By Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC ……
Spanish colonial rarities in the form of coins and shipwreck treasure bars paved the way to $4.02 million (USD) in Daniel Frank Sedwick’s May 3-5 Treasure, World, and U.S. Coin Auction 31. This is the firm’s third consecutive sale to break the $4 million level.
The top coin lot in the sale was lot 651, a Potosí, Bolivia, cob 4 reales Heart dated 1720 Y and certified by NGC, which sold for $66,000 on a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 and up. The term Heart is apparent when viewing the coin: a sharply defined, medallic aligned design on a specially prepared heart-cut planchet. Prior to the auction, this date was unknown among the census of Heart-shaped cobs. It also holds a pedigree to the collection of the late numismatist Pat Johnson.
A second unique Heart 4 reales, also from the Potosí mint yet dated 1721 and graded NGC XF 45 (lot 652), saw $48,000 on an estimate of $20,000 and up. It held the distinction of being the plate coin for the type in both Sedwick’s Practical Book of Cobs 2nd and 3rd editions (1990 and 1995) and Janson’s La Moneda Circulante En El Territorio Argentino 1584-2019 (2020).
However, the top lot overall in the sale was not a coin but a Spanish colonial gold bar recovered from a treasure galleon that realized $78,000 on an estimate of $40,000 and up. The 12-inch long, 1,222-gram gold bar (lot 65) contains a mixed fineness of between 10 to 13 karat gold due to the Spanish smelting of miscellaneous artifacts from the New World; its balance of copper gives it a distinct red-gold tone throughout. There are nine circular tax stamps reading CAROLVS EMPERADOR that signify that the royal tax owed to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (King Charles I of Spain) had been paid and that bar could be sent from the New World to Spain. Yet the bar would never arrive: it was lost aboard the shipwreck now called the “Tumbaga Wreck”, a treasure galleon lost around 1528 near the Bahamas. The bar was salvaged in 1992 and ended up in a private collection shortly thereafter.
Two key collections also provided substantial returns amid strong bidder interest.
The first offering of the Clyde Hubbard Collection of Charles and Joanna Coinage realized a total of $403,440 across 134 lots. The top lot was a Mexico City, Mexico, 3 reales, of Charles and Joanna from the Early Series coinage with assayer Gothic R (lot 366), graded NGC XF 40 and finest known in the NGC census, that sold for $16,200 on an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.
The John Adams Collection of Admiral Vernon medals sold for a total of $192,384 across a total of 50 lots. The top lot was 1192, a British gilt copper alloy Admiral Vernon medal dated 1739 with the Porto Bello/Fort Charge design, that sold for $24,000 on an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000. That medal’s history boasts pedigrees to the collections of Dr. Thomas Hall, Virgil Brand, and John J. Ford Jr.
The best performing lot versus its pre-auction estimate was lot 1098, a Philippines 8 reales with crowned Y.II countermark from 1834-1837 on a Santiago, Chile, “volcano” peso dated 1820 assayer FD. It is graded NGC XF details/obverse damage with counterstamp AU Standard. Its pre-sale estimate was $700-$1,000; once the hammer fell, the coin had sold for $42,000.
A similar Philippines rarity with the same crowned Y.II countermark but on a Bolivia 8 soles dated 1834 with assayer LM (lot 1092), saw $36,000 on an estimate of $2,000 and up. It was graded by NGC as AU 58 with a UNC Strong counterstamp and is the finest known in the NGC census.
Other top lots in the sale include:
- Lot 679: a La Rioja, Argentina, gold 8 escudos dated 1845 RB and graded NGC MS 63, the finest known in the NGC census, sold for $60,000 on an estimate of $20,000 and up.
- Lot 720: a Santiago, Chile, gold 10 pesos dated 1863/2 graded NGC MS 64 Star Prooflike, finest known in the NGC census, sold for $26,400 on an estimate of $10,000 and up.
- Lot 872: a Costa Rica, 2 reales, Liberty Head and ceiba tree counterstamp of 1845 on a Potosí, Bolivia, pillar 2 reales of Charles III dated 1768 JR graded NGC VF 20, c/s XF Standard, sold for $21,600 on an estimate of $2,000 and up.
- Lot 34: a Mexico City, Mexico, gold cob 8 escudos dated 1714 J with the date over GRAT on the obverse, recovered from the 1715 Fleet and graded NGC MS 61 as well as pedigreed to the Frank Sedwick Collection and plated in The Practical Book of Cobs, sold for $22,800 on an estimate of $15,000 and up.
- Lot 1109: a Segovia, Spain, gold milled 8 escudos of Philip V dated 1721/19 F graded NGC AU 55, sold for $22,800 on an estimate of $12,500 and up.
- Lot 1067: a Leon, Nicaragua, “imitation cob” 1 real dated 1823-(PMPY), pine tree style graded NGC AU 58 and finest known in the NGC census, sold for $13,200 on an estimate of $500 and up.
- Lot 1289: a Zeugitana, Carthage, gold stater from around 320-310 BCE pedigreed to the British Museum, sold for $12,000 on an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.
- Lot 345: a USA (Philadelphia Mint), gold $20 Coronet Liberty double eagle dated 1861 recovered from the Steamer Pewabic shipwreck, sunk in 1865 off Thunder Bay Island, Michigan, graded NGC AU 58 / Steamer Pewabic, sold for $11,400 on an estimate of $10,000 and up.
The firm’s next floor Treasure Auction 32 will be held November 3-4 both in-person in Winter Park, Florida and online at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The consignment deadline for that sale is August 22; interested consignors should contact the company by email at [email protected] or by phone at (407) 975-3325.
Sedwick’s next auction is a standalone, online auction of US and World Paper Money to be held on July 1 at auction.sedwickcoins.com. Pre-registration for that sale is available now.
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Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC
P.O. Box 1964
Winter Park, Florida 32790, USA
Phone: (407) 975-3325
Fax: (407) 975-3327
Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC / Licensed Florida Auctioneer #AU3635, AB2592 (since 2007)
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