Daniel Frank Sedwick   |   Auction 24   |   2 - 3 November 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Session I, Lot 5





Estimate: 35'000 USD   |   Starting price: 28'000 USD Price realized: 42'500 USD
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos, 1715J, special planchet and strike, NGC MS 64, ex-1715 Fleet (designated on label), finest graded by NGC, ex-Real Eight (Schulman, 1972), Lopez-Chaves and Yriarte Plate Coin.
Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos, 1715J, special planchet and strike, NGC MS 64, ex-1715 Fleet (designated on label), finest graded by NGC, ex-Real Eight (Schulman, 1972), Lopez-Chaves and Yriarte Plate Coin. S-M30; KM-57.2; CT-109. 26.93 grams. While the concept of round presentation coins from the Spanish colonial mints was of course known, credit for calling them "Royals" in the sense of being made for the king has generally gone to the New York auction house of Schulman and the offering of the Real Eight Company's finds from the 1715 Fleet, which included several gold Royals in a handful of auctions. Case in point is the present specimen, which was advertised in the 1972 Schulman catalog as "Philip's Own 1715 'Royal'," with lot description as follows: "Magnificent 8 Escudos 1715 oMJ. Value is written VIIIIII. Fully struck round, on a somewhat concave planchet, therefore part of the planchet did not reach the diestamp... No 1715 round perfect 8 Escudos ever on the market. Gem Abt. Unc. Reserve on this coin is $7,000." The Schulman estimate was $14,000-$17,500, and the hammer price was $7,000 (the equivalent buying power of about $42,000 today). In the same sale, a 1702 8E Royal received a headline (caps in original) of "A COIN NOT STRUCK FOR THE PUBLIC, BUT FOR THE KING ONLY," followed by another 1702 piece with the notation "It is not strange that a few ROYALS of the same date are found as it was assumed the King desired more than one of such pieces." While obviously over the top, all this bombast has had a single ring of truth through the years: Gold Royals are exceedingly rare and valuable. For this specific piece, however, there is an important modification: This is not a Royal! True Royal 8E of the date 1715 were subsequently found on the 1715 Fleet, showing fully struck details on perfectly round flans and--most important--with a different reverse that shows "daggers" in the dimples of the tressure (same as for the 1714 Royals), which the present specimen clearly does not have. It is nevertheless much rounder and more complete than practically all of the "non-Royal" 1715 8E known, and to our knowledge it is the finest known graded by NGC, with choice full shield and crown, date, oMJ and denomination (the last-mentioned item indeed slightly doubled to appear as "VIIIIII" like Schulman noted), yet with incomplete legends and some doubling and flatness on the reverse (the cross-and-tressure still complete and well centered). In sum, this is a special coin--not a Royal, but still special--and surely had some reason to be unlike every other "normal" cob... we just don't know the reason. From the 1715 Fleet, pedigreed to the Real Eight Co. offering in the Schulman (New York) auction of November 1972 (lot #557), and Plate Coin #284 on page 24 of Catalogo General de la Onza (1968), by Leopoldo Lopez-Chaves and Jose de Yriarte. NGC #3165497-005.

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