By Cori Sedwick Downing – Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC ……
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 Potosí 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 ’90s. The wreck area is still being searched today, but officially the Bahamian government has not granted any leases on the site since the early ’90s.
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, (1650-1)O, with crowned script-a countermark
In addition to the above Potosí shipwreck cobs, we are honored to present a collection of “Transitional” 1652 Potosí 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.