Nuestra Señora de Atocha (1622)
Because it is almost wholly-Incan in design, this silver plate recovered from the wreck of the 1622 galleon Atocha is very rare. The general form of the plate is known from other ceramic examples; this is the only in silver. A central heraldic engraving shows two condors holding a “mascaipacha,” the fringed scarlet cloth reserved for the foreheads of Incan kings. On either side of the round, central figure are sets of “tocapu,” stylized, geometric patterns that some believe are a yet-to-be-deciphered form of writing. The plate almost surely came from the Andean city of Potosí, where so much of the silver wealth aboard the Atocha originated.