculated that perhaps the records are still out there somewhere?

He went on to say Perhaps we have better luck searching family history forums and historical societies that might have death lists for the Denton area? That may help us find these three principle figures of the story? If we cannot confirm any of the men mentioned in the story then what do we really have? We have what we call of course a treasure legend.

Hardluck was not convinced in any truth to Maximilian connection to Castle gap treasure story.While he conceded the possibility of Austrian officers fleeing to the United States with looted items of treasure from the Maximilian regime. Because we found a pretty consistent chronology of the fate of Macmillan personal fortune How Macmillan personal gems arrived in the United States.

Kanacki
 
Last edited:

BillA

Bronze Member
May 12, 2005
2,186
3,200
Drake, Costa Rica
makes sense
when Murdock found his Indian killed buddies, where was the gold and jewels each had maxed out on ?
as I understand most (?) Indians had no use for such - but this is later ?
Murdock would have had the loads of six men ?
a whole lot of whole cloth here
 
OP
B

bulletproof002000

Full Member
Nov 5, 2019
117
409
Big Spring Texas
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT pro, Garrett AT max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Hello Bullet proof f002000.

What you like to see some of Maximilian's treasure?

Kanacki

That would be very nice to see some of the treasure. I have been detecting down there since I got into the hobby, and have found some great items but no treasure as of yet. The Gap is about a mile form my place, but you never know.
 
OP
B

bulletproof002000

Full Member
Nov 5, 2019
117
409
Big Spring Texas
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT pro, Garrett AT max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
Just like any treasure story, people have added and subtracted stuff for many years. My father worked the area as a state game warden for 15 years, and he visited with the land owner frequently. There was a lady who leased the Castle Gap area for the sole purpose of hunting the treasure. She used dozers and rat hole machines, but never reported finding any treasure.
 
OP
B

bulletproof002000

Full Member
Nov 5, 2019
117
409
Big Spring Texas
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT pro, Garrett AT max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Hello Bill

Hardluck a business partner of mine showed me showed me the following version of the story below.

Here is another story version by John A Kimmey Jr

liberal for some Mexicans and Napoleon III wanted to collect a debt from Mexico and furtherThe Emperor of Mexico and Denton, Texas
by John A. Kimmey, Jr.

Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph (1832-1867) was crowned Emperor of Mexico on 10 June 1864. How this younger brother of Francis Joseph I of Austria came to be in Mexico and his lost fortune linked by legend to Denton, Texas is a story of political circumstance, schemes, lies and human greed.

While the United States was busy with its Civil War and the Monroe Doctrine was merely paper, a group of conservative Mexicans and the French Emperor Napoleon III contrived to put Maximilian on the Mexican throne. The Mexican government of Benito Juarez was far too his imperialist dreams in the Americas of a Latin league of Mediterranean countries and their former colonies. The debt Mexico owed the French was $15 million on which Juarez had suspended payment. To further this scheme Maximilian was lied to and believed the Mexican people had voted him their king. and he agreed to move to Mexico as elected emperor. Backed by support from the French army, Maximilian and his wife

Marie-Charlotte-Amelie-Augustine-Victoire-Clementine- Leopoldine (know as Carlota to her friends), daughter of Leopold I, King of the Belgians, set sail for Mexico in 1864. Maximilian seems to have thought of the Mexicans as simple peasants and felt called upon to rule with a paternal benevolence. The conservatives, landed gentry and the Roman Catholic Church, were disappointed in Maximilian as he refused to undo the sweeping land reforms made by the Juarez government. Maximilian's liberal plans were doomed to failure.

The American Civil War ended in 1865 and the United States demanded the withdrawal of the French from Mexico whose presence was seen as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine. Carlota went to Europe to enlist the help of Napoleon III and Pope Pius IX only to be rebuffed by them. She then suffered a complete mental and emotional collapse and never returned to Mexico. She spent the rest of her life in seclusion in Laeken, Belgium where she died in 1927. The French finally withdrew from Mexico in 1867 and Juarez and his Mexican army moved back into Mexico City. Maximilian refused to abdicate and fled, with a few supporters, to Queretaro where he finally capitulated on 15 May 1867. In spite of the protests by many of the crowned heads of Europe he was executed outside Queretaro on 19 June 1867.

Months before Maximilian was executed he sent what was left of his personal fortune in Spanish, Australian and American gold coin, gold and silver plate and some bullion back to Austria. The fortune never made it out of Texas, or so the story goes. The gold and silver were loaded onto wagons and the drivers instructed to go to San Antonio, Texas and then on to Galveston, Texas. The gold and silver were then to be sent to Austria where Carlota was waiting for the shipment.

This was 1867 - Reconstruction in Texas and times were bad and lawlessness was the rule of the day in many parts of the State. The Rio Grande was the dividing line between two kinds of men who felt themselves, because of circumstances, to be outlaws: ex- Confederates who could not or would not live in Reconstruction Texas; and, those fleeing Mexico because of sympathy with Maximilian whose power was fast coming to an end. It so happened that in this year a group of ex-Confederates heading into Mexico and some of Maximilian's supporters heading into Texas chanced upon each other. The ex-Confederates were hoping to make their fortune in Mexico; the Maximilianos were hoping to get to Austria with his gold and silver. Their immediate objective, however, was to get to San Antonio and they did not know the road conditions and solicited the aid of the Americans. Both of these groups were on the Chihuahua Trail when they ran into each other and when the political conditions in Mexico were explained to the Americans they agreed to help the Mexicans get to San Antonio with their cargo of "flour."

The travelling group was made up of fifteen people including one woman who was the daughter of the leader of the Maximilianos. It was not very long before the Americans noticed cautious the Mexicans were about their cargo of flour, staying by it all day and sleeping in each wagon at night. Quite naturally the curiosity of the Americans was aroused. Upon closer inspection, the flour turned out to be gold and silver. All this happened as they were approaching the Pecos River. Finally, the dirty deed was done at Castle Gap, fifteen miles east of Horsehead Crossing. All the Maximilianos, including the woman, were killed and the bodies and most of the wagons burned. So much gold and silver could not be carried by the remaining Americans so they agreed to bury most of it, make a map and return later for the loot. Having done this, they rode east with as much of the gold as they felt they would need for the trip.

The leader of the pack, Bill Murdock in some accounts, became so ill that he had to be left behind when the group reached Fort Concho. It was his good luck because his compatriots, who went on ahead, were attacked by Indians and killed. When Murdock was well enough to travel he set out for San Antonio. On the way he discovered the mutilated bodies of his friends. He now was the only person who knew the location of Maximilian's gold. He decided to go to Missouri and enlist the help of the James boys, then come back to Texas and divide up the fortune. On his way to Missouri it was his ill fortune to fall in with a group of men who turned out to be horse thieves.

A sheriff's posse from Denton captured the group and took all of them, including Murdock, to the Denton County jail. While in jail, Murdock's old malady resurfaced and a Dr. Black was called in to minister to him. Dr. Black felt that Murdock had little time to live and sent for a lawyer named O'Connor to try to secure Murdock's release. Murdock did not make it out of jail and in his last moments he told Black and O'Connor his story and gave them his map. He then died. Black and O'Connor eventually went to Castle Gap but time and the weather had so altered the landscape they could not read the landmarks on the map. To this day no one has been able to discover the whereabouts of Maximilian's gold, although many have tried.

NOTE: Most of the above information was gleaned from J. Frank Dobie's Coronado's Children. A search through the census records for Denton County for 1860 and 1870 turned up no Dr. Black nor and O'Connors.

Hardluck told me he searched for fort Concho and it seems they was only one recorded death of a soldier that died at the fort, in its entire history as a military camp. It was a Sargent, one of the buffalo soldiers who were stationed there. Not our elusive Mr Bill Murdock.

He tried to find any death records for the Denton jail for Bill Murdock. He found jail records but not 1867 records. It appears that the jail was operational from 1848 to present day.So Hardluck speculated that perhaps the records are still out there somewhere?

He went on to say Perhaps we have better luck searching family history forums and historical societies that might have death lists for the Denton area? That may help us find these three principle figures of the story? If we cannot confirm any of the men mentioned in the story then what do we really have? We have what we call of course a treasure legend.

Hardluck was not convinced in any truth to Maximilian connection to Castle gap treasure story.While he conceded the possibility of Austrian officers fleeing to the United States with looted items of treasure from the Maximilian regime. Because we found a pretty consistent chronology of the fate of Macmillan personal fortune How Macmillan personal gems arrived in the United States.

Kanacki

I have also read this version of the story, and there is probably a little truth in both versions. But it was all word of mouth for a long time, and we all know how stories get twisted.
 
OP
B

bulletproof002000

Full Member
Nov 5, 2019
117
409
Big Spring Texas
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT pro, Garrett AT max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
from https://www.lifeofadventure.com/lost-treasure-of-emperor-maximilian/

Castle Gap — A Treasure Hunters Mecca

Castle Gap is somewhat of a Mecca for Treasure Hunters. In addition to Maximilian’s Gold, there are no fewer than seven other well know treasures supposedly secreted near this remote section of Texas:

maximilian_gold_coins.jpg


During Maximilian’s reign, coins were struck with his bust on the obverse, and the Mexico Coat of Arms on the reverse. These little beauties would, no doubt, make up a large portion of his fabled stash.


  • Gold carried by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540.
  • The Catholic Cross Cache of 1780.
  • A horseshoe keg full of gold lost by a returning California Forty-niner.
  • A Butterfield stage treasure hidden in 1860.
  • A gold cached buried by Old Bill Castle and Little Bill Castle in the 1860’s.
  • Another $40,000 stashed by outlaws who preyed on passing wagoners.
  • Gold and rifles from a United States Army wagon train of the late 1860’s.
Only 12 miles north-northeast from Horsehead Crossing the legendary Castle Gap is a mile-long break between two mountain ranges. King Mountain on the southern and Castle Mountain to the north.

Everyone who was anyone in West Texas history seems to have visited the Gap, beginning with Cabeza de Vaca. The scouting expedition of Captain Felipe Teran is believed to have visited the Gap as well as multitudes of Comanches and later Texas Ranger “Rip” Ford.

It was also used by the Butterfield Stagecoach Line as a way station. Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight later made the Gap a crossing on their soon-to-be-famous cattle trail.

Very good info thanks. I have been working on permission to detect along the stage coach trail, in hopes of recovering some relics. You can still see the wagon wheel ruts from high on the cliffs above. There is a stage stop just past the Gap, but its been searched hundreds of times.
 
OP
B

bulletproof002000

Full Member
Nov 5, 2019
117
409
Big Spring Texas
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT pro, Garrett AT max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
then try new technology, say a PI with a 1m+ coil

edit: put the coil on wheels and make a 'magnetic' anomaly map (all metal, yes)


That would be great if i could afford a pulse induction machine...lol I might see if one of the folks in the club Im joining have one and take them out with me.
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
That would be very nice to see some of the treasure. I have been detecting down there since I got into the hobby, and have found some great items but no treasure as of yet. The Gap is about a mile form my place, but you never know.

Hello Bulletproof002000

The following treasure that once belonged to Maximilian was never found at castle gap. But came to the United States via a family that looted the dead body of Maximilian after he was executed by firing squad. His big diamond he used to wear on his chest ended up as ring

maxcatalog.jpg

HIGHTICKET 00007.jpg

HIGHTICKET 00004.jpg

The story on how it got to United States was and interesting one. A story of greed racism and outright theft. A few years ago it was sold to jeweler in Florida.

The ring below is one of diamonds and huge emerald. It was one of 5 huge emeralds Maximilian bought in Brazil before he came to Mexico.

maximillian-emerald-ring-21-04-carat.jpg

It ended up in the private collection of Marjorie May-weather a New York ultra rich socialite who collected Gems.

marjorie-merri-weather-post-hillwood-museum.jpg

After he death she left most of her collection to what is now housed in the National Gem and Mineral collection at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Now in regards to Castle gap story I suspect there would be more chance in finding small caches of those who past through the area because the area was a natural choke point for travelers. Not necessary famous people like Maximilian but ordinary unknown pioneers either fleeing Indians or confederates or bandits., hiding or losing valuables due to various wars and insurrection in the last 150 odd years. Than relying on story connecting it to Maximilian.

Kanacki
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
More on Marjorie Merriweather

It appears that a very successful business women Marjorie Merriweather post acquired Maximilian's Emerald and diamond ring, And necklace of Emeralds and diamonds in the late 1930's

CartierMarjorie014.jpg__760x0_q75_crop-scale_subsampling-2_upscale-false.jpg

Marjorie Merriweather Post was born on March 15, 1887, in Springfield, Illinois, and was the only child of Charles William Post and his wife Ella Leticia Merriweather. C. W. Post founded the Postum Cereal Company after his invention of the coffee substitute Postum, Grape-Nuts, and Post Toasties cereals, which expanded rapidly to become one of the largest food-manufacturing empires in early twentieth century.

Being his only child, C. W. Post trained his daughter in all aspects of the company's workings, preparing the groundwork for his daughter to takeover the rapidly expanding family business at anytime in the future. Marjorie who also accompanied her father on his business trips abroad, was exposed to the appreciation of art and imbibed her father's interests as a connoisseur and collector of artworks.

The death of C. W. Post in 1914, thrust upon her the responsibility of running the rapidly growing family business, a role which she assumed with great ease given the training she received from her father before his death. At a time when women in America were seldom more than secretaries in a business world, dominated by men, Marjorie Merriweather Post became the first woman President of a company, going down in history as one of America's first businesswomen.

Mrs. Post married four times. Her first marriage was in 1905, to investment banker Edward Bennett Close, of Greenwich, Connecticut, by whom she had two daughters. However, the marriage ended up in divorce in 1919. Her second marriage was in 1920, to Wall Street financier Edward Francis Hutton. This marriage was a perfect match, both being handsome, wealthy and similar inclinations towards business. The business acumen of Hutton coupled with the experience of Mrs. Post, led to a rapid expansion of the business. Hutton became the Chairman of the Board of the Postum Cereal Company, which diversified into the prepared and frozen food products with great success, and the name of the company changed to the General Foods Corporation.

Post and Hutton were divorced in 1935, and had one child by their marriage. Marjorie married her third husband Joseph E. Davies, a Washington lawyer in 1935, and accompanied him to the Soviet Union, where he served as the American ambassador from 1937 to 1938, and was one of those who witnessed Stalin's reign of terror first hand. It was also in the Soviet Union, that Marjorie began acquiring Russian imperial art treasures which were sold with the approval of the government of the Soviet Union.

Among the items of Russian art acquired by her, included Russian icons, textiles, porcelains, silver and Faberge art objects. Her collection of Russian art, today is the most important collection of Russian imperial art outside Russia, and is displayed at the Hillwood Museum, her former residence in Washington D.C. Marjorie's marriage to Davies also came to an end in 1955. Her fourth marriage occurred in 1958 to Herbert A. May, a wealthy Pittsburg businessman, a marriage that lasted only until 1964.

Besides being a successful businesswoman, Marjorie was also a well known art collector, a philanthropist and socialite. As pointed out earlier she inherited her passion for the arts from her father C. W. Post, but her collection began to expand significantly only after she moved to New York in the early 20th century. While at New York she came under the influence of the wealthy collectors of the New York high society.

To learn more about art she enrolled in classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and came under the influence of the renowned art dealer Sir Joseph Duveen, who instilled a life long passion for the arts in Marjorie.

During the 1920s she acquired decorative art objects for her New York home, and French furnishings for her grand apartment in New York, her estate Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, Camp Hutridge in the Adirondacks and her yacht Sea Cloud. She also acquired fine Sevres porcelain and 18th century French gold boxes.

She put together her Russian collection of art during her third husbands assignment as American ambassador in 1937-38. She continued collecting throughout her life, and in 1958 hired Marvin Ross, a Harvard trained art historian to catalogue and organize her collections and implement standard museum practices at Hillwood.

In 1973, after her death, Hillwood, her last estate in Washington D. C. was bequeathed to the public as a museum, where her magnificent French and Russian collections are on display. This was her final and most important philanthropic gesture.

Marjorie Merriweather Post involved herself in lot of charitable activities during the great depression of the 1930s, and supported many philanthropic causes throughout her life. She supported the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and during World War I donated funds for the construction of field hospitals in France, a gesture that was recognized by the French Government, who awarded her the Legion of Honor. In 1971, she was the recipient of the Silver Fawn Award presented by the Boy Scouts of America.

Marjorie Merriweather Post donates her jewelry to the NMNH of the Smithsonian Institution.
Marjorie Merriweather Post donated some of her jewelry of historical value to the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in the 1960s, where these are exhibited today at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals.

The famous pieces of jewelry donated by her include the following.

1) A pair of 20-carat diamond earrings belonging to Marie Antoinette
2) 275 carat diamond and turquoise necklace and tiara given by Napoleon I to his wife Empress Marie Louise.
3) The 30.82-carat "Blue Heart" diamond ring, containing the "Blue Heart" diamond of South African origin.
4) Emerald and diamond necklace and ring belonging to the Mexican Emperor Maximilian Joseph.

The Maximilian Emerald Ring is Now exhibited in the Museo Alameda, San Antonio, Texas.

Was that all the jewels and treasure belonging to Maximilian.

There is an old treasure hunting saying. If you want to find treasure follow the money....

I have more...

Kanacki
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Now we know Maximilian personal wealth never fled with the Austrian officers in 1867. In 1893 as you can see documents surfaced that ended up in the recovery of Maximilian wealth.

maximillion treasure otago witness 20 july 1893.jpg

2 million 1893 dollars with adjusted inflation to 2018 values the treasure horde was worth 55 million today.

In 1893 most of Maximilian wealth became property of the Mexican treasury.

But the winds of fate in history has many twists my friends.

Kanacki
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Mexico has a long history of revolution. When dictator Porfirio Diaz took over and by 1911, when revolution happened again. The treasure consisting of 599 gold bars and jewelry from the late Maximilian was shipped from Mexico to New York United States.

GettyImages-3309270-d0166a4062134ba594fac61777058b82.jpg

However there was a collision between the treasure ship Merida and Farragut off the Virginia coast in 1911 in which the Merida sank with her treasure.

In 1931 there was a claim from a fish monger in London who claimed to the Maximilans son. Strange he waited until after his so called mother the empress, Carlotta to die 1927. He put in a claim on the treasure hunters that were searching for the ship wreck.

Whatever the results this dubious charter by the mid 1930's was not heard of. However by by 1937 the shipwreck was slowing being salvaged by divers. Newspaper reports in 1938 gave more details on the cargo. Such as 599 gold ingots. Crown Jewels plus 25 tons of silver.

The Expedition was being funded by the principle insurer Lloyd's of London. What ever was salvaged from the shipwreck was never revealed. where it ended up after that is anybodies guess?

You can see the only know surviving picture of the Merida below.

2163460856_dbd7269986.jpg

But the mystery remains after 4 attempts to dive and salvage the Merida no jewels or gold was found.

Kanacki
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Here is one of numerous newspaper stories of the search and attempted salvage of the Merida.

Tribune  Philippines  1932 - 1945  Friday 23 September 1932, page 1.jpg

Tribune  Philippines  1932 - 1945  Friday 23 September 1932, page 1 p3.jpg

Tribune  Philippines  1932 - 1945  Friday 23 September 1932, page 1 p2.jpg

Kanacki
 

KANACKI

Bronze Member
Mar 1, 2015
1,446
5,856
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
At the time of Merida's loss her total value including the ship and the cargo was estimated to be approximately US$2,000,000. After the sinking many Mexican refugees claimed they carried significant amount of cash and jewelry, obviously undeclared, in their luggage or on their persons.

Some claimed they deposited their valuables in the ship's safe which went down with the vessel. Rumors of hundreds of thousands of dollars on board the ship soon translated into a belief that the ship's cargo was significantly more valuable that first thought and many more attempts would be made over the years to retrieve the treasure. At some point in 1916, another rumor appeared that Merida carried crown jewels and famous rubies belonging to Empress Carlota being smuggled out of Mexico, which roughly doubled the value of presumed treasure.

After the inquiry commission refused to put blame on the American Mail Steamship Company, a lessee of Admiral Farragut, owners of Merida filed a libel lawsuit for US$1,800,000 in the New York District Court. Out of this total, US$237,500 was for the silver bars, US$90,000 for mahogany logs and US$25,730 for copper bars.

The bulk of the claim was for the vessel herself, amounting roughly to US$1,200,000. On March 15, 1912 a decision was rendered by the court ordering American Mail Steamship Company to pay only US$105,000 to the New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Co., citing the limitation of liability.

For many years afterwards claims and rumors persisted Maximillian's treasure was alleged to be on the ship. The main proper-gator of this was Popular mechanics magazines in the 1920,s newspapers of the day and promoters for the 4 salvage operations.

So where does it leave us?

Kanacki
 

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Top