Archive by Author

The Admiral Vernon Medals of 1739 and 1741

10 Oct

by Daniel Frank Sedwick

If the heart of collecting is visual and intellectual stimulation mixed with historical study, then the “Admiral Vernon” medals crafted in England in the period 1739-1741 are the perfect collectibles. The sheer number of different varieties of these medals makes collecting them both challenging and feasible. Fascination with these historic pieces has spawned more than a dozen studies over the past 180+ years, culminating in the book Medallic Portraits of Admiral Vernon (2010), by John Adams and Fernando Chao (the “AC” reference we quote in our lot descriptions). With this well-illustrated book alone, one can spend many enjoyable hours attributing each piece down to exact die details. The biggest challenge with these medals is condition, as they were heavily used and abused, which makes the present offering comprising the collection of Richard Stuart an exceptional opportunity.

The conflict began with the capture and torture of the British merchant ship captain Robert Jenkins by the Spanish off Havana, Cuba, in 1731. His alleged punishment for smuggling was the removal of one of his ears, which he physically produced for British Parliament in 1739, setting off what became known as the “War of Jenkins’ Ear” starting that year, effectively “Great Britain’s first protracted naval war in the Americas.”[1] In a burst of vengeful braggadocio, the experienced British admiral Edward Vernon reportedly said he could take the Spanish port of Portobelo, Panama, “with six ships only,” the larger goal being to disrupt the flow of Spanish shipping of treasure from the New World. It is easy in retrospect to see why the Spanish viewed this as simple piracy under the guise of war. While the British lauded Vernon as a hero and the Spanish vilified him as a pirate, the truth is somewhere in between.

Using Jamaica as a base of operations, Vernon made good on his boast in December of 1739 (with Commodore Charles Brown), but from there things went south. While news of his victory at Portobelo was reaching England, Vernon’s squadrons were battling storms and the threat of a French fleet. Vernon’s subsequent attack on Cartagena, Colombia, in March of 1740 was unsuccessful and resulted in his taking a sort of consolation prize: Fort Chagre in Panama (near Portobelo). More than a year went by, as both sides beefed up forces, the British side (including ships under Rear Admiral Chaloner Ogle) eventually becoming “the largest force yet deployed in the West Indies.”[2] A renewed assault on Cartagena utilizing over 100 ships and 12,600 troops (almost a third of which were colonial Americans, thus representing “the first deployment of Americans abroad”[3]) began in the spring of 1741 and delivered Vernon’s ships and foot-soldiers into the harbor before yellow fever and miscommunication between Vernon and Brigadier-General Thomas Wentworth forced a retreat. Most interestingly for us numismatists, upon breaching the harbor the boastful Vernon had already sent word back to England of his “victory” at Cartagena against his Spanish counterpart, Admiral Blas de Lezo, spawning a new round of medals dated 1741. Vernon’s final attempt was against Cuba that same year, initially planned for Havana (and, once again, reported back to England as a victory there) but instead visited upon Santiago on the south coast and successfully repelled by the Spanish and their mosquito-borne partner, yellow fever, as in Cartagena. In sum, Vernon’s only victories were in relatively quiet and unimportant Panama.

The medals themselves depict all these events in the most favorable light possible for Vernon, to the point of comical misrepresentation. Beyond the basic organization based on location (Portobelo, Fort Chagre, Cartagena and Havana), these medals are grouped according to legends (on both sides, often with errors) and figures of Vernon and the other players in the events (often almost cartoon-like in quality), in addition to icons like cannons and ships and scenery like forts and cities (most depicted without regard to perspective or scale). Minute details like where Vernon’s finger points and where a church steeple sticks up are integral to pinpointing exact dies. Since so many of these medals are well worn, it is not always to make attributions right away, but almost always one small, visible detail can make the difference.

Besides a few examples in silver and tin (plus a unique specimen in gold), the primary metal used to make these pieces was copper alloyed with a variety of other metals, like zinc and tin. Often the generic term used is brass or bronze, but more specific references mention “pinchbeck,” referring to a proprietary alloy invented by a family of clock and watchmakers in London named Pinchbeck, who advertised their metal as resembling gold in color and ductility. Presumably the Pinchbecks were the makers and purveyors of the Vernon medals. Relatively few of the medals are signed by engravers, most of whom are unknown. Overall it is clear these medals were made in haste to satisfy and capitalize on demand from a brief hysteria.

While every collector seeks a reason or connection to collect a certain thing (like Richard Stuart’s connection with Panama for these medals), the Admiral Vernon medals can and should be collected simply for their “collectibility” as a well-studied series that has been appreciated by top numismatists for over 180 years.

Link To Admiral Vernon Medal Collection

[1] Adams-Chao, page 21

[2] Adams-Chao, page 22

[3] Adams-Chao, page 159

Gallery

Why History Matters: Consigning Items With A Story

28 Dec

Do you have an interesting coin, bank note, or shipwreck artifact with a history to tell? Here are the 15 reasons why you should consign to us now to be a part of Treasure Auction 21:

1) Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC will get top dollar for your consignments. As the world’s ONLY full time auction specialists in Spanish colonial and shipwreck coins (not to mention ingots and artifacts), we have exclusive clientele worldwide and extensive knowledge and experience. That translates into results you can bank on.

2)     Our personal service is unparalleled. Our bidders and consignors deal directly with the heads of our company, who also personally research and photograph everything. Our aim is maximum comfort and confidence, so we accommodate everyone’s needs through barrier-free communication. No consignor or bidder is too big or too small for our attention!

3)     Our overall philosophy is that specialized attention beats massive volume and market sprawl. Lima Gold Cobs 1715 Fleet Lima, Peru, cobs choice set: 8 escudos 1712M, 4 escudos 1710M, Within our specialty we handle the same important collectors worldwide as other companies but with much more personal service and far less overhead. We make sure that every important consignment gets maximum exposure at shows and on the Internet without wasting resources on exclusive venues and over-distribution.

4)     While other auction houses simply put the lots up for sale and depend on the market to set the prices, we take the steps to personally point out lots to the right bidders, and we maximize exposure to all bidders via mail-out catalogs and the Web. We don’t just hold an auction, we make an event of it!

5)    ¡Hablamos su idioma! Our 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 cautious participants to our venue.

6)     Our financial record is unblemished. In over 8 years of auctions, we have never paid a consignor late (unless he requested it) or had any dispute that was not corrected immediately. We give winning bidders all available options for payment and take necessary steps to make sure all bills are paid.

7)     Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC offers cash advances for qualified consignments. Many consignors also enjoy being able to trade their proceeds against purchases within the same sale. Our personalized attention makes it possible to accommodate many special needs.

8)     We are not just auctioneers: We are recognized researchers and editors, with many scholarly books and articles to our credit. (We also give seminars and teach classes when we can) With every auction we make new numismatic discoveries and publish them immediately for everyone’s benefit. It takes more than just a reference number to sell a rare coin!

9)    Because not every consignment comes in sale-ready, we take the time to properly merchandise each item and even offer limited conservation services. Our goal is to make each lot the best it can be so the consignor will benefit.

10)     Our presentations are the best in the business. We start with detailed lot descriptions, disclosing all aspects positive and negative, to give bidders the peace of mind to comfortably place their bids and avoid returns. For cobs especially, grading and evaluation are very difficult and require our exclusive expertise. After rigorous proofreading and editing, we marry the text with state-of-the-art digital photography and zooming for important details. Then, with keen attention to efficient and aesthetically pleasing layout, we put it all online and in beautiful catalogs that are collectible in their own right and housed as references in many important numismatic libraries like the American Numismatic Association and the Numismatic Literary Guild. Finally, our catalogs and results are permanently accessible for all to see on our own website, on iCollector.com and on CoinArchives.com.

11)  We make a point to estimate all lots at reasonable levels. We research all consignments to make sure the lots are being offered at correct levels. We never take advantage of a consignor’s ignorance of the current market or rarity of his material, and we take any advice or follow any special instructions the consignor may have.

12)   From the minute you consign, Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC will get the word out to potential bidders. We get excited about unique and rare pieces and we pass that enthusiasm on to our clients.

13)  Our preeminence in the field of Spanish colonial and treasure coins has logically propelled us to the top of the field in Latin American numismatics as well. Our expertise and clientele are now among the best for this often-underrated field. We are also developing a presence in world coins in general, especially gold, with ancient coins, medals and paper money in nearly every auction as well. Nothing is outside our radar!

14)  Through iCollector.com and our own expertise we are able to conduct our auctions using the latest technology and convenience of online bidding, without over-the-top bells and whistles that just become confusing. The iCollector platform brings hundreds of thousands of bidders worldwide to our auctions with the confidence of unparalleled tech support and absolute third-party confidentially. Simply put, it is old-style service with state-of-the-art technology.

15)  We are members in good standing with most major professional guilds and collector organizations, including: IAPN (International Association of Professional Numismatists), ANA (American Numismatic Association), ANE (Asociación Numismática Española), FUN (Florida United Numismatists), NLG (Numismatic Literary Guild), NI (Numismatics International), USMexNA (U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association), PCGS(Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). We are fully insured (underwritten by Lloyds of London) and fully licensed with the State of Florida as auctioneers (AU3635) and as an auction business (AB2592).

treasure bars atocha 1715 fleet gold and silver ingots pirate

NOTE: Consignment deadline for our May 3-4, 2017 Auction

February 19, 2017

Come and see us in person to the following upcoming shows:

Florida United Numismatists Show (accepting consignments)
January 5-8, 2017
Fort Lauderdale, FL

New York International Show NYINC (accepting consignments)
January 12-15, 2017
New York, NY

Vero Beach Coin Show (accepting consignments)
January 14-15, 2017
Vero Beach, FL

Long Beach Coin Expo  (accepting consignments)
February 16-18, 2017
Long Beach, CA

ANA’s National Money Show  (Lot viewing)
March 9-11, 2017
Orlando, FL

Please contact us at office@sedwickcoins.com or call 407.975.3325

We are constantly looking for:

  • High-grade gold and silver Latin American coins (especially large collections)

  • World Gold coins including US and early British and Dutch

  • Rare early Spanish colonial cobs (collections or single coins)

  • 1715-Fleet gold and silver dated cobs.

  • Shipwreck coins and cobs in reasonable condition with original certificates

  • High-grade silver cobs & pillar dollars

  • Artifacts from shipwrecks (well documented and properly conserved)

  • Silver and gold ingots from shipwrecks

  • World Paper Money

  • U.S. Coins

Image may contain: 1 person

Treasure auction brings in $2.25 million

16 Nov

Winter Park, Florida – November 14, 2016 – Shipwreck gold and silver ingots made a big splash in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s $2.25 million floor auction held Nov. 12-14, 2016 in Orlando, Fla.

A complete gold strap intended for making oro corriente (coin-like ingots) recovered from an early 1500s wreck in the Caribbean sold for $94,000. It has a 22-karat fineness, weighs 1.128 kilograms and measures 10-1/2” long by 1-1/4” wide by 1/4” deep.

Another very large lot was an 82 pound, 7.36 troy ounce silver bar recovered from the Atocha purchased for $64,625. The bar is dated 1622, the same year as the sinking of the Atocha.

Other impressive highlights include the year’s largest offering of Spanish colonial cob coinage. The top gold lot was a Lima, Peru 1713M 8 escudos recovered from the 1715 Fleet which sank off the coast of Florida and certified by NGC as MS 63 (finest known in the census). It sold for $32,900.

In addition to the floor auction, educational talks were held on Nov. 11 on a variety of topics including shipwreck treasure recovery, professional collecting and coin buying strategies.

Daniel Sedwick, president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, said the event provided the perfect close to a successful year.

“The feedback from attendees and bidders was overwhelmingly positive, reflected in strong bidding and record results, but as always we are thankful to our consignors for their trust and confidence,” said Sedwick. “We explored some new areas for us, mainly paper money, and look forward to offering more high-quality items in the future.”

Of the firm’s inaugural offering of paper money, the most valuable lot was a Puerto Rican 1813 8 reales note graded by PMG as VF-35 Net / Pieces Missing acquired for $5,875.

Other top lots and prices realized include:

  • Gold “finger” bar from the Golden Fleece Wreck: $47,000;
  • Large gold disk recovered from the 1715 Fleet, 2029 grams, 11.25-karat: $47,000;
  • Lima, Peru 1704H 8 escudos, NGC MS 62: $30,550;
  • Potosi, Bolivia 1725Y Louis I 8 reales Royal, VF+: $17,035;
  • Large silver basin recovered from the Atocha: $16,450;

Full auction results are available here: http://www.sedwickcoins.com/. A premium of 17.5 percent is included in the prices listed.

Consignments are now being accepted for Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 21, scheduled for May 3-4, 2017. Please contact Augi Garcia at augi@sedwickcoins.com or Connor Falk at connor@sedwickcoins.com.

Lot 202, the complete gold strap used for making oro corriente pieces, marked five times with circular tax stamp of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor;
Lot 211, large silver bar recovered from the Atocha weighing 82 lbs, 7.36 troy oz. dated 1622 [14” x 5” x 3-1/2”]
Lot 30, Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos 1713M graded NGC MS 63 [finest known], recovered from the 1715 Fleet.)

 

Gallery

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC welcomes numismatist Connor Falk

16 Aug

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, a world class auctioneer of coins and artifacts, is proud to have numismatist Connor Falk join the company.

Falk will review and catalog consignments as well as work with clients to get the most out of the auction experience. Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, already the leader in Latin American and shipwreck coin and artifact auctions, is expanding into new areas of numismatics such as U.S. coins and paper money to better serve a growing market. Falk will lead these expansion efforts with his numismatic knowledge and enthusiasm.

connorfalk

Connor Falk

“It comes down to personal service,” said Daniel Frank Sedwick, president and founder of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, “and to maintain our high level of service in additional areas, we needed expertise and energy. With his experience in customer relations, writing and editing, and of course numismatics, Connor was the right fit in every way.”

According to Agustín García-Barneche, vice president and partner of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, “you just don’t see enough young, professional numismatists in world coins like Connor, so we jumped at the chance to bring him on board. Like each of us in the company, Connor will be involved in all the logistics, which will give us even more flexibility to travel and service our clients, collectors and dealers alike. Our growing company has just taken a big step forward!”

Prior to joining Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, Connor Falk was the online content editor for F+W’s Numismatics department and a journalist for Numismatic News. He was the bourse chairman for both the 2016 Chicago Paper Money Expo and the 2016 Chicago International Coin Fair. A numismatist in his own right, he focuses primarily on U.S. and Mexican coins and paper money.

Falk has a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (Class of 2014). He is a member of the ANA, the Central States Numismatic Society (life member), the Chicago Coin Club, and the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association (life member). Outside of numismatics Connor spends time scuba diving and he is working his way up to a Master Scuba Diver certification.

Want to discuss consignments or upcoming auction lots? Contact Falk at 920-676-5269 or by email at connor@sedwickcoins.com

sedwick_teamConnor Falk, Daniel F. Sedwick and Agustin Garcia-Barneche. Anaheim, CA ANA World’s Fair of Money 2016. 
Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC is the world’s premier specialist company in the colonial coinage of Spanish America, shipwreck coins and artifacts of all nations. In addition to an Online Store, we sell coins and artifacts at various numismatic shows around the nation. Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC also has the honor of being the only auction company in the world specializing in authentic treasure! Our auction catalogs are accessible on the web and printed in a high-quality format with full-color illustrations for all lots.
Contact Info:
Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC
407-975- 3325
info@sedwickcoins.com
www.SedwickCoins.com

Sedwick’s Second Floor Auction #16: A Growing Success

21 Mar

As our second floor sale (with simultaneous interactive LIVE Internet bidding), our 16th live auction was a new milestone for our growing company. Serious bidders and top numismatists from around the world came to the November 6 auction in five consecutive sessions at the DoubleTree Hotel in the Walt Disney World Resort. The Floor auctioneer was Shaunda Fry and Internet bidding was handled by Dan Sedwick, with phone and book bids manned by Augi Garcia. At the same time lot viewing kept going in the adjacent room monitored by Cori Sedwick Downing and the auction staff. Live video and audio feeds gave remote attendees extra insight into what was happening and added interest.

22 8
The day prior to the auction, the auction room warmed up with educational presentations by experts from all over the world: 1) Ben Costello (director of the 1715 Fleet Society), “The 1715 Fleet 300th Anniversary”; 2) Jose Manuel Henriquez (president of Dominican Republic Numismatic Association), “La Numismatica Dominicana”; 3) Roberto Mastalir (Ecuadorian researcher-writer), “Potosi Cobs: Transitional period”; 4) Jorge Emilio Restrepo (Colombian researcher-writer), “Coins Issued during Colombian Independence”; 5) Cori Sedwick Downing and Jorge Proctor (researchers-writers), with guest speaker Angel Valtierra Matus (Casa de Moneda de Mexico and National Mexican Numismatic Museum), “Mexican Charles and Joanna Coinage.”

33

Michelle, Cori and Jessica

31

The auction room was filled with 50 to 75 people the whole time, most of whom also attended the previous night’s welcome dinner, Argentinean gaucho style with live tango dancers, and enjoyed continuous socializing and networking with more than 100 people from all around the world. About the same amount of bidders online at the same time created a level of participation never reached before, not counting hundreds of “watchers” witnessing the event. It was wonderful to see-a veritable “coin party” like nothing the field has seen in a long time!

21

Daniel Sedwick and Jorge Emilio Restrepo

Prices realized (including buyer’s fees) surpassed the $2 million mark. Many lots sold for record prices, reflecting how our specialized attention and worldwide visibility have brought top collectors old and new to our auctions. We continue to grow, and attendees from the prior year already noticed the improvements. We will keep offering a unique combination of high-class material, top-tier educational presentations, serious bidders and entertaining social affairs, and now we invite you to consign and take advantage of the opportunity to be a part of it.

Some of the highlights in the auction that sold for strong prices (including 17.5% buyer’s fee):

26 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1702H, rare, from the 1715 Fleet. $17,625
29 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1711M, from the 1715 Fleet, encapsulated NGC MS 61. $15,275
367 Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 reales, 1715J, from the 1715 Fleet $22,325
404 Mexico City, Mexico, 8 reales, Charles-Joanna, “Early Series,” assayer Rincon. $587,500
492 Lima, Peru, cob 8 reales presentation strike, 1659V, “Star of Lima” $21,150
496 Lima, Peru, cob 4 reales, 1659V, “Star of Lima” type, mintmark LIMA, extremely rare. $9,980
505 Lima, Peru, cob 2 reales, 1660V, “Star of Lima” type (Series III), extremely rare. $9,560
597 Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer R (Rincon), finest know. $9,400
752 Bogota, Colombia, pillar 8 reales, Charles III, 1770VJ, encapsulated NGC MS 64. $61,600
968 Quito, Ecuador, oval uniface silver military decoration, Liberation of Quito in 1822. $11,750
1043 Dutch bronze “six-pounder” cannon with Amsterdam proofmark. From 1733 Fleet. $23,000
1038 Gold And Red-Coral Rosary, Complete from the 1715 Fleet. 30,000

Prices realized: You can find a complete list of prices realized by clicking here.

29

Jorge Proctor and Augi Garcia Barneche

What’s next? Now is not too early to consign to our Treasure and World Coin Auction #17, tentatively scheduled for the last week of April, 2015 (more details coming soon). In fact, the deadline will be here before you know it, so please contact us soon. At the moment we are looking for significant collections of cobs and choice Latin American coins. We will be on hand to collect consignments in person at FUN, Vero Beach, NYINC and Long Beach during the month of January.
We are also looking forward to another great live floor event next year, now a must-attend event for fellow numismatists and collectors, tentatively set for October 27-30, 2015. Watch for details next summer, but we invite collectors now to make arrangements for this event ahead of time. Just save the date! Finally we thank our consignors and bidders for making this event a success and we look forward to working with both in the year to come.

%d bloggers like this: