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Morton & Eden to Sell Huntington Spanish Colonial Coins and 1859 US Proof coins from the Royal Mint

The Sale of the Archer M. Huntington Collection of Spanish Colonial Coins, Later Republican and Related Coins

Following last November’s successful sale of important Portuguese and Portuguese Colonial coins from the Archer M. Huntington Collection of Hispanic Coins, on Wednesday March 6 2013 (10:30 – 2:00pm) specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden will sell the equally important Spanish Colonial coins from the same collection. Numbering almost 1,300 items, the sale is expected to raise a total in the region of £500,000.

The Huntington Collection, a vast group of 37,895 coins relating to the Spanish World, was sold en bloc to benefit the Hispanic Society of America (HSA). Many significant and academically important pieces were acquired on behalf of the American Numismatic Society (ANS), to which they had formerly been loaned for many years. However, the Morton & Eden sales of Portuguese material, and now the Spanish Colonial coins offer collectors at all levels a rare opportunity to bid for items of impeccable pedigree and provenance.

The gold, silver and copper coins for sale in the present collection span South and Central America and the West Indies and include examples from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Santo Domingo, Uruguay and Venezuela.

However, it is a group of early gold and silver coins from Mexico which are among the rarest and most valuable. Estimated at £15,000-20,000 is a silver Royal 8 reales of Philip V, dated 1729 [Lot 344], while a Royal 4 reales of Philip IV, dated 1639 is estimated at £10,000-12,000 [Lot 343].

Some of Mexico’s richest silver mines were located in Real de Catorce and what is now a ghost town had its own short-lived mint. A crude 8 reales, dated 1811, its centres blank, but very rare, is estimated at £8,000-12,000 [Lot 398].

Among several rare coins from Bolivia are a silver Royal 8 reales of Charles II dated 1684 [Lot 22] and a gold 4 escudos of Charles IV of 1791 [Lot 14], each estimated at £6,000-8,000.

Archer Milton Huntington was born on March 10, 1870, in New York City, inheriting his great wealth from his stepfather Collis P. Huntington, who built a vast railroad empire.

Archer was a scholarly collector and a major benefactor with the financial resources of an industrial magnate. His lifelong passion for Hispanic history, art and culture culminated in his foundation of The Hispanic Society of America in New York City.

He was also a major benefactor of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Numismatic Society, donating land and funds so they could both be adjacent to the Hispanic Society at the Beaux Arts Audubon Terrace complex in New York’s Washington Heights.

In 1932, he founded the Brookgreen Gardens sculpture centre in South Carolina; and the Mariners’ Museum, which is one of the largest maritime museums in the world, in Newport News, Virginia, a new independent city that was established in the late 19th century, largely though the efforts of his stepfather.

The sale will be on view at Morton & Eden’s 45 Maddox Street offices on Friday, Monday and Tuesday (March 1-5) from 10am to 4.30pm, or by previous appointment. For further information, please contact Jeremy Cheek, James Morton or Paul Wood, telephone +44 (0)20 7493 5344 or [email protected]

Click Here to view the catalogue (PDF).


The Royal Mint Museum: United States 1859 Proofs Auction in London: 6 March 2013

Morton & Eden have great pleasure in announcing the sale of important US Proof coins which have remained in the collection of the Royal Mint Museum since their acquisition in 1859. Originally presented by Professor J.H. Alexander of Baltimore as a double-set from the Eagle to the Cent, the coins were displayed for many years at the Royal Mint on Tower Hill in London and are listed in W.J. Hocking’s 1906 catalogue of the collection.

After careful consideration by the Museum’s Trustees, the decision has been taken to deaccession one of the two sets, with the exception of the $3 where only one specimen from the original pair has survived. The resources generated by the sale will help fund future acquisitions for the Museum’s collection, now housed at the Royal Mint’s present home at Llantrisant in South Wales.

During 2012 all 23 1859 US Proofs in the Royal Mint Museum were submitted to PCGS for grading. The outstanding gold coins, to which reference has been made in the past by both David Akers and Walter Breen, are all of cameo quality with individual grades between PR64 CAM and PR65+ CAM, whilst the range for the silver coins and the cents is PR63 to PR65. The silver coins are heavily and somewhat unevenly toned as a result of simultaneous side-by-side display of obverses and reverses in display cabinets in former years, and have never been cleaned.

The 1859 presentation marked Professor Alexander’s enthusiastic lobbying for a new British-American Coinage Union, one of a number of proposals to emerge from debates on decimalisation and international coinage which took place in various European locations in the late 1850s and which were, as it turned out, ahead of their time.

The auction now offers collectors the chance to acquire some magnificent coins which genuinely represent a piece of history and have the most impeccable nineteenth-century provenance imaginable.

Click here to view the catalogue (PDF).

The auction will follow the Huntington Collection Sale described above at 5;00 PM

About Morton & Eden Ltd

Morton & Eden are specialist auctioneers of Collectors’ Coins of all periods and types, War Medals, Orders and Decorations, Historical Medals and Banknotes.  The company was founded in 2001 by James Morton and Tom Eden, who were both directors of the Coins and Medals Department at Sotheby’s, with whom the company maintains a close association.

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