By Cori Sedwick Downing – Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC ……
In this article, we will cover some of the big-ticket items (i.e. gold and gold and silver bars) that 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.
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!
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!
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.”
Lot 89, Sedwick Treasure Auction #20
This Potosí 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!
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!
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 the 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 (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.”
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.
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 the ‘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.
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.