Lead Ingot - "SAN ANDRES"


This massive lead ingot, with stamped letters "SAN ANDRES", is in very good condition. Recovered by divers from a shipwreck likely off the coast of North Carolina, it originated from the lead mine and smelting plant at San Andres de Adra, Spain. It measures approximately 33 inches in length, 6 inches in width, and is 3 inches thick. It weighs approximately 150 pounds. These ingots were not only used by arsenals to manuacture bullets and other materials for war, but also as ballast for the ship to improve its stability. The letters "SAN ANDRES" are deeply stamped and all very visible. What is most interesting about this ingot is the fact that remnants of sea organisms are still visible at one end which clearly confirms that it rested on the ocean floor for some time. I imagine that it was completely covered with sea creatures at the time of its recovery. An example of another "SAN ANDRES" ingot can be found in "Civil War Artifacts" by Howard Crouch on page 103, item 1. According to Crouch, the example pictured in his book was found on a sunken Union supply ship also off the North Carolina coast. Other information I have uncovered in my research of these ingots indicates that they were possibly shipped to the Confederacy by blockade runners. This ingot will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War bullet, nautical, or general relic collection. 

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