Tag Archives: Charles and Joanna

Notes from the 2016 U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona

12 Oct

hurricane-imageLast week Dan, Connor Falk (our new employee) and I traveled to Arizona ahead of Hurricane Matthew to show auction lots for our upcoming Auction #20 (more to follow on that tomorrow!) and give some presentations. We were a little unsure about leaving with a potentially dangerous storm bearing down on us, but when the going gets tough, the tough leave town. As it turned out, Matthew took an eastward jog and spared most of the central Florida area.

The U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association convention in Scottsdale is always a great time to reconnect with friends and colleagues. Connor and I got to meet Don and Lois Bailey, Mexican numismatic legends. All three of us enjoyed spending time with Ute Wartenberg Kagan, the longtime executive director of the American Numismatic Society who brought


Connor Falk with Don Bailey

important Mexican coins from the vast collection at the Society. She will also attend our Auction #20, so if you’re attending it as well, you’ll want to meet and talk with her.


Ute Wartenberg Kagan and Cori Downing

Augi, who stayed in Florida to make sure the hurricane didn’t blow away our office, won an award at the convention for his well-received book, The “Tumbaga” Saga, Treasure of the ConquistadorsWe’re fortunate to have a very cool “Tumbaga” bar (Lot 210) in the Auction. Dan took an award for his participation in the Counterfeit Forum last year and did so again this year. The presentation was extremely well received. I spoke on the Charles and Joanna coinage from the Mexico City mint, sharing some new research I’ve undertaken.


All in all, it was a quick respite from the desk and chair. If you’re a collector of Mexican coins, you should become a member of the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association and attend next year’s convention.




Sedwick Treasure, World and US Coin Auction #20 Preview

7 Sep


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


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.


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.


Assayer P Coins minted under Charles and Joanna from the Mexico City Mint

21 Jan

Did you know that the Banco de Mexico has photos of almost all of their Charles and Joanna coin holdings online? A friend pointed me to the site last year, and I have been slowly incorporating these coins into my census database of both early and late series Charles and Joanna coins of all denominations. I’ll share more surprises from the Banco de Mexico’s large and beautiful trove of coins in later blogs, but for now I want to tell you something about Assayer P coins.

It finally dawned on me that there is a distinction between earlier and later coins minted under Assayer P, and you can tell this in several ways, but the most distinguishing characteristic can be found in the pillars-side legend. If you have any of these coins, take a look. Does the legend begin with HISPANIE or HISPANIARVM? If it’s HISPANIE, then you have a coin of the earlier variety.

To confuse matters more, there are a couple of varieties of HISPANIE.

Lot 251, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Lot 251, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

I’m not sure which coins were made before the others, but one variety (pictured above) is KIS : PANIE (note the K instead of H) and the other is simply HISPANIE. You can even see that the KIS : PANIE variety is followed by INDIAR : AM instead of INDIARVM! Below is an example of HISPANIE with no funny letters.

Lot 252, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Lot 252, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

The later varieties (see below) all use HISPANIARVM ET INDIARVM. It doesn’t matter which way the rhomboid panel points–left or right–or what sort of ornaments were used as stops between words.

Lot 253, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Lot 253, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Why were coins with HISPANIE minted before coins with HISPANIARVM? You have to go back to Assayer R, the predecessor to Assayer P and look at his coins. He used HISPANIE (with often a retrograde N), and it stands to reason that when Assayer P took over at the mint, he started with HISPANIE before settling on the more common HISPANIARVM.

You can also see the HISPANIE vs. HISPANIARVM varieties on 1 and 2 reales denominations.

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