Saturday, May 6, 2017

5/6/17 Report - Valuable Reales With History and Provenance. Ribault Fleet Link.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a four-reale that had an auction estimate of $1250 - 2000, but sold in the recent Sedwick auction receiving a bid of $14,000.

I highlight and discuss things that sold for a variety of reasons.  Usually they are exceptionally interesting.  You can also learn something about how things are valued by looking at those that did extremely well and those that did not do so well.

This example sold for way above the auction estimate.  As you can see, it was displayed extremely well.  It also had an interesting history and provenance.

Here is the Sedwick listing.

Mexico City, Mexico, cob 4 reales, Philip V, assayer not visible, extremely rare and popular provenance. 21-3/4" x 13-3/4". A typical 4R cob (toned, no corrosion) with off-center shield visible (mounted upside down) centered in its own niche below a drawing of a ship model and above its original certificate signed by Barry Clifford and other company officers, one of very, very few coins to have been released by Clifford (and not intended to be re-sold), and only the fourth we have seen, perhaps even more popular this year (2017) as it is the 300th anniversary of the sinking of the Whydah! Mounted in a matted picture frame with original Barry Clifford certificate #57501 and color picture of a ship. Recovered from: Whydah, sunk in 1717 off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

For a little background on the Whydah, Here is a paragraph from a good National Geographic article.  I think you might like reading the entire article.

The Whydah's story begins in London in 1715 when the hundred-foot [31-meter] three-master was launched as a slave ship under the command of Lawrence Prince. Named for the West African port of Ouidah (pronounced WIH-dah) in what is today Benin, the 300-ton [272-metric-ton] vessel was destined for the infamous "triangular trade" connecting England, Africa, and the West Indies. Carrying cloth, liquor, hand tools, and small arms from England, the Whydah's crew would buy and barter for up to 700 slaves in West Africa, then set out with them on three to four weeks of hellish transport to the Caribbean. Once there, the slaves were traded for gold, silver, sugar, indigo, and cinchona, the last being a source of quinine, all of which went back to England.

Here is the link.


Darrel S. is selling some things.  I'm not going to turn this blog into Craigslist or anything, but you might like looking at these 1715 Fleet cobs, each of which has a noteworthy history.

Photos submitted by Darrel S.
Here is what Darrel said about these reals.

4 Reale belonged to Kip Wagner and was displayed in museum that burned before relocating to McLarty.
Purchased a few from Steve Hodge who purchased a collection from a friend of Reale 8, and investor.
Asking at least $400 due to photos and paperwork showing these coins on display and from Kip's personal collection. Will be included with coin.

8 Reale not for sale. Was in National Geographic.
If you are interested in these coins or any of the iron items that Darrel has for sale (see 8/23/16 post) , you'll have to contact him yourself and deal with him directly.  He says he'll be down this way before long.


After doing some more thinking about the mystery item that looked something like a belaying pin, I'm thinking it might be something else.  I had a few emails.  Some people thought it looked like maybe a break handle or something.  I'm sure there were a variety of types of handles that it could be. If it came from a ship, one type of handle would be a bilge pump handle.  I'm sure there were others.

Let me know if you have any other thoughts on it.

Thanks to all who have sent ideas.


I know a few of you are very interested in Ribault's French fleet.  I think I've mentioned this before, but it might be helpful to some of you now.

Here is the link.


A front came through and the wind is from the west today.  No change in beach conditions.  The surf remains small.

Happy hunting,