A shipwreck-recovered early Spanish colonial gold tumbaga bar (lot 194) weighing 1.816 kilograms with a marked fineness of 5.75 karat saw heavy interest during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction 25 conducted online on May 2-3. After the spirited bidding concluded, the bar realized a price of $50,575 on a $35,000 and up estimate. The bar was one of thirteen gold ingots recovered from the “Tumbaga wreck” which sank around 1528 off Grand Bahama Island. The surfaces of the bar bear the tax stamps in the name of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor who also ruled over Spain at the time.
For silver shipwreck bars, a high-grade silver bar (lot 208) weighing 92 troy pounds, 3.84 troy ounces that was recovered from the wreck of the Atocha, sunk in 1622 off Key West, Florida sold for $57,715 on a $30,000 and up estimate. The bar was graded Class Factor 1.0, the highest grade given to Atocha silver bars, despite spending 300 years on the ocean floor. Two other Class Factor 1.0 Atocha silver bars in the sale weighing 76 troy pounds, 10.24 troy ounces (lot 209) and 60 troy pounds, 7.68 troy ounces (lot 210) sold for $50,575 (estimate: 25,000 and up) and $47,600 (estimate: $20,000 and up) respectively.
Also from the Atocha shipwreck was a gold “finger” bar weighing 622 grams with a 20.25 karat fineness (lot 196) that went for $47,005 on a $25,000 and up estimate. Likewise, coins from the Atocha attracted heavy interest with a 1617-dated gold cob 2 escudos struck in Seville, Spain (lot 64) bringing $33,320 on an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000. Silver cobs from that wreck also saw very strong bidding; some coins brought over double the high estimate.
A selection of rarities from the wreck of the Santa Margarita, sister ship of the Atocha and lost at the same time, also appeared in the auction. Lot 197, a gold bar weighing 282 grams with a marked fineness of 19.5 karats realized $33,320 on a $15,000 and up estimate. Also from the wreck was a Seville, Spain-struck gold cob 2 escudos (lot 65) from the reign of Philip III graded PCGS MS 61 that brought $17,255 on an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000.
“We are extremely pleased with the sale results,” said the president and company founder Daniel Sedwick. “This was our second highest earning May auction since we began hosting auctions in 2007. A combination of motivated bidders and great consignments of fresh and varied material made this sale a success.”
The world coin sections of the auction saw many top rarities end up in new collections. For gold, an Argentina 8 escudos dated 1832/1 (lot 80) graded NGC MS 62 and pedigreed to the George Gund collection earned $26,180 on a $20,000 and up estimate. In silver, a Potosi, Bolivia-minted bust 8 reales dated 1776 (lot 917) and graded NGC MS 64 collected $10,115 on a $2,000 to $3,000 estimate.
Other top lots in the auction include:
- Lot 8 – Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1705H, NGC MS 62, ex-1715 Fleet, sold for $30,940.
- Lot 13 – Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1714/3M, NGC MS 62, ex-1715 Fleet, sold for $29,750.
- Lot 1535 – Gold chain, 43” long with fineness of 22 karat, ex-1715 Fleet, pedigreed to the Real Eight Company, sold for $23,800.
- Lot 195 – Cut gold “oro corriente” piece with crowned-CA tax stamp for Charles I of Spain, 42.08 grams, ex-1500s wreck, sold for $20,230.
- Lot 124 – Guatemala, bust 8 escudos, Ferdinand VI, 1757J, NGC VF 35, sold for $17,969.
- Lot 201 – Large gold-in-quartz specimen, 323.2 grams, from the Sixteen to One Mine in Alleghany, California, sold for $16,660.
- Lot 655 – Mexico City, Mexico, 4 reales, Charles-Jaonna, “Early Series,” assayer F/P to right, mintmark M to left, NGC AU 53, ex-Rudman, sold for $13,090.
- Lot 203 – Silver “tumbaga” bar #M-105, 3,595 grams, assayer B~Vo, sold for $10,710.
- Lot 510 – USA, gold $20 coronet Liberty “double eagle,” 1857-S variety 20A, PCGS MS 64 / SS Central America, sold for $8,330.
- Lot 1133 – Lahore, India (British), original proof ½ rupee, 1945-L, George VI, large 5, PCGS PR65, sold for $8,330.
- Lot 826 – Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales Royal (galano), 1749q, sold for $7,735.
- Lot 1436 – San Jose, Costa Rica, Banco de la Union, 25 pesos specimen, 1889, PMG UNC 63 EPQ, sold for $7,735.
- Lot 238 - Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip II, assayer M, Grade 1, ex-Atocha, sold for $7,140.
- Lot 966 - Santiago, Chile, "volcano" peso, 1832I, PCGS AU55, sold for $6,783.
Full prices realized can be viewed at auction.sedwickcoins.com. The company’s next auction will be held Nov. 2-3, 2019 with a consignment deadline of Aug. 17, 2019.