By Greg Cohen, Based on lot description by Kyle Ponterio, Numismatist World Coins Stack’s Bowers …….
All collectors of Philippines coins will be watching during the Stack’s Bowers Galleries New York International Numismatic Convention Sale as we present the Ray Czahor Collection of items related to this historic and sometimes overlooked area.
The Philippines have a very interesting history, being a colony of the Spanish Crown for two centuries, before being taken over by the United States in 1901. Various Philippine coinages were issued, starting with locally issued base metal coinage, and continuing with counterstamped Spanish colonial issues, copper, silver and gold coins struck in Madrid for use in the Philippines, coins struck in San Francisco and Philadelphia while under the U.S. Administration, and finally in the Philippines themselves when the mint in Manila was opened in 1920. Our sale will present coins from each of these eras and will serve as a reference in the series for years to come.
This week we focus our attention on one of the most important silver coins in the offering — the finest certified Manila Overstrike 8 Reales from the decree of January 16, 1832. This coin is graded by NGC as MS-63, and is pedigreed to the Cornelius C. Vermeule III Collection and was sold in our (Stack’s) International Numismatic Sale, January 13, 2004, lot 933. It was then sold as lot 914 in the May 2008 Goldberg sale of the Millennia Collection. This coin has been a highlight and provided pride of ownership to its current owner, and it will surely be the centerpiece in an advanced collection of world crowns or a specialized collection of Philippine coinage. Nothing more can be added to our expert description, which appears below in its entirety.
PHILIPPINES. 8 Reales, 1830 (Decree of January 16, 1832).KM-35; Basso-39; cf.PNM#6-19; cf.PNM#16-2; Cacho-Type II CS-001; Lopez-Chavez Yriarte-Type I. Type IV Manila overstrike, with serrated borders and reverse legend; dies prepared by Don Benito de los Reyes. Overstruck on an 1829-PTS JM Bolivia 8 Soles. VERY RARE as a date with an estimated 20-25 examples known (some of which are in institutions) and the key to the Philippine countermark series. EXTREMELY RARE in this state of preservation.
The finest graded by either PCGS or NGC, and certainly one of the finest known to exist, if not the finest. “MANILA” somewhat obscured from the portrait of Bolivar with only “NILA” fully struck up and full four digit date with dot between and below, serrated border fully struck nearly obliterating the host coin’s legend with only minor details still visible; Reverse: Crowned arms of Spain nearly fully struck up with only the slightest bit of weakness in the border of the shield at top right side, virtually all aspects of the legend are clear with scattered weakness and a minor portion between 3 o’clock and 4 o’clock which is indistinct, full serrated border nearly obliterating the host coin’s legend.
The striking of the 1830 issue was delayed due to frequent breakdowns of the coin stamping machine made by foundry master Benito de los Reyes, who also produced all of the “MANILA” dies. On May 30, 1829, the authorities closed the countermarking office because of these frequent breakdowns and began looking for an alternative. It was recommended that a new stamping press made of tempered steel be ordered from Calcutta or Batavia.
After learning that the authorities were looking to purchase a new press, Jose Campana wrote to them on September 18, 1829, offering to sell a similar press that was purchased from Bengal, India for 5,500 pesos. Before the purchase of this new press could be consummated Campana had to agree to install and test the new machinery by re-stamping no less than 1,000 pesos worth of coins.
On January 29, 1830, Campana informed the authorities that the new Bengal press was stored in the warehouse of Don Andreas Camba and ready for testing, but had no dies. He requested that the old dies be modified for the new machine or a new set of dies be produced. Since the old dies could not be modified to fit the new machine, approval was given March 9, 1830, to Benito de los Reyes for the production of new dies.
Finally on May 28, 1830, testing of the new press had taken place, but only 400-500 pesos were re-stamped. After inspection was accomplished and reports of the output production of the new press given to the authorities, on November 29, 1830, Campana received a counteroffer of 4,000 pesos. He accepted the offer on December 20, 1830.
On February 4, 1831, the new press had arrived from Calcutta and was to be installed on a solid base in the same area as the previous press. Installation of the new press began on March 3, 1831, but it wasn’t until the reply to the decree of January 7, 1832, on January 16 that approval and re-stamping began. Since the coins were no longer being heated, softened and flattened with a hammer prior to being overstruck, the hardness of the coins effaced the new dies easily and caused the new press to break down within 15 days of operation.
Overstrike very well executed for issue with only minute details of the under type visible. Grey mottled toning with faint hues of azure, lustrous in the serrated border. NGC MS-63.
Ex: Millennia Collection, May 26, 2008 Lot #914.
Ex: Cornelius C. Vermeule III Collection, our (Stack’s) International Numismatic Sale, January 12, 2004, lot #933.
The Stack’s Bowers Galleries official sale for the New York International Numismatic Convention is an event that should not be missed, so if you are not currently on our mailing list and would like to receive a copy of the catalog, be sure to contact our auction services team. If you are interested in consigning any world or ancient coins, or world paper money we are now accepting consignments for our official auction for the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in August 2015, as well as our monthly world and ancient coin iAuction sales. We are also accepting consignments of Chinese and Asian coins for our April 2015 Hong Kong auction, so be sure to contact a consignment director to discuss your collection