Wednesday, October 7, 2015

10/7/15 Report - Sedwick Auction #18. Heart Shaped Reales. Crucifix With Reales Attached.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Treasure, World & U.S. Coin Auction #18 - October 29, 2015.

Come be a part of history! Our third LIVE FLOOR auction (Treasure, World and U.S. Coin Auction#18) will take place on October 29, 2015, at the DoubleTree Lake Buena Vista (Walt Disney World) in Orlando, Florida, USA, with simultaneous LIVE INTERNET bidding and educational seminars during lot viewing the day before (October 28) and lot pick-up the day after (October 30). The auction is now open for registration and bidding on iCollector, and printed catalogs will be available starting next week. Now is the time to register to bid, order a catalog, book your room at the DoubleTree and BID!

This sale will go down in history as the “Hearts and Royals” auction. Never before have so many Hearts (14) and Royals (46) been offered at the same time. These are very special silver cob coins from Potosí, Bolivia—made in tiny numbers for presentation, not circulation. Many dates are represented by single-known specimens. Sophisticated cob buyers know that an opportunity like this is unique, with enough specimens to satisfy the casual trophy hunters as well. To be able to offer a total of 60 of these treasures is a privilege we will hold dear for years to come!

I previously posted a list of educational session that will be held along with the auction.

There are several heart shaped silver cobs from Potosi listed in this auction.  Many are smaller denominations.  The dates range from 1698 to 1743.

One is a an eight real.  The listed starting price of that one is $70,000.  Some have a starting bid of less than $2000.

I've read a lot of discussion of why these heart shaped cobs were produced.  Some think they have a church related purpose.  Perhaps being for clergy or used as votive offerings.  There is nothing that I have seen that is conclusive.

In his book Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, Sewall Menzel says, "The heart shaped pieces were apparently made to support church related activities and were awarded for scholastic and other achievement on the part of students in monastic orders and schools.  They may also have served the purpose of votives.  He also says his research indicates they were "used as a form of reward."  "There was no romantic significance intended for these special productions, although private parties could have used them for that purpose.  All hearts are pierced for wear as an adornment."  He also says there are a lot of copies and counterfeits known to exist.  He says they were produced from 1664 to 1759 and come primarily from the Potosi mint.

It is worth noting that the eight-reale heart with the starting bid of $70,000 has no hole.

Lot 1242 In The Upcoming Sedwick Auction.

Here is the description for this lot.

Peruvian silver crucifix with half-real coins (one Lima pillar 1765JM and one Potosi bust 1821PJ), hanging from ends, late Spanish colonial (early 1800s), with Sacred Heart symbol at bottom. 66.77 grams, 5-1/4" x 3-3/4". Very rustic but highly adorned with symbolism, made from a single flat piece of solid silver with applied Jesus figure showing native features and oversized extremities, nicely toned all over, the two coins (VG-F) dating the piece, but most important feature (for this auction, at least) is the Sacred Heart symbol at bottom (see article about Potosi Hearts in this auction), within which is a skull (representing Golgotha) above a void in the shape of a more traditional (Valentine-style) heart.

All items are genuine unless noted. Most shipwreck coins and artifacts come with a certificate of authenticity (please check the description for each item). By bidding in this auction you understand and agree to the Terms and Conditions posted here.

One thing I find interesting is the use of coins in this very religious item.

I think that we tend to think of church and state and very distinct and separate.  It wasn't like that then.

Cobs show very clear and obvious signs of both church and state, but the use of coins on a religious item like this takes it another step.

Does that have any bearing on heart shaped reales?  I don't know.

I find it interesting and that the coins attached were produced fifty years apart.  They were obviously not produced for use on this particular crucifix.  It is possible that they were not even the original coins.  Something else could have originally been attached.  You'd have to be able to inspect the chain and rings to see if they could have been changed or replaced.

I've read more than one article about how items were often repaired and used over generations.  I once mentioned how many of the guns used in the Revolutionary War were a hundred years old.  They were repaired or refitted as long as they could be.  It wasn't such as disposal culture.  You couldn't run out to Walmart and buy a new item every year.

I thought the crucifix and the hearts were worth discussing.  There is a lot to be learned.


Beach Photos Received Tuesday From Jonah M.

Thanks to Captain Jonah for the pictures.

Here are some very nice cuts from the Vero area.  Unfortunately I won't have a chance to check them out right away due to other responsibilities.  I'm therefore not going to attempt to evaluate them right now.   Sorry.  I can't say how much old sand has been eroded as opposed to renourishment sand.  I'm almost tempted to give a Beach Detecting Conditions Rating of 2.  

As you know, a lot of sand in that area is renourishement sand, and that is a big factor.  Also note in the photo the convex looking beach in front of the cut. Those are important things to consider.  

A few cobs and shipwreck items were found on that beach a few weeks ago (July/Aug.) when there was less erosion, so there is definitely the possibility that something could be found now,  I'd bet that there will be a few, but not enough for me to raise my beach conditions rating to a 2.  If I didn't have other responsibilities tomorrow I definitely would check it out and give my rating.

The wind changed last night as predicted.  I'll give a new beach conditions rating as soon as I get a chance to get out and take a look.

Happy hunting,