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Brazil: Pedro II gold Ingot of Serro Frio 1832,...

2013 January 6-7 Ancient & World Coin Signature Auction - New York #3021

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Auction Ended On: Jan 6, 2013
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Waldorf Astoria
301 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Incredibly Rare Serro Frio Ingot with Guia
Pedro II gold Ingot of Serro Frio 1832, Prober 1832-SF-114, accompanies original Guia. 39.74 grams. Beautifully preserved in virtually pristine condition. In the northwest part of Minas Gerais, the village of Vila do Principe was elevated to county in 1720 becoming Serro Frio.  Population growth was intense in this part of the 18th century due to the discovery of the largest of Brazilian mines. In 1724, a foundry was established to control the large amounts of gold and diamonds being extracted in the hillsides of the region. Production continued for about 100 years until the exhaustion of the mines in the 1820's.  In his 1990 work "Gold Powder and Bars," Kurt Prober lists a single 1833 ingot which puts this Serro Frio bar as one of the last struck. Brazilian Ingots are extremely rare in private hands, the vast majority residing in museums and institutions.  Ingots with the respective certificate, or Guia, sit atop as some of the most desired Luso-Brazilian numismatic items. We estimate that only 6-8 ingots survive today with a Guia, maybe half in private hands.

Prober traces provenance on this piece back over 100 years to 1906 when it first appeared for sale in the Souza Lobo's catalog #3709. it reappeared in 1937 where it was likely purchased by legendary Brazilian collector Guilherme Guinle. Prober himself purchased the ingot in 1947 and sold it to an American collector C.H. Townshend, who resided in Brazil at the time. In 1948, Prober found the Guia, repurchasing the ingot and bringing the two parts together once again.

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