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    Philip III (posthumous) cob 2 Reales 1622 SF, Santa Fe mint, KMA6.1 ("2 known"), Restrepo-M4, Choice VF. 5.13 grams. Sea salvaged (from the Atocha shipwreck) but with little evidence of this on the obverse and practically no evidence of it on the important reverse (date side). The legend HISPANIARVM REX 1622 on the reverse practically complete, including the 4-digit date. This issue, couple with the companion 1622 2 Escudos (which shares the obverse die with it) and the related issues of 1 Real and 2 Escudos dated 1619 were undoubtedly among the first coins struck in Colombia in 1622 under the direction of Alonso Turrillo.  We presented a summary of the events surrounding the initial operations of the Cartagena and Santa Fe mints when cataloguing the unique "plata baja" 1622 1/2 Real (Heritage 1/2014 NYINC signature sale, lot 23403) and will not repeat it here. We must note however that since the obverse die of the present coin does not include the assayer initial, it was most probably engraved in Madrid (where they could not know the identity of said assayer), while the reverse showing the 1622 date must have been engraved in Colombia (either in Cartagena or Santa Fe). Indeed, we do know that the initial dies and puncheons were delivered to Turrillo in Madrid by order of the King on May 1620 (see the document in Audiencia de Santa Fe, legajo 536, libro 11, f. 11v). So unless the Madrid engraver Jaqueo Mayr (often incorrectly spelled as Emayr but recent research by scholars Proctor and Blanton has debunked this - as many others - myths) had predictive powers, the 1622 date could not have been included then and there on the dies! 

    Whether this coin was struck in Cartagena or Santa Fe remains open to debate, since Turrillo testified that he transported all the equipment and dies from Cartagena to Santa Fe in 1621 and struck both silver and gold coins at the latter location. The presence of the pomegranate below the Portuguese shield on the obverse die would seem a logical argument to argue for a Santa Fe attribution (but then again, since these were engraved in Madrid, it may prove irrelevant since at the time the Santa Fe mint was the one authorized). In any case, this is among the finest known of this very rare one year type, of which around 20 specimens are known.

    Ex Paul Karon (Superior 12/1992, lot 160, where the certificate No. 85A-237325 of the Atocha is indicated, albeit it is not included in the present offering), Ex Atocha Research collection (Christie's New York, 6/1988, lot 236).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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