24 Jun, 2019 @ 14:00
1 min read

British tea set recovered from 150-year-old shipwreck on show at unique Costa Blanca maritime exhibition

AN exhibition displaying British-made plates, bowls and a tea set from a steamship that sank off the Costa Blanca 150 years ago has opened in Denia.

The Parthenon, built in Sunderland, went down in the breakwaters just north of Denia’s port during a violent storm in November 1869 on its way to buy raisins.

The history of the ship was only discovered this year after a diver found the British-made plates, and the hull of an iron ship, and matched it to Spanish newspaper reports of the shipwreck.

STEAMSHIP: What the Parthenon may have looked like

“Denia had a glorious golden age from around 1850 to 1890 when we exported raisins all over the world,” the director of the Museo Arqueologico de Denia, Josep Gisbert, told the Olive Press.

“Victorian Britain was also the world power at the time, and the Denia bourgeoisie wanted anything and everything British.

“The ‘blue willow pattern’ Chinese imitation plates were a symbol of prosperity, and that’s what the Parthenon was carrying when it sank.”

DAVY JONES’ CROCKERY: Plates and the tea set recovered from the 150-year-old shipwreck

The plates are now on display at the newly opened Museo del Mar, which opened in Denia on June 14.  

Gisbert said the largest two plates of the collection were likely used for roasting ‘turkeys’ and pheasants’, a smaller plate was for ‘soup’ and two bowls held ‘cakes’ to be eaten with tea.

He added he was looking into obtaining British-made tableware from the area to recreate an ‘authentic’ Victorian meal using the historic finds.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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