By Chris Chatigny – Numismatist & Cataloger, Stack’s Bowers Galleries ……
This week’s preview for the August ANA World’s Fair of Money auction is a lovely Latin American gold coin from the short-lived South Peru Republic, a portion of the larger Peru-Bolivian Confederacy. Enacted by Bolivian dictator Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz, this union would last for less than three years. The confederation would be brought down by a unified Chilean and Peruvian rebel force in the ‘War of the Confederation.’
After the final Battle at Yungay in January 1839 Marshal Santa Cruz fled into exile. The years following the fall of the confederation saw prolonged internal conflict and chaos within both Peru and Bolivia. Before the fall of this Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, this coin was produced in a final moment of stability for the region.
The designs are detailed, rich, and interesting. The radiate sun-face appears above the crossed flags of the confederation, with five stars above. Each star represents the constituent states or regions of South Peru: Ayacucho, Cuzco, Arequipa, Puno and Tacna. The equally impressive reverse design features a coastal scene, with a crowned castle tower at left, volcano at right, and a ship at sea. This whole motif is elegantly framed within a wreath. The state of preservation of this coin is astonishing, with highly reflective nearly prooflike surfaces seen throughout the fields on both sides. Well struck overall, the fortress and volcano display every detail. A touch of weakness is seen in the lower left flag of the obverse, detectable only because of the complete absence of wear on the balance of the coin. Superior luster and flash are noted, without a trace of tone.
For the type, this is an outstanding coin that is sure to add significant depth and weight to the collection it joins.
Though our Stack’s Bowers August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction is no longer open for consignments, we are now accepting consignments of world and ancient coins for our January 2017 New York International Auction as well as Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our April 2017 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. 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.