The May 15-16, 2018 Sedwick Treasure Auction, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction #23 to be held by Daniel Frank Sedwick , LLC will feature 51 lots from the collection of author and researcher James P. Bevill. Many of these coins are the plate specimens from Bevill’s award winning book The Paper Republic, the Struggle for Money, Credit and Independence in the Republic of Texas (2009).
Bevill’s pieces are all museum quality, having been exhibited in venues across Texas in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and, most recently, the Rosenberg Library Museum in Galveston.
In the early coinage, one highlight in the Sedwick Treasure Auction is Lot #689, a Mexico City 4 reales Charles-Joanna, Early Series, assayer P to right, mintmark M to left, described as “deep rainbow toning, full details (legend and interiors), AU or better but with areas of light surface pitting, as from the ‘Golden Fleece Wreck,’ ca. 1550, HISPANIE variety, with unusual stops between words in the legends on both sides, and a die match to the only other example known (Banco de Mexico collection).”
There are a dozen Mexican 8 reales cobs represented in the Sedwick Treasure Auction from the Bevill collection in the sale, including 10 with full four-digit dates, two of which are overdates: Lot #721, a 1652/49; and Lot #735, a 1659/8, described as “rare,” a “richly toned” VF with bold full date.
Mexican silver coins by type are well represented in the Sedwick Treasure Auction, including Lot #1379, a War of Independence, Monclova, 1811 countermark on cast Mexico City bust 8 reales 1809 HJ, graded VF30, c/s XF strong. It is one of just two graded in the NGC Census, both in VF.
There are five Mexican pillar 8 reales, also known as Pillar Dollars, including Lot #1325, a rare Charles III, 1761MM, cross below ‘I” variety (rare).
There are three silver 8 reales coins with the bust of Mexican emperor Augustin Iturbide in the sale. Lot #1383 features an 1823 JM Iturbide, Mexico City, 8 reales, JM below eagle, NGC MS 62+. This coin is described as “Reverse with beautiful rainbow toning on lustrous surface, the obverse somewhat frosty and matte but also toning at rim, ties with two others for finest known in NGC census.”
The gold selections in the Sedwick Treasure Auction include a type set of doubloons by Spanish kings, including:
- Lot #170: A 1744 MF Philip V, NGC MS61;
- Lot #131: A 1751 J Ferdinand VI from Santiago, Chile, NGC MS62;
- Lot #171: A 1760 MM Charles III (young bust), NGC AU53;
- Lot #172: A 1772 FM, Charles III, MGC AU53; and
- Lot #178: A 1820 JJ Ferdinand VII, graded NGC AU55.
Not to be outdone by the Spanish kings, Lot #194 features an 1823 JM Iturbide 8 escudos, a desirable example of an important one-year type, with large bust and eagle inside shield, graded NGC AU58, featured on the cover of the catalogue and plated as Fig. 3.8 on page 61 of The Paper Republic.
Bevill remarked that this sale constitutes the “end of an area of collecting that I have enjoyed for almost two decades.”
The collection was painstakingly acquired to illustrate the evolution of the Spanish monetary system in colonial Texas, both in his book and in a broader context: alongside other Texas treasures as part of several museum exhibitions which were viewed by over 287,000 visitors from 2011-2016. Through this auction, resourceful bidders have the opportunity to take home some of these pieces, forever enshrined in an important work in numismatic literature.