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Exhibition texts read aloud - Resande Man

Resande Man, Instruction

This exhibition's texts takes about 20 minutes to get read aloud. It is divided into three parts: Introduction, Story and Exhibits and floor.

The Introduction begins directly in the passage from the Sea of Memories, and continues along the left wall.

The Story runs along the right and far wall of the exhibition room.

Exhibits with objects hang down from the ceiling around the room, and the floor is covered by a carpet where the wreck is depicted.

Introduction

Story

Exhibits and floor

Introduction

On the wall in the passage from Sea of Memories

As the ship sank, we saw heads, arms and people climbing up the rigging, and we heard terrible screams, so that our fear and our melancholy grew as we found ourselves in the world’s most dire distress and we can only thank God for our salvation.

Qoute from the testimony by Andreas Bjugg, survivor of Resande Man

In the passage. Left wall.

Three newspaper headlines with reference to different map points:

Heading 1: Divers Found Resande Man

Heading 2: Mythical shipwreck found

Heading 3: Resande Man found - was gone for 352 years

In the room. Left short wall.

In 2012, the shipwreck of Resande Man (‘Travelling Man’) was finally discovered.

The ship sank in the Stockholm archipelago during a storm in November 1660. Resande Man, a small warship, was bound for Poland on a major diplomatic mission. Barely half of those on board managed to survive.

One of the survivors, secretary of the royal chancery Andreas Bjugg, provided a powerful description of the dramatic shipwreck. Bjugg’s story was widely circulated, and Resande Man was soon a mythical and sought-after wreck. Many have thought that they had discovered it.

The Story. Right and far wall.

The last voyage

Dalarö, Stockholm archipelago, November 1660. On board Resande Man is a diplomatic delegation of 13 people, a crew of 50 men, and the captain’s fiancée. The chief pilot has fallen ill. But the diplomatic mission is urgent, and the ship departs without a replacement for him.

At Landsort, the ship anchors due to severe weather. The storm does not let up, and the next day the ship drifts, hit the rocks, leaks and begins to sink. The launched tender soon becomes overcrowded. People run up the rig – but fall off, disappearing in the waves. A few cling to the top, which appears just above the water’s surface over the sunken ship below.

Andreas Bjugg

One of the survivors was Andreas Bjugg. He was 29 years old and part of the diplomatic delegation on board. The experience naturally made a profound impression on him, and he was happy to describe it. First, Bjugg left an unusually detailed testimony – you can listen to it in the room next door. It was probably also he who commissioned the painting here on the left, depicting the sinking of Resande Man. The painting remains in the family’s possession.

Bjugg completed the diplomatic mission to Poland shortly after the sinking, with another delegation. He then continued his diplomatic career and was knighted under the name Lilliestierna a few years before he died in 1679.

The testimony as a painting

Andreas Bjugg commissioned this painting of the sinking of Resande Man. The painting should be interpreted from right to left. The ship first crashes against the rocks, and then Bjugg and others climb into the tender. In the third part, the ship begins to sink. In the fourth part on the far left, only the masts are sticking up.

Text on the painting:

  1. The ship Resande Man, 12 guns, lies out and departs from the customs house in Dalarö, Monday, 23 Nov. 1660.
  2. The mission anchors at Elfsnabben that same evening, and on Wednesday morning sets sail and heads out to sea; 20 kilometres outside Landes Ort, however, it returns, gets off course and anchors near several rocks.
  3. Thursday the 26th, 10 a.m., both anchors are lost and the ship crashes into a rock called Gumman.
  4. The Count takes the Captain’s betrothed, 3 servants and 2 seamen with him in the boat, which capsizes.
  5. 24 persons in the large boat leave the ship under great danger, heading towards Torö, however with no oars.
  6. The ship sinks.
  7. 5 people the next day are rescued from the main top, but are very frostbitten.

Film room

Small room to the right: Andreas Bjugg's testimony in a film with both sound and text.

The exhibition then continues along the right wall of the room.

Resande Man’s mission

In the spring of 1660, Poland and Sweden finally made peace after a century of unrest and war. Later that year the Swedish Riksdag decided on several diplomatic delegations, one of which was destined for Poland. The task of leading the mission went to Count Christoph Carl von Schlippenbach, a privy councillor and ambassador with extensive diplomatic experience. Resande Man would take them there.

Envoys on assignment brought gifts: magnificent silver, exclusive hunting weapons, or why not a luxurious caparison? The more vital the mission, the more extravagant the gifts. Schlippenbach probably also brought travel funds with him and, like the other delegates, plenty of personal belongings.

Privy councillor von Schlippenbach

Christoph Carl von Schlippenbach was born in Kurland in modern-day Latvia. During the Thirty Years’ War, he entered Swedish service. Schlippenbach excelled and rose quickly through the ranks. He served both in the army and at court, and was often given diplomatic assignments. In the image above, he is celebrating the Peace of Westphalia along with high-ranking figures from several countries.

The Swedish queen, Christina, appointed Schlippenbach as colonel of the Life Guards and count. Her successor, Charles X Gustav, gave him more diplomatic duties. It appears that von Schlippenbach himself initiated some of the assignments he went on, perhaps even his last one.

The people on board

We have the names of only a few of the 64 people aboard Resande Man. From the crew, we know only one person: Captain Månsson. A few others are mentioned, but without a name: the master, the apprentice pilot.

At least 13 people were part of the diplomatic delegation, and we know the names and positions of a handful of them. The only passenger on board in addition to the delegation was Captain Månsson’s fiancée, also unnamed.

After this text there is a black pillar.

The long search. After the pillar.

Many have searched for the fabled ship Resande Man. Stories of the ship, the wreck and the cargo have lived on intom odern times.

Many have believed that they have found the ship, but these have been other wrecks – there are many in the Baltic. Resande Man’s position has been uncertain, and the sources are difficult to interpret. Perhaps the wreck’s vulnerable location caused it to be scattered into pieces and lost forever?

In 2012, a group of divers again reported a find. The wreck was inspected by maritime archaeologists from several different institutions. Everything indicates that it most likely is Resande Man.

Salvage and treasures

It was desirable to salvage equipment and goods from sunken ships as soon as possible. Guns and other items on Resande Man were retrieved back in 1661. Documents and protocols revealed that many valuables were on board, such as a silver service, 7,000 Swedish riksdaler and a chest of coins. The recovery was carried out by Hans Albrecht von Treileben, who later also salvaged Vasa’s guns.

But the position of the wreck was then forgotten. Once found in 2012, it lay much shallower than von Treileben reported. The information has tricked many into looking in the wrong places and has been the cause of disagreements and intrigue among groups of divers, archaeologists and museums.

Mysteries and adventures

The sinking of Resande Man has inspired several writers to weave this dramatic and tragic tale into their stories. One example is the mystery novel Achilles Heel, and another is a series of youth books called Secrets of the Skerries.

Silverware certificate

The von Schlippenbach family was affected when estates of the nobility were returned to the crown in the 1680s. A dispute over the family’s possessions arose – silverware was missing. A certificate was issued that it was in the wreckage in a red chest. Neither chest nor silverware has been found.

Theatrum Europaeum

Qoute: On the 18th of the same month, Count Schlippenbach followed this route to Dalarö, where he was awaited by the Crown’s ship, or rather by Death. The ship’s name was Resande Man.

From Theatrum Europaeum, a 17th century chronicle of European history. The story of von Schlippenbach’s fate made a good fit, stoking the myth and spreading it across Europe.

The elusive wreck. Interactivity and text.

Many times, Resande Man has been staggering news. The papers have reported frequently on wrecks close to Landsort that has been found, and sometimes investigated by divers and archaeologists. The drama surrounding the sinking came to life again. Intrigues and disagreements among scientists and amateur divers were exposed in detail in the reporting. But many times it became clear that it once again was the wrong wreck. Resande Man would continue to elude everyone – until 2012.

Interactivity: Browse newspaper articles from the period September 1983 and May 2012. The material sheds light on how different people and groups on different occasions thought they had found Traveling Man.

Investigations of the wreck

Resande Man is a well-preserved wreck, though rather collapsed. Maritime archaeologists have examined it several times, and documented the entire site carefully.

The wreck stands upright on a flat sandy bottom, at a depth of 15 metres (49 ft). Archaeological investigations have shown that the ship was close to 26 metres (85 ft) long and had three masts. High frames protrude along the si.des of the ship, but the planking has fallen to the bottom. Rigging parts and other equipment are scattered across the wreck site.

One of the few items that has been retrieved is the coin in the display behind you. There is a dive ban at the site, and there are no plans to lift the wreck – it is best preserved by the Baltic Sea.

Examine the wreck. Interactive station.

To the left of the screen is a plan of the wrecksite,, where a selection of wreck site objects is marked. On the screen, you can zoom in on the 3D image and look at the details of the wreck site. What objects can you find?

You can see a scale view of a large portion of Resande Man on the floor in this room. The image was made from a 3D model, which in turn was created from nearly 7,000 photos of the wreck.

Sketch of the wreck with the placement of 20 objects marked

  1. Cannonball
  2. Gun
  3. Bronze wheel
  4. Case bottle
  5. Mast partner
  6. Windlass
  7. Case bottle
  8. Buoy
  9. Gun
  10. Lid with handle
  11. Officers' toilet
  12. Brick
  13. Case bottle
  14. Gun
  15. Wheel from gun carriage
  16. Sounding lead
  17. Deadeye
  18. Cannonball
  19. Planking
  20. Deadeye

Is this Resande Man?

Identifying a wreck can be difficult. Hard work usually isn’t enough – plenty of luck is needed, too. The Naval ships and their fates were registered in several ways back in the 17th century, so they are a bit easier to keep track of than other ships.

So what about Resande Man? An archaeologist can rarely be completely sure, but there is a lot that indicates that this really is Resande Man:

  • The wreck’s position.
  • Depth of the wreck site. Read more here on the left.
  • The type and size of the ship.
  • Remains of the gun salvage.
  • The nature of the objects.
  • The date of the recovered metal coin.
  • Wood samples. Show that the timber was felled approximately 1645.

What depth was the wreck at?

According to the gun salvage, Resande Man lay at a depth of 25 metres. But Bjugg and other sources tell us that the main mast’s top stuck up above the surface after the ship had sunk. Bjugg’s information is consistent both with the wreck’s depth and with the mast height of ships like Resande Man.

We can only speculate why von Treileben provided incorrect information.

Exhibits and floor

On the carpet in the room a full-scale image of a large part of Resande Man is printed. From the ceiling exhibits are hanging, containing virtual objects, a kind of projections.

The exhibits are hanging above the site in the wreck where the object is located. When you approach an exhibit, the object is replaced with a short film that shows the object in the wreck.

Exhibit texts. Begin by the short wall at the exhibition entrance.

Sounding lead

An instrument for measuring water depth. Perhaps the lead was used by the inexperienced apprentice pilot as he desperately tried to navigate the archipelago during the storm. The decision to depart without an experienced pilot on board would be criticised.

Lid with handle

Likely part of an elegant tankard in pewter or silver. Count von Schlippenbach, privy councillor, ambassador and passenger on board, may have brought the tankard. It was valuable, and fine gifts were necessary in diplomatic negotiations.

Case bottles

These costly bottles were stored in small, handsome caskets with compartments. Perhaps they contained alcohol, and belonged to von Schlippenbach, who was on a diplomatic mission and needed to indulge his hosts in all situations.

Deadeye. Far left.

Part of the rigging used to tension the shrouds that support the mast. When Resande Man sank, seven people managed to climb up into the top, which stuck up just a few metres above the water’s surface. The next day, when rescue came, two men had frozen to death.

Brick

In the stern, on the portside, we find bricks and firewood scattered about. The ship’s hearth was likely in this area. Resande Man was a warship, and the cookroom would have been able to serve a crew of 50 sailors and as many soldiers.

Plate money

This Swedish copper coin is one of few objects retrieved from the shipwreck since it was found in 2012. It was lifted in order to date the wreck. The coin was minted sometime between 1649–1657. The dating suggests that the wreck indeed can be Resande Man.

Cannonball

The wreck contains many cannonballs, but no one knows how many guns there were. One source tells of 12 guns on board, another 22. In the years after the sinking several were salvaged, but it is unclear how many. Four guns remain at the bottom.

Truck from gun carriage

Loose wheels like this one are scattered across the wreck site. They come from gun carriages. Outside the wreck on the starboard side lies an almost intact truck. Perhaps it is a trace of the salvaging that took place using a diving bell in the years after the sinking.

Officers’ toilet. At the end of the exhibition.

This conical metal tube is behind the wreck. Only officers and important passengers like Count von Schlippenbach and Captain Månsson were allowed in the stern of the ship. Going to the toilet in privacy was a privilege, not for those of lower status.

 


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Page last updated: 2021-09-07