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Hearts, Bars, and Collections make for $4.02 million in Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 31

20 May

Spanish colonial rarities in the form of coins and shipwreck treasure bars paved the way to $4.02 million in Sedwick’s May 3-5 Treasure, World, and U.S. Coin Auction 31. This is the firm’s third consecutive sale to break the $4 million level.

The top coin lot in the sale was lot 651, a Potosi, Bolivia, cob 4 reales Heart dated 1720 Y and certified by NGC, which sold for $66,000 on a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 and up. The term Heart is apparent when viewing the coin: a sharply defined, medallic aligned design on a specially prepared heart-cut planchet. Prior to the auction, this date was unknown among the census of Heart-shaped cobs. It also holds a pedigree to the collection of the late numismatist Pat Johnson.

Lot 651

A second unique Heart 4 reales, also from the Potosi mint yet dated 1721 and graded NGC XF 45 (lot 652), saw $48,000 on an estimate of $20,000 and up. It held the distinction of being the plate coin for the type in both Sedwick’s Practical Book of Cobs 2nd and 3rd editions (1990 and 1995) and Janson’s La Moneda Circulante En El Territorio Argentino 1584-2019 (2020).

However, the top lot overall in the sale was not a coin but a Spanish colonial gold bar recovered from a treasure galleon that realized $78,000 on an estimate of $40,000 and up. The 12-inch long, 1,222 gram gold bar (lot 65) contains a mixed fineness of between 10 to 13 karat gold due to the Spanish smelting of miscellaneous artifacts from the New World; its balance of copper gives it a distinct red-gold tone throughout. There are nine circular tax stamps reading CAROLVS EMPERADOR that signify that the royal tax owed to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (King Charles I of Spain) had been paid and that bar could be sent from the New World to Spain. Yet the bar would never arrive: it was lost aboard the shipwreck now called the “Tumbaga Wreck,” a treasure galleon lost around 1528 near the Bahamas. The bar was salvaged in 1992 and ended up in a private collection shortly thereafter.

Lot 65

Two key collections also provided substantial returns amid strong bidder interest. The first offering of the Clyde Hubbard Collection of Charles and Joanna Coinage realized a total of $403,440 across 134 lots. The top lot was a Mexico City, Mexico, 3 reales, of Charles and Joanna from the Early Series coinage with assayer Gothic R (lot 366), graded NGC XF 40 and finest known in the NGC census, that sold for $16,200 on an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

The John Adams Collection of Admiral Vernon medals sold for a total of $192,384 across a total of 50 lots. The top lot was 1192, a British gilt copper alloy Admiral Vernon medal dated 1739 with the Porto Bello / Fort Chagre design, that sold for $24,000 on an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000. That medal’s history boasts pedigrees to the collections of Dr. Thomas Hall, Virgil Brand, and John J. Ford Jr.

The best performing lot versus its pre-auction estimate was lot 1098, a Philippines 8 reales with crowned Y.II countermark from 1834-1837 on a Santiago, Chile, “volcano” peso dated 1820 assayer FD. It is graded NGC XF details / obverse damage with counterstamp AU Standard. Its pre-sale estimate was $700-$1,000; once the hammer fell, the coin had sold for $42,000.

A similar Philippines rarity with the same crowned Y.II countermark but on a Bolivia 8 soles dated 1834 with assayer LM (lot 1092), saw $36,000 on an estimate of $2,000 and up. It was graded by NGC as AU 58 with an UNC Strong counterstamp and is the finest known in the NGC census.

Other top lots in the sale include:

  • Lot 679, a La Rioja, Argentina, gold 8 escudos dated 1845 RB and graded NGC MS 63, the finest known in the NGC census, sold for $60,000 on an estimate of $20,000 and up.
  • Lot 720, a Santiago, Chile, gold 10 pesos dated 1863/2 graded NGC MS 64 Star Prooflike, finest known in the NGC census, sold for $26,400 on an estimate of $10,000 and up.
  • Lot 872, a Costa Rica, 2 reales, Liberty Head and ceiba tree counterstamp of 1845 on a Potosi, Bolivia, pillar 2 reales of Charles III dated 1768 JR graded NGC VF 20, c/s XF Standard, sold for $21,600 on an estimate of $2,000 and up.
  • Lot 34, a Mexico City, Mexico, gold cob 8 escudos dated 1714 J with the date over GRAT on the obverse, recovered from the 1715 Fleet and graded NGC MS 61 as well as pedigreed to the Frank Sedwick Collection and plated in The Practical Book of Cobs, sold for $22,800 on an estimate of $15,000 and up.
  • Lot 1109, a Segovia, Spain, gold milled 8 escudos of Philip V dated 1721/19 F graded NGC AU 55, sold for $22,800 on an estimate of $12,500 and up.
  • Lot 1067, a Leon, Nicaragua, “imitation cob” 1 real dated 1823-(PMPY), pine tree style graded NGC AU 58 and finest known in the NGC census, sold for $13,200 on an estimate of $500 and up.
  • Lot 1289, a Zeugitana, Carthage, gold stater from around 320-310 BC pedigreed to the British Museum, sold for $12,000 on an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Lot 345, a USA (Philadelphia mint), gold $20 Coronet Liberty double eagle dated 1861 recovered from the Steamer Pewabic shipwreck, sunk in 1865 off Thunder Bay Island, Michigan, graded NGC AU 58 / Steamer Pewabic, sold for $11,400 on an estimate of $10,000 and up.

The firm’s next floor Treasure Auction 32 will be held Nov. 3-4 both in-person in Winter Park, Florida, and online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The consignment deadline for that sale is August 22nd; interested consignors should contact the company by email at office@sedwickcoins.com or by phone at 407-975-3325.

Sedwick’s next auction is a standalone, online auction of US and World Paper Money to be held on July 1st at auction.sedwickcoins.com. Pre-registration for that sale is available now.

Cartagena 2021 Conference Report

13 Dec

Our company attended the Third International Convention of Historians and Numismatists on December 1st to the 5th in Cartagena, Colombia. This must-attend event for Latin American numismatists brought together many experts and dealers for several days of presentations, exhibits, and discussion as well as sightseeing and excellent Colombian cuisine and drinks. Our own Agustín García-Barneche served as the convention’s Vice President of International Relations for the Northern Hemisphere.

Background on Cartagena & its numismatic history

Cartagena, also known as Cartagena de Indias, is an important Colombian port city founded by Spanish explorers on June 1, 1533. It rapidly grew in prominence due to the flow of gold and silver from the New World into the Spanish fleet ships that would haul the treasure back to Spain. In 1574, King Philip II declared Cartagena to be a city; the following year, he added the title of “the most noble and loyal” to the city.

Numismatically, it bears several important distinctions: as a Spanish colonial mint that operated from 1621 to 1635 then again in 1655; the second to last port of call for the Atocha and Santa Margarita in 1622 during the ill-fated Tierra Firme Fleet; the site of the the Battle of Cartagena de Indias in 1741 erroneously commemorated by the English Admiral Vernon medals; and the location of several bancos and the state treasury that issued paper money in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

We attended a naval ceremony to Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario (1834-1879); a life size bronze statue to Colombia’s Admiral José Padilla (1778-1828) stands prominently in the courtyard of naval heroes.
The Museo Naval del Caribe (Naval Museum) featured numerous exhibits to Cartagena’s naval history including this one on the San José shipwreck
The Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas cuts an imposing figure in the middle of the bustling city
Construction of the castle began in 1536 to protect the city both by land and by sea; its importance led to much more construction over time
Numerous original cannons can still be found on the ramparts of the Castillo as well as the walled fortifications around Cartagena
General Don Blas de Lezo (1689-1741) led a successful defense of the Castillo de San Felipe despite being outnumbered nearly 10 to 1 versus Admiral Edward Vernon’s force

After visiting the Castillo de San Felipe, we took a tour of Cartagena’s old city. Given the city’s nearly 500 years of history, some buildings are designed in the colonial style while others were of a more modern republic style construct.

The Convento de Santo Domingo was founded by Dominican friars and went through many periods of disuse and reconstruction.
The narrow streets of the Old City are often flanked by street vendors.
Colombia is the top producer of emeralds, accounting for some 70 to 90 percent of the world’s trade.
The Old City becomes quite vibrant at night.
Dancers in traditional Colombian dress at the Plaza de Santo Domingo.

After a busy day of travelling and sightseeing, the conference began on Thursday. Numerous presentations were given on a wide range of numismatic topics, many related to Cartagena and Colombia history.

We were honored to have Dr. R. Duncan Matthewson III, the chief archaeologist for the Atocha salvage work, share our table and sign copies of his famous work The Treasure of the Atocha translated in Spanish
Our friend Jorge Proctor conducted his presentation on Alonso Turrillo de Yebra while dressed in Spanish colonial garb.
Daniel Frank Sedwick’s presentation on Colombian gold cobs delved into the many design and assayer changes seen on gold cobs from the Bogota and Cartagena mints
The importance of the Cartagena Mint is still seen today with the naming of the street where it is located.
The courtyard of the Casa de Moneda in Cartagena, where cob coinage was struck from 1621 to 1635 and again in 1655.
In conjunction with the conference, the Colombian government issued postal stamps commemorating Colombia’s numismatic history.
The official medal for the Cartagena 2021 convention, slabbed by PCGS.

We were all very honored to attend the convention and see many of our friends in this business, many of which we haven’t seen in person over the past two years. The chance to explore Cartagena and see the places that made numismatic history made this a memorable event for all. Our thanks goes out to all those who coordinated the event, especially to the convention’s organizer, Andrés Felipe Cortázar.

We now look forward to the fourth convention that will be held in 2023 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic!

Sedwick Treasure Auction hits $4.20 million

10 Dec

Prices realized for numismatic rarities in Sedwick’s Nov. 4-5 Treasure Auction 30 surpassed $4.20 million, the third consecutive record-breaking auction for the company. The sale was held both online and in-person in Winter Park, Fla.

Lot 1276 – Segovia, Spain, gold 4 excelentes, Ferdinand-Isabel, mintmark at top, denomination o-iiii at bottom between busts, Gothic A behind Queen, earliest type with all Gothic legends, rare, NGC AU 50, ex-Huntington.

The top lot in the sale was a very rare gold 4 excelentes struck in Segovia, Spain during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella graded NGC AU 50 that realized $78,000 during the second day of the sale. The pre-sale estimate was $30,000 and up. Beyond its numismatic rarity, the well-struck design features the busts of the famous king and queen who were notable for funding Columbus’ expedition to the New World. The coin also boasts a pedigree to the Archer M. Huntington Collection of Coins from the Hispanic World where it was part of a denomination set of rare Spanish coins.

Lot 1315 – Segovia, Spain, 50 reales (cincuentin), Philip III, 1620, assayer cross-topped A (Esteban de Pedrera), struck for the Count of Chinchon (later Viceroy of Peru), NGC XF 40, finest and only example in the NGC census.

Another rarity from Segovia, the elusive 50 reales (also called a cincuentin) dated 1620, was also offered in the auction and sold for $36,000 on a similar $30,000 and up estimate. The coin is one of fourteen known on the market and the only example graded by NGC, having received a grade of XF 40. This massive coin weighs over 170 grams and was struck using roller dies at the mint using the most advanced minting technology available at the time. Thus, the design is more well struck and detailed than any other normal Spanish circulation coinage for its time. It was made in very limited numbers by nobility as a display of wealth and prestige rather than any actual use in commerce.

Lot 1173 – Japan (Osaka mint), proof 20 sen, Emperor Mutsuhito, Meiji year 13 (1880), extremely rare, NGC PF 62.

The second top selling lot in the sale was a Japanese proof 20 sen struck at the Osaka Mint in 1880 (Meiji year 13) and graded NGC Proof 62. Spirited bidding pushed the lot to realize $75,000 on an estimate of $35,000 and up. Only 96 pieces were struck for use in diplomatic presentation sets with very few known on the market today.

“This is ultimately a testament both to our consignors who entrust us to catalog and sell their rarities for top value as well as our bidders who are seeking to build their collections,” said Daniel Frank Sedwick, owner and president of the auction firm.

One of several collections in the sale was the J.O.B. Collection of Spanish Gold 8 Escudos which brought the finest Seville, Spain, gold cob 8 escudos dated 1644 R and graded NGC MS 63 to market. It sold for $72,000 on an estimate of $25,000 and up. The coin was notable for being the plate coin for its type in La Onza (2004) and Numismatica Espanola (2008), both by Calico, as well as Tauler’s Oro Macuquino (2011).

Other top lots sold include:

  • Lot 16, Mexico City, Mexico, gold cob 8 escudos Royal (galano), 1711 J, graded NGC UNC details / damaged, ex-Rudman sold for $66,000.
  • Lot 18, Mexico City, Mexico, gold cob 8 escudos, 1714 J, Royal-die obverse, graded NGC MS 62 sold for $46,500.
  • Lot 430, Mexico City, Mexico, silver cob 8 reales Royal (galano), 1706 J, graded NGC XF details / holed, ex-Rudman sold for $39,000.
  • Lot 741, Potosi, Bolivia, silver cob 8 reales Heart, 1696 VR, graded NGC VF 35 sold for $36,000.
  • Lot 23, Cuzco, Peru, gold cob 2 escudos, 1698 M, error-variety with RX in legend, graded NGC MS 64 from the 1715 Fleet Tricentennial Find sold for $31,200.
  • Lot 1015, Egypt (Ottoman Empire), gold 500 qirsh, Abdul Aziz, AH1277//11 (1870-71), Cairo mint (Misr), graded NGC MS 63 sold for $31,200.
  • Lot 883, China (Nanjing mint), “Memento” silver dollar, (1912), Sun Yat-sen, lower five-pointed stars, graded PCGS MS62 sold for $26,400.

All prices from the auction firm include a 20% buyer’s premium. Full auction results can be viewed on the auction website here.

Consignments are now being accepted through February of 2022 for Sedwick’s next Treasure Auction to be held in May of that year. Interested consignors should contact the firm by email at office@sedwickcoins.com or by phone at (407)-975-3325.

A Sneak Peek at Sedwick’s May 7-8 Treasure Auction 29

19 Feb

We’ve received a lot of interest in our upcoming May 7-8 Treasure Auction 29 – and rightfully so. The numismatic market is still very hot and this has inspired several top Latin American collections to come to the auction block. So, we’re offering here a sneak peek of what’s coming up in our next sale!

Is there still time to consign? Yes, we’re still accepting consignments of select items – shipwreck gold coins, shipwreck gold and silver ingots, rare world gold and silver coins, better Latin American paper money, and US paper money (chiefly colonial and Continental Currency). But contact us soon as our consignment period closes Feb. 28!

The Esmeralda Collection features some of the finest examples of coinage, both gold and silver, to be struck by Gran Colombia from 1819 to 1830. In this period, wholly original and uniquely Latin American escudos and reales designs were created as the region left its Spanish colonial coinage behind.

There is no greater example of this liberation in coinage design than the “Libertad Americana” design, of which the collection features the finest known Bogota 1819JF silver 8 reales example. In fact, we like this coin design so much that the bust will feature prominently on a special holder label made by us and NGC specifically for the Esmeralda Collection.

Other key coins in the collection include a Bogota 1826JF gold 4 escudos graded NGC MS 64 pedigreed to the Louis Eliasberg and Richard Lissner Collections as well as a Bogota 1819JF silver 2 reales struck over a Cartagena imitation cob plated in Emilio Restrepo’s Coins of Colombia (2012). Indeed, many of the coins in this collection hold pedigrees to prestigious coin collections. 

In our second offering of coins from the Nueva Granada Collection, bidders will find examples of rare Spanish colonial Colombian minors and proclamation medals as well as later date patterns and trial strikes. Both the quality and rarity of coins in this selection are sure to excite collectors as they did during the first part of this extensive Colombian collection. 

This nearly complete collection will be one of the largest groups of Guatemalan cobs to hit the market in recent time. This first part will feature Guatemalan 8 and 4 reales, including rarities like an unholed 1733J 8 reales (only about 4-5 examples are known on the market).

Arturo Rosenheim was a collector of Spanish colonial cob coinage and a good client of ours. He attempted the difficult task of assembling all the possible dates of Lima 8 reales cobs and put together an impressive run. 


Other collections to watch for in the sale include:
– Selections from the John Adams Collection of Admiral Vernon Medals
– Mexican Silver Cobs from the Isaac Rudman Numismatic Cabinet
– A Fine Collection of Latin American Crown Coinage


The auction catalog will be available online around the first week of April with printed catalogs available for order shortly thereafter. For more details, please visit our website at sedwickcoins.com.

Spanish colonial, Colombian coins star in Sedwick’s May 27-29 Treasure Auction

18 May

A wealth of shipwreck gold and silver treasure plus a selection of Colombian numismatic rarities will star on May 27-29 in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s online Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction 27.

36804113_2

Lot 10 – Lima, Peru, gold cob 8 escudos, 1703H, NGC MS 62, ex-1715 Fleet.

As usual for this top auctioneer of Spanish colonial material, Sedwick’s sale features many coins from famous shipwrecks, like the Spanish Plate Fleet of 1715, eleven ships that went down on July 31, 1715 off the east coast of Florida carrying gold and silver coins bound for Spain. Featured from the 1715 Fleet this time is a Lima, Peru, gold cob 8 escudos dated 1703 (lot 10), graded NGC MS 62 and estimated at $20,000 and up. It previously sold as ungraded in the 2003 Tampa sale of seized shipwreck treasure. This coin is so rare that even the State of Florida’s own collection of 1715 Fleet coins is lacking an example.

Attracting further interest is a pair of Seville, Spain, gold cob 2 escudos, one each from the famous wrecks of the Atocha and Santa Margarita, sunk during the same storm in 1622 (lots 45 and 46). The Atocha 2 escudos is dated 1615 with a clear assayer’s initial D and is graded PCGS AU50 while also accompanied by its original Mel Fisher certificate. Its estimate is $10,000 and up. The Santa Margarita 2 escudos is undated but also has the same assayer D and is graded PCGS MS61 with its Mel Fisher’s Treasures, LLC certificate included. Its estimate is $6,000 to $9,000.

36804148_1 (1)ddd

Lot 45 – Seville, Spain, cob 2 escudos, 1615D, PCGS AU50, ex-Atocha (1622)

Although not a coin, a Colombian gold “finger” bar salvaged from the Atocha is a highlight, too. In a way, it acted as a form of money in its time by allowing a large sum of value to be transported from New World gold mines to the Spanish treasury. The long bar in this auction weighs 669 grams and has a marked fineness of 20.75 karats along with ten partial tax stamps of King Philip III. The bar was previously sold as lot 95 during the Christie’s Atocha and Santa Margarita sale of June 1988. Its estimate in the Sedwick auction is $35,000 and up.

One of the finest Colombian coin collections assembled, the Nueva Granada Collection, representing Colombian rarities from the Spanish colonial era through the Republic period will appear in the sale’s World Coins section. A key rarity is the Bogotá, Colombia, pillar 8 reales dated 1770VJ graded PCGS MS65. This coin is the single finest graded in the PCGS census and is finer than any others graded by NGC. Its estimate is $35,000 and up.

36804908_1 (1)eedd

Lot 821 – Bogota, Colombia, pillar 8 reales, Charles III, 1770VJ, very rare, PCGS MS65, finest graded in both censuses, Restrepo Plate Coin (stated on label).

Colombian collectors will also want to watch for the auction’s selection of Colombian bank notes. Most notably, the 1883-issued 10 pesos from the Estado Soberano de Bolívar bank in Cartagena will appear as lot 1341. The note is graded PMG XF 40 and is one of just two examples known today. The estimate is $7,000 and up.

Other highlights in the auction include:

  • Lot 1291, a Mexico gold Cross of Tepeaca – Second Class military decoration from 1821, pedigreed to the J. Coolidge Hills coHills collection and the American Numismatic Society archives. Estimate: $25,000 to $37,500.
  • Lot 60, a large silver ingot from Oruro, Bolivia, 82 pounds 9.92 ounces troy, Class Factor 0.8, from the Atocha (1622) and pedigreed to the Caesar’s Palace Auction of 1987. Estimate: $20,000 to $30,000.
  • Lot 4, a Mexico City, Mexico, gold cob 8 escudos, 1714J, NGC MS 64, from the 1715 Fleet, finest known in the NGC census. Estimate: $15,000 and up.
  • Lot 23, a Lima, Peru, gold cob 8 escudos, 1697/6H, NGC MS 64, from the 1715 Fleet. Estimate: $15,000 and up.
  • Lot 478, a Mexico City, Mexico, silver cob 8 reales Royal, 1727D, NGC VF details / plugged. Estimate: $15,000 and up.
  • Lot 854, a Medellín, Colombia, half peso, 1868, PCGS MS62, finest known in the PCGS census (and unlisted in the NGC census), pedigreed to the Nueva Granada collection and plated in Jorge Emilio Restrepo’s Coins of Colombia (2012). Estimate: $15,000 and up.
  • Lot 790, a Popayán, Colombia, gold bust 8 escudos, Charles III (bust of Ferdinand VI), 1761/0J, NGC MS 62, finest and only example in the NGC census. Estimate: $10,000 and up.

36805428_1

Lot 1341 – Cartagena, Colombia, Estado Soberano de Bolivar, 10 pesos, 15-4-1883, serial 583, PMG XF 40, finest and only example in the PMG census, very rare.

  • Lot 963, a Quito, Ecuador, gold 4 escudos, 1836FP, NGC MS 61. Estimate: $7,000 to $10,000.
  • Lot 1232, a Seville, Spain, gold double excelente, Ferdinand-Isabel, NGC MS 64. Estimate: $7,000 to $10,000.
  • Lot 1154, a Lahore, British India, nickel original proof rupee, George VI, 1947, PCGS PR63, finest and only example in the PCGS census. Estimate: $3,500 and up.
  • Lot 1048, a Great Britain proof halfcrown, 1746, George II, VICESIMO on edge, PCGS PR63. Estimate: $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Lot 439, a Mexico City, Mexico, silver cob 3 reales, Charles-Joanna, “Early Series,” assayer gothic R, NGC VF details / saltwater damage, from the 1554 Fleet, pedigreed to the Potomac collection. Estimate: $3,500 to $5,000.
  • Lot 793, a Bogota, Colombia, gold bust 8 escudos, Charles III, 1776JJ, PCGS MS64, finest known in both the PCGS and NGC censuses. Estimate: $3,500 to $5,000.
  • Lot 1311, a Continental Currency $2, May 10, 1775, PMG Choice AU 58 EPQ Star, finest known in the PMG census. Estimate: $800 to $1,200.
  • Lot 1355, a Guatemala, Banco Colombiano, 20 pesos, 1901, PMG Fine 12, finest and only example in the PMG census. Estimate: $2,500 to $3,750.

The four sessions will be held May 27-28 live online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. A fifth express session will follow on May 29. Bidders are encouraged to register in advance.

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