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Red Kettle-donated gold shipwreck coin to be auctioned

13 Apr

A 300-year-old Spanish colonial gold coin recovered from a 1715 Plate Fleet shipwreck and donated during the Salvation Army’s 2016 Holiday Red Kettle campaign will be auctioned on May 3, 2017.

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The Bogota cob 1 escudo recovered from the 1715 Fleet and donated to the Salvation Army in December of 2016.

The coin will appear as lot 46 in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction #21, held May 3-4 online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The lot is estimated at $2,000 to $3,000. The Salvation Army will receive the full final hammer price from the sale.

Also included with the coin is a letter on its provenance from Lt. Jonathan Needham, corps officer of the Salvation Army of Vero Beach, as well as the case the coin was donated in.

The gold escudo was anonymously handed to volunteer bell ringer Jim Bessey on Dec. 23, 2016 outside of a Sebastian, Fla. Walmart store. The donation made national news as one of the more interesting pieces given to the Salvation Army during the holiday season.

The donated coin was minted at the Spanish colonial mint in Bogota, Colombia sometime between 1700 and 1715 as a posthumous issue of King Charles II (1661-1700).

In 1715, the escudo, along with many others, was shipped aboard the 1715 Plate Fleet, one of the largest treasure fleets of its time. Several ships from the fleet sank during a storm off the east coast of Florida. Much of the treasure remained on the ocean floor until modern day salvage operations recovered many coins and artifacts, which are in demand on the collectibles market.

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

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Sedwick Treasure Auction Wrap-Up, Tips for Buying Cobs, and Where to Find Us

8 Dec

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I’m finally able to take a breather from post-auction duties of packing and shipping to share some thoughts with you. First, all of us at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC want to thank our bidders, consignors, auction speakers, and auction attendees for helping make Treasure Auction #20 one of our best auctions to date. Without YOU, auctions don’t happen. We are grateful for the personal and professional relationships we have nurtured over the years and look forward to many more.

As the Christmas buying season kicks into high gear, there are a few reminders to help you get the most for your money, at least when it comes to buying coins. When you buy a widget, you go to a store that you know sells them. For example, I buy electronics at a place like Best Buy. When you buy a coin, particularly a niche coin like a cob, you need to find a specialty seller, someone who knows what he’s doing.

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Can You Tell This is a Counterfeit?

If you don’t, you may buy a fake instead of the real thing. Or, you may buy something less than what it should be for the price because the seller doesn’t really know his product. Either way, you won’t be satisfied with your purchase. Again, always buy from reputable dealers whether you’re buying a shipwreck coin or a dryer.

Next, whether it’s a cob or a car, buy what you like. This is especially true for any commodity that you might consider an “investment” because most things appreciate only after you’ve held onto them for a good period of time. Quick profits don’t happen very often, so plan to enjoy your purchase for years. When you do sell, you’ll be well rewarded.

Finally, buy the best you can afford if you really want to be happy with your purchase. Buyer’s remorse from letting the coin you really wanted get away from you stays with you for a long time. If you’re building a collection, it’s much easier to buy great quality at the beginning than spend time and effort to upgrade later. That said, if what you can afford isn’t the best quality, don’t worry. You’ll be happy to simply own the piece in the first place.

We can help you build the collection of your dreams. Just ask us! And, you can visit us in person at the following 2017 shows where we will have a table:

schelude2017show2Happy Holidays to all and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

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.)

 

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What You Can’t Live Without in Treasure Auction #20 (part three)

2 Nov

Today we want to make you aware of some very important silver coins you can bid on in our upcoming Sedwick Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction #20. When you see descriptions containing words or phrases like “unique,” “very rare,” “finest known,” and “unlimited value,” you can be sure these items will bring top dollar…and be worth every penny. It bears repeating that we often say you should buy the “best” coins  you can afford, whether that means coins in the best condition or of the highest rarity. The good things in life don’t come cheaply but you’ll rarely regret your decision to buy them and enjoy them for years. Good luck in our auction!

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Lot 561, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a Mexico City, Mexico, 4 reales, Charles-Joanna, “Early Series,” coin and those who collect them know that varieties with the assayer mark (P) to the left and mintmark (M) to the right are generally much rarer than others. Also, this is an early variety in Assayer P’s tenure with the use of HISPANIE instead of the later use of HISPANIARVM in the legend on the pillars side.

 

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Lot 664, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is an extremely rare Mexico City, Mexico, cob 1 real Royal, 1643/2P. It is probably unique, but certainly unique in quality and of almost unlimited in value to the specialist collector.

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Lot 777, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1634T and the first coin collected by Emilio Paoletti, (and ex-Burzio, ex-Martini, ex-Janson) with copy #1 of Paoletti’s book 8 Reales Cobs of Potosi (3rd ed., 2016) and signed by him on the first page where the number 001 appears. What a remarkable pedigree!

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Lot 857, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1652E transitional Type III from the Capitana (1654). What is interesting about this die variety is that the O-E above 52 to right of shield is punched over N-8.

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Lot 961, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales Royal, 1714Y with an interesting four-digit date below cross (the standard for 1712-15).

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Lot 967, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a very rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales Royal, 1725Y, Louis I, ordinal PRIMERO. Royals of Louis I are among the most desirable and difficult to obtain, particularly since the general coins of this period are so crude. The present example is very bold, with full inner details and nearly full legends, including full LVIS PRIMERO (not just PR) and POTOSI (the pillars side slightly off-center).

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Lot 1027, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is an extremely rare and currently unique Potosi, Bolivia, cob 4 reales, 1732YA. This is a very important 4R, as it is the ONLY date and assayer (not counting overdates) that we have NEVER seen in our 25-year study of Potosi pillars-and-waves cobs.

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Lot 1079, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is an extremely rare Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real Heart, 1718Y. It’s an attractive example of the classic Heart shape and like most Heart minors, this specimen is probably unique.

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Lot 1086, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a Bogota, Colombia, cob 8 reales, 1670, assayer PoRS. It’s the finest and only known specimen in NGC census (NGC certification #4348135001) and is certainly among the choicest Bogota pillars-and-waves cobs in existence, in fact the highest of all Bogota cob 8R at NGC by two grades.

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Lot 1338, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a very rare Nicaragua (Leon), provisional “imitation cob” 2 reales, 1823 P.M.P.Y. It is probably the finest known of this Leon type with “pine tree” tops of pillars, a type rarely seen without a hole or significant damage. See Carlos Jara’s book Central American Provisional and Provincial Mints (2007) for more information about the attribution of this type to Leon.

We hope you find exactly what you’re looking for in our upcoming auction and please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. You can see coin lots in person this weekend (and see Dan, Augi, and Connor) at the Whitman Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center November 3-6.

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What You Can’t Live Without Buying in Treasure Auction #20 (part two)

25 Oct

In this blog, we will cover some of the big-ticket items (i.e. gold and gold and silver bars) you can find in our upcoming auction. These coins and bars are important for either their rarity, their quality, their provenance or all of the above. They are for the discerning advanced collector who can afford the best. These lots also represent historical treasures which anyone can appreciate whether they can buy them or not.

 

 

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Lot 30, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above Lima 8 escudos cob is the finest known of its type in the NGC census with a grade of MS 63. Dan has described it as “a superb specimen all around, befitting the top honors.” Over and above that, it’s from the 1715 Fleet!

 

 

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Lot 35, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

Another Lima 8 escudos cob, this coin is tied for finest known in the NGC census with a grade of MS 62. Dan’s description: “Clearly top grade but probably also the best in terms of strike, and apparently one of very few of this date and denomination recovered” from the Luz. ‘Nuff said!

 

 

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Lot 48, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

A Bogota 8 escudos cob, this coin is the finest and only specimen in the NGC census with a grade of XF 45. Per Dan’s description it’s a “royal-like specimen on a broad flan with 100% full and bold date and king’s name in legend….one of just a handful of full-date specimens from this mint that seem to have been intended as presentation pieces, so great is the contrast between them and the regular issues with only partially or non-visible dates.” Furthermore, he notes that “this Philip V issue is much tougher than the Ferdinand VI type that followed.”

 

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Lot 89, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

This Potosi bust 4 escudos is the finest and only known in the NGC census with a grade of AU 58. As Dan has noted, only 170 pieces (both laureate and non-laureate types) were minted and this date is the rarest bust-type issue in any denomination from this mint. It’s “a trophy gem and has no equal in any sales records known to us,” with “trophy” seeming like an understatement!

 

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Lot 161, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

The above is a Lima, Peru, bust 8 escudos from the time of Ferdinand VI and dated 1751. This lot is “one of only two of this ‘large wigged bust’ type” from the Luz shipwreck. Pretty rare stuff!

 

 

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Lot 202, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

On to bars! Above is a complete gold “strap” ingot for making oro corriente pieces, marked five times with circular tax stamp of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (Charles I of Spain) from an unidentified early 1500s wreck in the Caribbean. As Dan states, “its near-uniform flatness and its markings all indicate that this piece is the first example ever recorded of a complete ‘strap’ (in Spanish: riel) for cutting into the known (but very rare) money pieces (small) known as ‘oro corriente,’ which were used in place of actual gold coins (which were in short supply) in the colonies and thus represent the ‘first fish out of the lake’ from the colonies in terms of local gold coinage.” It dates to the 1520s and hence is “unique in importance, especially as the earliest form of Spanish colonial gold treasure we have ever offered.”

 

 

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Lot 203, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

Another important bar, the above gold “finger” bar is encrusted with coral as from the “Golden Fleece wreck” and was made “in a period when gold coins were not yet made in the New World and ‘oro corriente’ was being phased out” says Dan. Shipwreck bars are always in demand in our auctions.

 

 

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Lot 210, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

A very unusual silver “tumbaga” bar (#M-61) whose “most intriguing aspect is a large area of exposed pure copper, revealing how most ‘tumbaga’ silver was created by hammering silver and copper together and therefore showing the true nature of ‘metal of Michoacan’,” according to Dan. You should read The Tumbaga Saga by Agustin Garcia Barneche to learn more about these important and fascinating early silver bars.

 

 

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Lot 211, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

What’s an auction without a large silver Atocha bar (#451)? As Dan notes of special importance, accompanying this bar is a “complete manifest report, which was an optional (and mostly declined) item when the bars were first distributed.” Rarity and provenance!

That’s all for now, and we hope this note will whet your appetite for our auction.

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Some of Our Favorite Things in Upcoming Treasure Auction #20

14 Oct

As you peruse our catalog online, you might enjoy some of the items that stand out to us. Not all are big ticket items. Some are just cool because of what they represent. What items in our auction catch your attention?

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Lot 17, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

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Lot 24, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

If bling is your thing, then these gold-coin earrings (Lot 17) and pendant (Lot 24) are a must-have! We don’t usually have earrings in our auctions, much less a pair of one escudo cobs from the 1715 Fleet. And what would complement them? Why an 8 escudos cob pendant from the 1715 Fleet! It’s really not overkill if you like to strut your stuff.

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Lot 210 Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

This “tumbaga” silver bar (Lot 210) is one of the coolest bars we’ve ever handled. It’s a typical rectangular bar without the depth, i.e., it’s almost like a slice of “tumbaga” (even though it’s a full bar). More interesting is the large area of exposed copper. The photo says it all. If you’ve been wanting a “tumbaga” bar, then this should be on your want list. Be sure to buy a copy of Augi’s book, The “Tumbaga” Saga, Treasure of the Conquistadors, to go with.

 

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Lot 777, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

Provenance and pedigree are terms that are thrown around a lot when dealing with antiquities. We love to know where things come from, whether from a shipwreck or a particularly important collector. We have that in spades with this auction lot: It’s the first coin collected by Emilio Paoletti (Lot 777). If you don’t already know his name, then this isn’t the coin for you, but if you do, then bookmark this lot and bid!

 

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Lot 1569, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

Connor, our new employee and banknote guy, praises this note (Lot 1569) as a “fascinating combination of Mexican iconography (the eagle) and Texan images (the frontiersman).” It’s an unsigned remainder from a bank chartered to operate in Columbia, Texas by the Mexican government on April 30, 1835, just a few months before the start of the Texas Revolution. During the revolution, the bank was instrumental in arranging loans and fundraising for the revolutionaries.

 

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Lot 1625, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

While I’m not a fan favorite of this engraving (Lot 1625), the rest of the office loves it. It’s a German copperplate engraving showing native Americans dismembering and eating Spaniards, including pouring molten gold into one poor Spaniard’s mouth. I know the Indians weren’t exactly saints, but in the larger picture, they were almost always on the losing end of run-ins with Spaniards, and this is one of the few times they came out ahead. Go Native Americans!

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Lot 1626, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

Part of this engraving (Lot 1626) graces the front cover of our catalog. It’s a hand-colored British copperplate engraving of Philip II. He’s surrounded by crests of the many countries where he was king. Yertle the Turtle (a Dr. Seuss character for those of you who didn’t grow up reading his books) had nothing on him.

 

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Lot 1661, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20

If I owned a sword, this is the one (Lot 1661) I would want to own because it expressly tells me when it’s OK to use it: “no me saque sin razon,” which translates to Don’t Use Me Unless You Really Need to. Maybe our modern guns should have the same inscription.

We hope you enjoy all our auction offerings and find something that truly speaks to you!

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Sedwick Treasure, World and US Coin Auction #20 Preview

7 Sep

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While all of us at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, are diligently working on making our November Treasure World & US Coin Auction #20 the BEST ever, I thought I would pause to tell you about some of the cool stuff we will have for you to bid on and *hopefully* buy. First off, make sure your Christmas wish list is empty because there are lots and lots of goodies you’ll want! I’m already making my list.

In the upcoming auction, we have a Maravillas Research Collection of countermarked Potosi cobs. Here’s a refresher about the Maravillas from our website (abridged):

Maravillas, sunk in 1656 off Grand Bahama Island

shipwreck

As the almiranta (“admiral’s ship,” or rear guard) of the homebound Spanish fleet in January of 1656, the Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas was officially filled with over five million pesos of treasure (and probably much more in contraband, as was usually the case). That treasure included much of the silver salvaged from the South Seas Fleet’s Capitana of 1654 that wrecked on Chanduy Reef off Ecuador. The ill-fated treasure sank once again when the Maravillas unexpectedly ran into shallow water and was subsequently rammed by one of the other ships of its fleet, forcing the captain to try to ground the Maravillas on a nearby reef on Little Bahama Bank off Grand Bahama Island. In the ensuing chaos, exacerbated by strong winds, most of the 650 people on board the ship died in the night, and the wreckage scattered. Spanish salvagers soon recovered almost half a million pesos of treasure quickly, followed by more recoveries over the next several decades, yet with over half of the official cargo still unfound. The first re-discovery of the Maravillas in the 20th century was by Robert Marx and his company Seafinders in 1972. The second big salvage effort on the Maravillas was by Herbert Humphreys and his company Marex in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The wreck area is still being searched today, but officially the Bahamian government has not granted any leases on the site since the early 1990s.

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Roberto Mastalir Divisek

 

In addition to the above Potosi shipwreck cobs, we are honored to present a collection of “Transitional” 1652 Potosi 8 reales cobs put together and written about extensively by Robert Mastalir. All of his coins in the upcoming auction are featured (photographed) in his book The Great Transition at the Potosi Mint, 1649-1653, the 1652 Transitional 8 Reales, which is out of print already, but we plan to re-print it for the auction soon.

 

 

Unfortunately, sometimes collections come to us after the death of the collector, and that’s the case for the Charles Eidel collection of shipwreck coins and ancient Greek and Roman coins. Charlie was a genial retired NYC policeman whose appetite for coins was wide ranging. His meticulous record keeping and coin descriptions reflect his love for the hobby. It’s now time for him to posthumously pass along his gems for the next generation of collectors.

Near and dear to my heart is our major offering of Charles and Joanna coinage (both Early and Late Series) in this auction. We have a smattering of coins from several different sources which complement each other very well and will give you a lot of opportunities to enrich your collection…or start one! While we generally feature 4 reales from shipwrecks, this time we will have a large selection of the very hard-to-find smaller denominations. We will even have an early series Assayer R 1 real. And when’s the last time you saw Assayer S in any denomination? We’ve got a 2 reales for sale!

That’s it for now, but it should help you decide on what you’d like to see under the Christmas tree this year (or before)! Happy bidding.

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