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Description

1775-dated Brasher Doubloon Eight Escudos, Regulated with EB A Remarkable Rarity

Chile. Carlos III 8 Escudos 1775 DA. Santiago mint. EB in oval for Ephraim Brasher. KM27. VF. Clipped. Marked EB in oval for Ephraim Brasher, New York. Weight of 16 dwt, 18.5 grains (402.5 grains) is 5.5 grains short for the 1784 New York standard to which Brasher worked, which required 17 dwt for a Spanish doubloon and valued it at $15. A broad, straight, sideways clip left of the date is typical of the sort accomplished by both Brasher and Burger; another identical clip below the date appears to have received two short clips, one at each end of it, which were probably the ones that took the weight to below the standard Brasher to which carefully regulated this. This piece has seen considerable wear, with scattered tiny marks at central obverse and some light hairlines found in circulation. The surfaces are mostly deep yellow gold, with some ruddy toning in the lustrous protected areas at peripheries. The original edge device is intact everywhere but where clipped below date.

A coin of great historicity and collectible appeal, a genuine Brasher doubloon. Brasher's regulation of pieces just like this one set in motion his eventual production of an exact doubloon imitation, namely the 1786 "Lima-Style" type, and a doubloon of his own design, the legendary 1787 Brasher Doubloon. While Brasher trails only Burger in an accounting of total population of surviving regulated pieces, true "doubloons," or Spanish 8 Escudos of the same standard and $15 value as his own creations, are very rare. None were present in the Eliasberg collection (2 pieces), nor Garrett (5 pieces), nor Newcomer (3 pieces), nor Brand (1 piece), nor Ford (1 piece). Our offering of the Gold Rush Collection, which included both Lima Style and New York Brasher Doubloons (two, in fact!), did not include an EB-marked Spanish doubloon. It did include two Brasher regulations on Brazilian types, however. Brunk (American and Canadian Countermarked Coins) lists 8 Brazilian 6400 Reis, 12 Portuguese 6400 Reis, 12 British Guineas, 2 British Half Guineas, a British ΒΌ Guinea, and a French Louis d'or, but among this relative plenitude he notes on a single Spanish doubloon, a specimen dated 1787. Indeed, with 9 known Brasher doubloons, Brasher regulated doubloons are actually significantly rarer! As a regulated type, Spanish doubloons regulated by anyone are rare: Ford had a Burger marked piece (in the 1989 Glendining's sale), but Eliasberg had none unless you include the wholly cast imitation by Standish Barry. The only other marked doubloon in this collection is of a much later period.

While Brasher marked pieces are relatively "common" in the scheme of regulated gold coins, they are also by a long shot the most popular and, by extension, the most valuable. This piece, one of a very few that shares the $15 value with his most famous creations, would be a star attraction in any cabinet. Collectors like Garrett, Newcomer, Brand, and Eliasberg would have loved to have included it in theirs.

Provenance: From Stack's sale of May 1991, Lot 172.
From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold.



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Auction Dates
August, 2010
12th-16th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 2
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