Time to Sell in Sedwick’s next Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction

29 Jul

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Looking to consign? Contact us today! Email us at office@sedwickcoins.com or call our office at 407.975.3325 (Consignment deadline August 20, 2018)

Our sixth live floor auction (Treasure, World, U.S. Coins & Paper Money Auction #24) will take place on November 2-3, 2018 at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel at Disney Springs, just minutes from Walt Disney World. We invite you to attend and take part in the outstanding opportunities this event offers, whether as a consignor or a bidder:

  • Educational presentations the day before the auction (November 1) by numismatic and shipwreck experts from around the world, including: Barry Clifford, underwater explorer and discoverer of the pirate treasure ship Whydah (1717); Dr. Kris E. Lane, Tulane University professor of colonial Latin American history and researcher on the colonial history of the Andes, mining, piracy, and global trade; and Emilio M. Ortiz, professional numismatist, researcher and author.
  • Networking with other collectors and dealers at our pre-auction dinner (November 1)
  • Lot viewing for all lots the day before and during the live auction right next to the auction room in the hotel
  • Live bidding in our state-of-the-art auction room

The special room rate will be available until October 9th or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. Booking a reservation is simple: Just click here to receive our preferred group rate: “Book a Room

If you prefer to make your reservation by phone, please call 1-800-222-TREE(8733) and specify group code “SED”. Hotel address and details as follows: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Spring Area | 2305 Hotel Plaza | Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Florida – USA 32830 – Tel: +1-407.934.1000 | Fax: +1-407.934.1015

Interested in selling your collection or individual pieces? Take advantage of this unique opportunity to consign to our Fall Floor Auction. Now is a great time to buy or sell thanks to a robust market, our expertise and integrity in Spanish colonial and shipwreck coinage, and our exhaustive marketing efforts. Every item in our auctions is well researched, cataloged and photographed, and presented in professionally printed catalogs that become important references. We take auction lots to coin shows around the country for viewing, send out promotional literature, and personally get in touch with important collectors around the world.

¡Hablamos su idioma! Our multilingual staff deals with the most important Latin American bidders and buyers on the market. We are able to travel and talk to all our Hispanic bidders and consignors, which creates a level of comfort that draws even the most private participants to our venue.

  Contact us now to place your items in our upcoming sale! Here is what we are seeking:

•  Choice and important Spanish colonial cobs from Mexico, Lima and Potosí
•  Collections of Latin American coins, particularly Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru
•  Gold bars and artifacts from the Spanish Fleets of 1622 (Atocha and Santa Margarita)
•  US coins and world paper money

Please come see us at the following show to consign to our auction:
• August 14-18, 2018: ANA World’s Fair of Money (booth #1333), Philadelphia, PA

And at the following shows to view the auction lots:
•  October 11-13, 2018: U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association Convention, Scottsdale, AZ

•  October 25-27, 2018: Whitman Baltimore Winter Expo, Baltimore, MD

Our auctions are known worldwide as the best place to buy and sell the kinds of coins and artifacts you love to collect or sell! We look forward to hearing from you soon to help you with your collecting or selling needs, and we hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows AND in Orlando in November for our live floor auction.

Early American regulated $15 gold coin sells for $152,750

18 May

A unique, early American regulated $15 gold coin marked by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards, Jr. drew intense bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, US Coin & Paper Money Auction 23, held online May 15-16, 2018.

The coin’s rarity stems from a small IE countermark on a plug in what was once a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1741V. The NGC slab label denoted the coin’s grade of XF 40 as well as its unique association with Joseph Edwards, Jr. The coin, accompanied by an article on its history and pedigree to the Julius Brown sale of 1911, sold for $152,750 on a $100,000 and up estimate.

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Lot 83 – USA, regulated $15, Joseph Edwards plug and countermark (Boston, ca. 1780) on a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1741V, extremely rare, NGC XF 40, ex-Brown (Chapman, 1911).

Daniel Sedwick, president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, said the regulated $15 gold coin first appeared on the market in the 1911 sale, where the significance of the regulation mark went unnoticed. The coin sold for just $19 then.

“It was especially rewarding to see an exceptional result on lot 83, the first gold cob 8 escudos known to be regulated to a $15 standard with the mark of Joseph Edwards, Jr,” he said. “A record number of bidders propelled prices to strong levels in many areas, but particularly in gold cobs and shipwreck ingots, our specialties.”

Overall, the auction featured 2,001 lots and realized $1.65 million. All prices listed include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Lima

Lot 18, an NGC-graded MS 62 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1712M from the 1715 Fleet which sank off of the east coast of Florida.

The majority of top-selling gold cobs were those recovered from the 1715 Fleet, which sank off the east coast of Florida. Lot 18, an NGC-graded MS 62 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1712M sold for $25,850 on a $12,500 to $20,000 estimate. Another high performer was an NGC-graded MS 61 Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos dated 1715J (lot 6) that went for $18,800 on a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.

Shipwreck ingots attracted interest as a trio of Atocha (1622) silver “loaf” bars (lots 243-245) in Class Factors 0.7, 0.9 and 1.0 (the highest quality) sold for $30,000, $32,500, and $48,500 respectively. Another Atocha ingot, a cylindrical “piña” ingot (lot 246), brought in $30,550 while a half-cut gold finger bar (lot 238) from the “Golden Fleece wreck” sold for $31,725.

Atocha

Lot 243, a Class Factor 1.0 silver bar weighing 88 troy pounds, 3.84 troy ounces found in the Atocha shipwreck.

Agustín García-Barneche, vice president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, was equally enthusiastic for shipwreck coins as well as world gold and silver coins.

“Our spring auction resulted in energetic bidder competition, especially in our Shipwreck and Latin America coin sections,” he said. “We positioned our company in a market that allows us to reach and attract consignors and bidders of Latin American numismatics.”

Latin American coin highlights in the World Gold Coins section included an NGC-graded XF details Costa Rican 8 escudos dated 1828F (lot 152) sold for $10,575 on a $8,000 to $12,000 estimate. In World Silver Coins, a Costa Rican 8 reales with an 1846JB 2-reales counterstamp and a “8” countermark on a Guatemala cob 8 reales (lot 1143) sold for $8,225 on a $7,000 to $10,000 estimate. Another rarity sold was a Mexico City, Mexico, pillar 8 reales dated 1733MF and graded NGC AU 53 (lot 1319) which blazed past its $2,000 to $3,000 estimate to reach $4,406.

Other top lots include:

  • Lot 1, a Mexico City, Mexico cob 8 escudos, undated but with visible assayer’s mark J from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 61 sold for $10,869.
  • Lot 5, a Mexico City, Mexico 1714J cob 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 63 sold for $10,810.
  • Lot 15, a Lima, Peru 1711M cob 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet sold for $20,562.
  • Lot 194, a Mexico City, Mexico 1823JM Iturbide 8 escudos plated in James Bevill’s book The Paper Republic (2009) sold for $7,050.
  • Lot 242, a silver “tumbaga” bar weighing 2,801 grams from the “Tumbaga” wreck (ca. 1528) sold for $9,400.
  • Lot 466, a large clump of encrusted cob 8 reales weighing 1,266 grams from the 1715 Fleet sold for $6,462.
  • Lot 470, a Mexico City, Mexico cob 4 reales from the Whydah (1717) sold for $13,630.
  • Lot 608, an 1856-S Liberty Head double eagle graded NGC UNC details / sea salvaged from the “Fort Capron treasure” (1857) sold for $3,819.
  • Lot 878, a Potosi, Bolivia 1666E cob 8 reales Royal sold for $10,575.
  • Lot 989, a Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic enriched billon 11 maravedis sold for $8,225.
  • Lot 1568, a San Juan, Puerto Rico, Banco Español 20 pesos specimen (ca. 1889) graded PMG Gem UNC 65 EPQ sold for $1,410.
  • Lot 1599, a small, 7” piece of gold “olive blossom” chain from the 1715 Fleet sold for $4,759.

Full auction results can be viewed online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC is accepting consignments for their Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 24 through Aug. 20, 2018. The sale will be held at the Disney Springs Doubletree in Orlando, Florida on Nov. 1-3, 2018. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC by email at office@sedwickcoins.com.

Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 23 to feature PCGS-graded coins

10 May

A wide variety of rarities graded by PCGS are set to draw heavy bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 23 to be held live online on May 15 and 16, 2018.

PCGS-graded coins

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Lot 24: a Lima, Peru, cob 2 escudos, struck during the reign of King Philip V of Spain and lost while en route to Spain while aboard a vessel in the 1715 Fleet.

Bidders can register for the auction at www.auction.sedwickcoins.com. The auction catalog is available at www.sedwickcoins.com. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at office@sedwickcoins.com.

Sedwick Treasure auction to feature the James Bevill Collection of Mexican Coins & Paper Money

1 May

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The May 15-16, 2018 Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction #23 held by Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC will feature 51 lots from the collection of author and researcher James P. Bevill. Many of these coins are the plate specimens from Bevill’s award winning book, The Paper Republic, the Struggle for Money, Credit and Independence in the Republic of Texas, 2009. Bevill’s pieces are all museum quality, having been exhibited in venues across Texas in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and most recently, the Rosenberg Library Museum in Galveston.

In the early coinage, one highlight is Lot# 689, a Mexico City 4 reales Charles-Joanna, Early Series, assayer P to right, mintmark M to left, described as “deep rainbow toning, full details (legend and interiors), AU or better but with areas of light surface pitting, as from the ‘Golden Fleece Wreck,’ ca. 1550, HISPANIE variety, with unusual stops between words in the legends on both sides, and a die match to the only other example known (Banco de Mexico collection).” There are a dozen Mexican 8 reales cobs represented from the Bevill collection in the sale, including ten with full four-digit dates, two of which are overdates: Lot #721, a 1652/49; and Lot #735, a 1659/8, described as “rare,” a “richly toned” VF with bold full date.

Mexican silver coins by type are well represented in the sale, including Lot #1379, a War of Independence, Monclova, 1811 countermark on cast Mexico City bust 8 reales 1809 HJ, graded VF30, c/s XF strong. It is one of just two graded in NGC census, both in VF. There are five Mexican pillar 8 reales, also known as Pillar Dollars, including Lot #1325, a rare Charles III, 1761MM, cross below ‘I” variety (rare). There are three silver 8 reales coins with the bust of Mexican Emperor Augustin Iturbide in the sale. Lot #1383 features an 1823 JM Iturbide, Mexico City, 8 reales, JM below eagle, NGC MS 62+. This coin is described as “Reverse with beautiful rainbow toning on lustrous surface, the obverse somewhat frosty and matte but also toning at rim, ties with two others for finest known in NGC census.”

The gold selections include a type set of doubloons by Spanish Kings, including: Lot #170, a 1744 MF Philip V, NGC MS61; Lot #131, a 1751 J Ferdinand VI from Santiago, Chile, NGC MS62; Lot #171, a 1760 MM Charles III (young bust), NGC AU53; Lot #172, a 1772 FM, Charles III, MGC AU53; and Lot #178, 1820 JJ Ferdinand VII, graded NGC AU55. Not to be outdone by the Spanish Kings, Lot #194 features an 1823 JM Iturbide 8 escudos, a desirable example of an important one-year type, with large bust and eagle inside shield, graded NGC AU58, featured on the cover of the catalogue and plated as Fig. 3.8 on page 61 of The Paper Republic.

Bevill remarked that this sale constitutes the “end of an area of collecting that I have enjoyed for almost two decades.” The collection was painstakingly acquired to illustrate the evolution of the Spanish monetary system in colonial Texas, both in his book and in a broader context: alongside other Texas treasures as part of several museum exhibitions which were viewed by over 287,000 visitors from 2011-2016. Through this auction, resourceful bidders have the opportunity to take home some of these pieces, forever enshrined in an important work in numismatic literature.

For a complete listing of Bevill’s Collection follow this LINK

Direct Link to The Auction

Sedwick’s Auction 23 to feature NGC-graded coins and PMG-graded notes

24 Apr

A wide variety of rarities, both NGC-graded coins and PMG-graded notes, are set to draw heavy bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 23 to be held live online on May 15 and 16, 2018.

NGC-graded coins

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Lot 2 – Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos, (17)14J, Royal obverse die, encapsulated NGC MS 61, ex-1715 Fleet.

regulated

Lot 83 – USA, regulated $15, Joseph Edwards plug and countermark (Boston, ca. 1780) on a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1741V, extremely rare, NGC XF 40, ex-Brown (Chapman, 1911).

PMG-graded notes

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Lot 112 – USA, Continental Currency, $35, Jan. 14, 1779, serial 169644, PMG AU 53 EPQ.

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Lot 1561 – Lima, Peru, Banco Central, 100 soles, (1935) overprint on Banco de Reserva, 10 libras, 12-4-1922, series AI, serial 079433, PMG VF 30.

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Lot 1568 – San Juan, Puerto Rico, Banco Espanol, 20 pesos specimen, ND (ca. 1889), series C, PMG Gem UNC 65 EPQ, finest and only known example in PMG census.

Interested bidders can visit auction.sedwickcoins.com to view all the lots in the sale as well as place bids. The online auction will go live at 10 AM EST on May 15, 2018.

Historical regulated $15 gold coin to appear in Sedwick auction

13 Mar

In the early years of the United States of America, a lack of gold coinage forced citizens to utilize an unusual but practical source. Known as regulated gold, these were foreign gold coins adjusted by respected goldsmiths to weights compatible with US dollars. One such piece, an NGC-graded XF 40 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1741 struck during the reign of Philip V of Spain and regulated by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards, Jr. (1737-1783) to $15 in circulating value, will cross the auction block in Daniel Frank Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 23. The sale will be held online at auction.sedwickcoins.com on May 15-16, 2018. The auction firm’s estimate for this coin is $100,000 and up.

regulated

An NGC-graded XF 40 $15 regulated gold piece made from a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1741 by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards, Jr., ca. late 1700s.

“This is a very important piece for both the Spanish colonial coin collector as well as the US collector,” said company president Daniel Sedwick. “Never before have we offered such a significant gold coin; the dual-nation history it represents goes far beyond a simple countermark.”

The lot represents the only known gold piece regulated by Joseph Edwards, Jr. Edwards was a third-generation goldsmith from a prominent Boston family. He learned his craft from one of his uncles, Thomas or Samuel, and became a prosperous metalworker himself. The coin is also unique with a US dollar-denominated regulation on a Spanish colonial 8 escudos cob. Furthermore, it is pedigreed to the Julius L. Brown collection and was sold in the S.H. Chapman auction of 1911 as lot 343.

Also appearing in Sedwick’s auction is a group of ingots recovered from seven different shipwrecks. The top ingot lots are three large silver bars recovered from the Atocha, sunk in 1622 in the Gulf of Mexico. The finest one is a Class Factor 1.0-graded bar (the highest grade attainable for bars from the wreck) weighing in at 88 troy pounds, 3.84 troy ounces and dated 1621. It has an estimate of $30,000 and up. The other two large bars, with Class Factors 0.7 and 0.9, are estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 each. Another Atocha ingot of note in this auction is a rare cylindrical “piña” weighing 4,312 grams, estimated at $15,000 and up.

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Tax stamps in the name of King Philip III of Spain and fineness markings can be seen on the top of this unique “piña” ingot from the Atocha (1622).

Other top lots include:

  • A Lima, Peru, gold cob 8 escudos dated 1712 recovered from the 1715 Fleet and graded by NGC as MS 62, estimated at $12,500.
  • Half of a gold “finger” bar weighing 439 grams recovered from the “Golden Fleece wreck,” sunk ca. 1550 in the northern Caribbean, estimated at $17,500 and up.
  • A Costa Rica 8 reales 1846JB counterstamp on a Guatemala cob 8 reales dated 1739, estimated at $7,000 to $10,000.
  • An 1856-S Coronet Head Liberty $20 graded by NGC as UNC Details / sea salvaged from the “Fort Capron treasure,” estimated at $3,000 to $4,500.
  • A Puerto Rico 20 pesos specimen bank note circa 1889 graded by PMG as Gem UNC 65 EPQ (the finest and only known example in the PMG census), estimated at $1,500 and up.
  • Selections from the Richard Stuart collection mainly focusing on Honduras and Nicaragua provisional issues.
  • The James Bevill collection of Mexican coins and paper money, including several plated in his Texas history book The Paper Republic.
  • The Ricardo Muñiz collection of Mexico City, Mexico, pillar 1 reales.

Bidders can register for the auction at www.auction.sedwickcoins.com. The auction catalog will be available mid-April at www.sedwickcoins.com. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at office@sedwickcoins.com.

The Charles and Joanna Silver Coinage of Santo Domingo, 1542-1552

2 Feb

Originally published By Cori Sedwick Downing – October 30, 2013

The earliest Spanish colonial silver coins struck under Charles and Joanna in Santo Domingo are much rarer than their counterparts from the Mexico City mint, and while their designs are fundamentally the same, the execution of design on Santo Domingo’s products is generally much cruder. Treasure Auction #14[1] featured an offering of ten shipwreck[2] Charles and Joanna Santo Domingo coins—more coins of this type than have ever been offered in one place. The last major auction of these coins was Coins, Token and Medals from the West Indies, the 1975 Jess Peters, Inc., auction of the Ray Byrne collection, which presented nine specimens, two of each known denomination—½ real, 1 real, 2 reales, 4 reales—plus a controversial 10 reales.[3] The sale featured one ½ real, one 1 real, five 2 reales and three 4 reales, a distribution of denominations that mirrors the total population of known examples, which so far number less than a hundred in all.

The Santo Domingo mint began operating about six years after the start of the Mexico City mint and produced silver coins from 1542 to 1552. The paucity of coins compared to the thousands known from the Mexico City mint over the same time period may be due to lack of native silver and/or demand. The design of the coins was based on those used in Mexico City and followed the same royal decree: On one side was a simple crowned castles-and-lions shield with a pomegranate at the bottom of the shield, assayer and denomination to the right and left of the shield, legend lettering with stops to separate the words; and on the other side were two crowned pillars of Hercules with a banner running between the pillars, inside of which was some form of the word PLVS, mintmark on either side of the pillars, and legend lettering with stops to separate the words.

Unlike the coins from the Mexico City mint, there seems to be no consistency in placement of devices such as assayer, denomination, or mintmarks on the Santo Domingo coins; placement of castles and lions in the quadrants (“proper” being castles top-left and bottom-right, “transposed” being lions top-left and bottom-right); style of lettering (Gothic, modified Gothic, Latin); or even what the lettering spelled out. For example, of the twenty-seven known 2 reales, there are fifteen different legends on the pillars side of the coins. And, curiously, the Santo Domingo mint chose to spell the co-regent’s name as IHOANA or IYOANA (or variants thereof) instead of IOHANA, as was the convention in Mexico City. Even the predominant stop of M used in Santo Domingo was unknown in Mexico City.[4] Apparently the mint was given some leeway in its creation and use of design features not spelled out in the royal decree.

Assayer F, for Francisco Rodríguez, was the only assayer of Santo Domingo Charles and Joanna coinage. His initial does not appear on the ½ reales, is sometimes missing from the 1 and 2 reales, and always appears on the 4 reales. The denomination on the opposite side of the shield from his initial follows the same pattern. On the other hand, S and P, the mintmarks for Santo Domingo, almost always appear on the pillars side of the coins, either as S-P or P-S (and often with retrograde S). Why S-P for Santo Domingo? No one knows for sure, the leading theories being that the original name of the city was Santo Domingo del Puerto and also bore the nickname Santo Domingo Ciudad Primada; but in any case the theory that Spain didn’t send a D punch is certainly not valid, as the letter D properly appears in the legends.

The following is a summary of variations on the coins by denomination:

½ Real (Treasure Auction #14, lot 332) – October 30, 2013

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There are two die varieties for the eleven ½ real coins studied, and Lot 332 falls into the much less common variety of the two (of which there are three coins). The differences between the two varieties are the type of stop between the lettering in the legends and the legends themselves. The more common stop is M, which is typical of other denominations, while the much less common stop is o (unknown on any other denomination).

The legends of the more common variety read MC/\RMOLVSMETMIHO/\N/\RIX on the shield side and MC/\RMOLVSMETMIHO/\N/\RX on the pill.ars side. The legends of the less common variety read MC/\ROLVSoEToIHoo/\N/\oREISIP/\ on the shield side and MC/\ROLVSoEToIHO/\N/\oREISIP on the pillars side.

In general, both varieties are characterized by Latin lettering in the legends with the use of a makeshift A created by inverting the letter V (here represented as /\); crowned pillars containing a horizontal banner with only a P inside, flanked on the outside by mintmark P-S; and a crowned Gothic KY (although the initials more resemble modern RV) for the regents’ initials on the interior of the other side.

Lot 332 has a variation seen on only one other coin (from the same shipwreck but not in the auction): beneath the KY on the interior of the shield side is a flower with petals. All other varieties have MM (two clovers, one on top of the other, stem-to-stem), a device seen again as a stop on the 2 reales.

1 Real (Treasure Auction #14, lot 331) – October 30, 2013

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Nineteen 1 reales were studied, one being Lot 331. These coins are characterized by hybridized lettering in the legends—partly Gothic and partly Latin. On the shield side, the legend reads CAROLVS ET IOHANA in some manner, and the only device used as a stop is the M. There are five varieties of legend lettering (fewer than with 2 and 4 reales), with eight coins falling into a single variety. There are ten varieties of legend lettering on the pillars side (more in line with the amount of variety with 2 and 4 reales), two of which are the most common (five coins each) and the others unique or almost unique. Some legends bear a makeshift A by inverting the letter V.

The shields contain castles and lions in proper or transposed quadrants, beneath which is a pomegranate whose compartment is either wide or narrow. Most of the time there is no assayer or denomination to the left and right of the shield (eight coins). There is a 3-dot variety in which the dots are aligned vertically to the left and the right of the shield (six coins) or just to the left of the shield (one coin). It is unknown why this convention was adopted and it certainly doesn’t fit with the type of denomination marks found on the 2 and 4 reales.

The pillars-side legends contain nine variations, most of them spelling out some form of CAROLVS ET IHOANA RE, preceded by the cross ornament X (note the 2 and 4 reales have two types of cross ornament), while the others show some form of REGIS ISPANIARVM INDIARVN. Misspellings abound. Retrograde S’s in REGIS and ISPANIARVM are found on a few coins. Two coins bear a makeshift A made by inverting a V.

Crowned pillars contain a banner with initials P or S (or retrograde S) to the left, P or S to the right, and PL, PLV or LV within the banner. Sometimes the S and P are larger than the other letters, and sometimes they are positioned above the banner. There are eight crown styles, with two the most common and the others unique or almost unique. This is similar to the number of crown styles on 2 and 4 reales.

There are two types of stops used in the legends on either or both sides of the coin to separate words: the predominant stop, M, and :, which is found on only three coins, one of which is Lot 331, which is the only specimen to show : on both sides. Also unique on this coin is the mistaken spelling CRAOLVS instead of CAROLVS in the pillars side legend.

2 Reales (Treasure Auction #14, lots 326, 327, 328, 329 and 330) – October 30, 2013

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There are twenty-seven 2 reales in the population census, five of which are included in this auction. These and the 4 reales are the most common denominations of Santo Domingo silver coinage. They also have the largest variety of lettering styles, stops used between words in the legends, and pillar crown types. Some of the legends contain primarily Gothic lettering while others are a mix of Gothic and Latin lettering and all spell out CAROLVS ET IOHANA in some manner on the shield side. The types of devices used for stops on both sides include M, MM (two clovers, one on top of the other, stem-to-stem), F, *, :, l, a triangle made of o’s, and a cross made of four o’s (a unique variety). By far, the most common shield-side stops are the MM (seven coins). The mixture of Gothic and Latin lettering reads CAROLVSMMETMM IYOANA. Lot 328 bears this legend while the other four have four different legends. There are also coins bearing the lettering CHAROLVS on either the shield side or pillars side or both, and these are probably earlier types since they also have Gothic lettering. While several coins bear a retrograde S in CAROLVS, none bear the makeshift A made from an inverted V on the shield side. Only one coin bears a different style of E from the norm, more like a modified Gothic letter. One auction coin, Lot 330, is probably an early type given that the lettering on both sides is Gothic.

The shield contains castles and lions in proper or transposed quadrants, beneath which is a pomegranate whose compartment is either wide or narrow. The assayer’s F is either to the left or right of the shield and the denomination (ii) is on the opposite side. Two of the coins bear neither F nor ii. Of the two predominant styles, four out of five of the auction coins fall into one or the other. The fifth, Lot 328, contains a unique combination.

Pillars-side legends are quite variable with fifteen different legends recorded. None is a clear favorite. Even what the legend says is capricious, with nine legends containing some form of CAROLVS ET IHOANA REIS and six containing some form of REGIS ISPANIA INDIARVN. Two cross types appear before CAROLVS or REGIS, X or Q. There are misspellings and omitted letters on several. The unusual E appears on a few coins, including two of the auction coins, Lot 329 and Lot 328, as does the retrograde S in REGIS and ISPANIARVM. A few coins bear the makeshift A.

There are ten crown-style variations above the Pillars of Hercules, the only clear favorite being a style shown by five coins, three of which are in the auction: Lot 327, Lot 328, and Lot 329. The mintmarks and banner mottos begin with S or retrograde S, P, oPo, *P* or *P followed by PLVS, PLV, LVS, PL, LV or PV within the banner. To the right of the banner is P, S, oSo, *S*, *S, or oP. Sometimes the S and P are much larger than the other lettering, and sometimes they are positioned above the height of the banner. The auction coins fall within three crown styles, the most common of which is what the three coins mentioned above fall into. Curiously, one pillars-side die shows an arch linking the tops of the crowns, with *-P to left, *-S to right and a row of three *’s at bottom (see census below).

4 Reales (Treasure Auction #14, lots 323, 324 and 325) – October 30, 2013

323

As with the 1 and 2 reales, the execution of design on the 4 reales is widely variable. Legend lettering can be Gothic, a mixture of Gothic and Latin, or Latin. Spelling errors are similar to 2 reales coins with instances of CHAROLVS and YOHANA. None of the ten lettering styles predominate on the twenty-seven coins studied, three of which are in the auction. Stops between words on the shield side are M, F and a cross made of four o’s. The legends read CAROLVS ET IHOANA RE with several variations. Some legends bear a retrograde S at the end of CAROLVS and some bear the makeshift A.

Just as with the 1 and 2 reales, the shield is composed of either proper or transposed castles and lions, with a pomegranate inside either a wide or narrow compartment below, and the assayer F and denomination to either the left or right of the shield. There is also a probable early type of assayer-F mark on three coins—an F with an elongated tail. The denomination invariably appears as oiiii. The predominant two designs are: F-oiiii, proper castles and lions, wide pomegranate (Lot 323 and Lot 325); and F-oiiii, transposed castles and lions, narrow pomegranate.

Eleven lettering variations are found on the pillars side of the coins. Some form of C(H)AROLVS ET IHOANA RE or REGIS ISPANIA ET INDIARVN is spelled out with three different variations of stops between words: M, : and a cross made with four o’s.  Lettering is Gothic, a mixture of Gothic and Latin, or Latin. The cross before the lettering is either X or Q. No one style predominates and some of the coins bearing Gothic lettering are unique. These coins, combined with the elements on the shield side, were clearly made early in the minting process. These are also the coins that bear the early style of assayer mark.

Nine crown style variations are found with one style found on eight coins. As with the other denominations, the mintmark can be S or retrograde S to the left and P to the right of the pillars, or the opposite. In some cases, the S and P are elevated above the banner between the pillars. In the earliest coins, there are three o’s in a triangle above and below the S and P. Within the banner are PL, PLV, LV, PLVS or PLVSV. Somewhat confusingly, three coins (including two auction coins, Lot 324 and Lot 325) show P and S within the banner (motto) and to the left and right of the pillars (mintmark). Lot 325 is probably a die match with two other coins studied: VQR #6831 (which is also Burzio #824)[5] and Lot 1547 from our Treasure Auction #8. Lot 324 is a probable die match with Estrella #2 (which is also Calicó #92).[6]

Census of Charles and Joanna Santo Domingo Silver Coins Sold at Auction, prior to Sedwick’s Auction 14 (October 2013)

½ Real
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1108
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1109
April 2010: Treasure Auction #7, Lot 1134
April 2012: Treasure Auction #11, Lot 872

1 Real
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1106
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1107

2 Reales
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1104
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1105
March 1998: Ponterio Auction #93, Lot 2335 (also Lot 1133 of Treasure Auction #7 of April 2010)
January 2004: Ponterio Auction #129, Lot 2139
January 2006: Ponterio Auction #137, Lot 2101
June 2006: Heritage #410, Lot 16860 (also Lot 728 of Ponterio Auction #147 of September 2008 and Lot 8230 of Ponterio Auction #152 of January 2010; note also this is the specimen with an arch connecting the crowns, a die-match with another example in the Isaac Rudman collection)

4 Reales
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1102
June 1975: Jess Peters (Ray Byrne), Lot 1103 (also Plate Coin in Estrella and Calicó and currently in the collection of Isaac Rudman)
September 1991: Swiss Bank Corporation Auction #27, Lot 12 (also Lot 1162 of Ponterio Auction #92 of February 1998, and the Plate Coin in Burzio, Calicó and the 4th edition of our Practical Book of Cobs)

 

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the following experts for their assistance: Freeman Craig, Carlos Jara, Jorge Proctor and Isaac Rudman.

[1] For conciseness we refer to each Sedwick auction as “Treasure Auction #X,” even though the actual titles might include U.S. and World Coins.

[2] The shipwreck has not been positively identified but for now is known as the mid-1500s “Pewter Wreck” for the large cargo of English pewter yielded to salvagers with Anchor Research and Salvage in 2011. All but one of the Santo Domingo coins offered in Treasure Auction #14 were recovered together in one small conglomerate.

[3] There is one more rare “silver” denomination known, the billon (copper-silver mix) 11 maravedís, an example of which appeared in our Treasure Auction #7 (lot 1135). A contemporary series of pure copper coins from Santo Domingo is common and not considered worthy of advanced research. The one-of-a-kind 10 reales is almost conjectural, as the Byrne specimen is believed to be counterfeit and no genuine specimens have appeared on the market for several lifetimes; at least three specimens exist, however, proven genuine by their appearance in publications dating back as far as 1576. See the article “Paper Chase: The 10 Reales of Santo Domingo” by John M. Kleeberg in Money of the Caribbean (ed. by Richard Doty, ANS, 2006). Also, there are reports of ¼ reales, particularly in the Isaac Rudman collection, but we have not seen them to confirm.

[4] For convenience, the Treasure Auction #14 catalog lot listings refer to the ornaments verbally and not symbolically, hence “cloverlike ornament” instead of M.

[5] VQR refers to Vidal Quadras y Ramón, Manuel, Catálogo de la colección de monedas y medallas de Manuel Vidal Quadras y Ramón de Barcelona (1892). Burzio refers to Burzio, Humberto F., Diccionario de la moneda hispanoamericana (1958).

[6] Estrella refers to Estrella Gómez, Miguel, Monedas dominicanas (1979). Calicó refers to Calicó, X., Numismática española (2008).

[7] Paoletti, Emilio, 8 Reales Cobs of Potosí (2006).

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