By Chris Chatigny – Numismatist & Cataloger, Stacks Bowers ……
Choice 1739 Mexican 8 Escudos
The upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries May Collectors Choice Online Auction featuring Ancient and World coins includes a wonderful 1739 Mexican 8 Escudos (lot 71172) from the long reign of Spanish king Philip V. He reigned from 1700 to 1724, then abdicated, allowing for his son Louis I to rule, although only for seven months before Louis died of smallpox. Philip V then resumed his reign until his death in 1746. This coin was minted toward the end of his reign.
The ornate and regal bust of King Philip V in armor and wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece faces right at the center of the obverse, surrounded by his royal titles: “PHILIP. V. D. G. HISPAN. ET IND. REX.” This translates as: “Philip V, by the Grace of God, King of Spain and the Indies.” The date appears below the bust, flanked by two rosettes.
The reverse features an intricate shield depicting the complex coat of arms of the King of Spain. The Crown appears above the shield and between the legend and the heraldic shield are displayed the assayer’s initials on the left and an “8” for 8 Escudos on the right. This is all surrounded by the Order of the Golden Fleece. The inscription reads: “INITIUM SAPIENTIAE TIMOR DOMINI”, which translates to “Beginning of Wisdom is Fear of the Lord.” This inscription was the official motto of Philip V.
This is a lovely example of a date that is among more difficult to locate in the series. It is currently tied with one other example as finest certified at NGC, with no examples at PCGS. It offers a bold strike, reflective surfaces and light orange-peel tone on both sides, along with strong luster and great eye appeal.
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We are currently accepting consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for our August 2018 ANA Auction, our October 2018 Collectors Choice Online Auction as well as the January 2019 New York International Auction. In addition, we are taking consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.