Historical information

The Italian barque Antares was an iron three-masted sailing clipper built in 1888 by Russell & Co of Port Glasgow originally named the “Sutlej” and renamed in 1907 the “Antares” when sold to the Semider Bros of Genoa Italy. The vessel left Marseilles on the 18th December 1913 with its master captain Gazedo destined for Mullaly & Byrne of Melbourne with a cargo of roofing tiles but failed to arrive. The wreckage was found near the Bay of Islands twenty-two miles east of Warrnambool after a body had washed ashore. Some of the timbers washed up were charred by fire, and a small boat's stern board with the name "Sutlej" led to the identification of the wreck as Antares which had been reported missing. According to later reports, the Antares wrecking was overshadowed by war news at the time.
A young local boy had remarked that the Germans had arrived off the coast as he had seen them firing off shells and rockets, but his story was passed off as a joke. These rockets were most likely the distress signals from the stricken ship. The Italian barque/clipper Antares was sometime later reported as overdue. The wreck of the ship was later found at the base of a cliff at the Bay of Islands near Warrnambool in November 1914, there were no survivors.


The Antares is significant as it was a sail trader carrying an international inbound cargo during the early part of the 20th century. It is part of the Great Ocean Road Historic Shipwreck Trail and as such is registered as a protected wreck in the Victorian Heritage Database VHS S34 .

Physical description

Piece of clay terracotta roofing tile recovered from the wreck of the Antares.

Inscriptions & markings

Tile has letters and symbols inpressed into the clay. ”- E R I E S DE LA MEDITERRANEE” “ … T S – MI-LES BOU- R …..” & SYMBOL of Sideways crown or tree (could be TULLERIES DE LA MEDITERRANEE)