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    The Celebrated Coronation Piece of Pedro I

    Pedro I gold 6400 Reis 1822-R AU Details (Repaired) NGC, Rio de Janeiro mint, KM361, LMB-592 (RRR), Bentes-466.01 (R4). A numismatic marvel, in enviable preservation for this extraordinary type. The 6400 Reis of 1822 was the first coin struck in independent Brazil to proclaim its first Emperor, Pedro I, and represents perhaps the most important coin in the history of Brazilian numismatics.

    Born on October 12, 1798 in the Queluz Royal Palace near Lisbon, Pedro de Alcantara Serafim was the son of Prince Dom João (later King Dom João VI of Portugal) and Dona Carlota Joaquina, the daughter of Charles IV of Spain. In 1801, upon the death of his elder brother, Francisco Antonio, Pedro became his father's heir and the Prince of Beira. In 1807, at the age of nine, the Portuguese Royal family escaped Portugal as the French army led by Napoleon approached Lisbon. Pedro arrived with his family in Rio de Janeiro in March of 1808.

    By early 1822, Pedro had become a popular leader amongst the Brazilian population and had proved a key figure in negotiations between the United Kingdom of Brazil and Portugal; however, these negotiations fell into crisis when the Portuguese dissolved the Brazilian government and ordered Pedro's return to the Iberian Peninsula. Seen by Brazilians as an attempt to again subordinate their country to Portugal, Pedro was presented with a petition containing 8000 signatures begging him not to leave. In a historical reply, Pedro stated: "Since it is for the good of all and the general happiness of the Nation, I am willing. Tell the people that I am staying". Accordingly on the 7th September of that year on the banks of the Ipiranga River in what is today the city of São Paulo, Pedro called for "Independence or Death".

    On the 1st December 1822, Pedro was crowned Emperor at the Nossa Senhora do Monte Carmo Church in Rio de Janeiro, and to mark this event visiting dignitaries were each presented with a celebratory Coronation 6400 Reis at the Inauguration Ball. However, having been pressed for time, Rio mint engraver Zeferino Ferrez accidentally produced this piece with the Royal crown on top of the national shield when it should have featured the new Imperial crown. A total of 64 pieces were minted for presentation, and numismatist Claudio Schroeder accounts for 16 still in existence today. Seven are in museums in Brazil and Portugal, leaving just nine specimens in private hands.

    We have had the pleasure to offer two other examples of this famed rarity in the past; the first was graded VF Details (Mount Removed) and realized $138,000 in our April 2012 auction, and the second was a far finer AU55 piece which brought an astounding $499,375 in January 2014. The present specimen's preservation sits somewhere in the middle of these two others, its surfaces somewhat disturbed in line with its grade yet exhibiting clear and sharp detail to Pedro's portrait diagnostic of a strong strike. A scratch runs across the new Emperor's cheek with another in the field but otherwise it boasts a clean and clear appearance, rich gold color to the planchet punctuated with evidence of original luster, hints of a delicate peach tone encroaching from the peripheries. Its history and national significance renders this extremely scarce issue an absolute must-have for top tier collectors of Brazilian material, yet demand dramatically outstrips supply; as such, the pursuit to obtain this beautiful and immensely coveted treasure will surely generate premium bidding.

    Ex. Santa Cruz Collection

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    15th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,031

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