By Chris Chatigny – Numismatist & Cataloger, Stacks Bowers ……
Rare Alexander of Carthage Rebellion Issue
The upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries May Collectors Choice Online Coin Auction featuring Ancient and World coins is now online. This week’s ancient coin preview is lot 70113, a scarcely seen type produced by a rebellious Alexander of Carthage.
Domitius Alexander led a short rebellion against Maxentius in 308 CE, holding North Africa and Sardinia. Little is known about this usurper, likely due to his brief tenure. The coins produced by Alexander were the last to be coined by Romans in Carthage, though a mint would open up under Byzantine rule nearly two centuries later. The obverse features a right facing laureate head of Alexander that is somewhat off-center, but the portrait is bold and most of his name is clear. The reverse shows a Legionary eagle (Aquila) between two vexilla surmounted by hand (on left) and wreath (on right). This example offers nice glossy brown surfaces and is sure to be a treasured piece in its next collection.
Appealing Brazilian 1725-M 10,000 Reis
This week’s world coin preview is lot 70221, a Brazilian gold 10,000 Reis from the reign of Joao V, struck by the Portuguese colony of Brazil at the height of Portugal’s overseas trade empire. Diamond and gold deposits found in Brazil provided Portugal (and King Joao V) with substantial profits. Speculation has it that Portugal collected more gold from Brazil in a few decades than Spain took from the rest of Central and South America over 400 years. One fifth of each ton of gold went straight to the crown, a substantial amount. The diamond mines were also a considerable boost to the royal coffers.
This private wealth allowed Joao V to rule without his council, the Portuguese Cortes, effectively allowing him to become an absolute monarch. The proliferation of gold into Portugal allowed for large denomination gold pieces to be minted with regularity.
The obverse design features the arms of the King of Portugal, surmounted by a massive crown. Five floral designs and the numerals 10000 flank the arms. The inscription reads in English as: “Joao V, by the Grace of God, King of Portugal and the Algarves.” A cross with an “M” in each angle dominates the reverse design, with the “M” designating the Minas Gerais mint. The date of 1725 appears above cross, while a motto appears as the outer inscription, spaced by four petaled floral designs. The Latin motto: “In Hoc Signo Vinces” translates to “In this sign thou shalt conquer”. This coin offers great eye appeal, with minimal toning and only inconsequential contact marks. It also displays good strike details and soft satiny luster.
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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 Coin Auction as well as the January 2019 New York International Coin Auction. In addition, we are taking consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Coin 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.