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    The Famed "Ceremonial" Colombian Columnario of 1770

    Charles III 8 Reales 1770 NR-VJ MS64 NGC, Nuevo Reino mint, KM39 (Rare), Elizondo-Unl., Cay-Unl., Cal-1168, Calbeto-Unl., Yonaka-B8-70, Restrepo-44.2. One of the most challenging Columnarios of the entire Spanish Colonial series, the so-called "Pillar" Dollars minted at Nuevo Reino in Santa Fe de Bogota are fiercely contested and known from a mere four dates: 1759, 1760, 1762, and 1770, all of which are exceedingly rare. Of these, the final date was entirely unknown until the discovery of a small hoard of 12-14 examples in the foundation stone of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar church in Bogota in 2006, meaning that specimens were entirely unavailable to such famous collections as Medina, Salbach, and Sigfried von Schuckman. Razed during the tragic 1948 El Bogozato riots triggered by the assassination of political leader José Eliecer Gaitán, the association of the former church school for well-to-do girls with this specific date for the type points strongly to a specific association between such coins and the ceremonies performed at Nuestra Señora del Pilar, with Yonaka supposing that they were never released for regular circulation. Indeed, contemporary documentation has since come to light suggesting that just 17 1770 8 Reales were originally produced specially for use during the 3-hour-long ceremony that accompanied the laying of the foundation stone.

    Produced from carefully prepared dies, as are the other known surviving representatives, it is hardly difficult to see that the 1770 is no standard colonial Crown. Bathed in a champagne luster that rolls effortlessly over the fields, the whole of the coin appears decidedly Prooflike. Likewise, the devices are highly pronounced-from the continents on the globes to the waves and scrolls over the pillars-every detail has been cut with precision. Within the past decade, we have come across a mere 2 specimens of this date--both certified similarly to the current offering--while PCGS has certified just a single piece a point finer. Missing from even the Eldorado Collection offered in 2018, we can think of no better selection to serve as the cornerstone to any truly elite holding of Colombian coinage.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2021
    28th-29th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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