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    Description

    Blake & Co. Small-Sized Gold Ingot
    Ex: S.S. Central America, 14.31 Ounces

    Blake & Co. MS Small-Sized Gold Ingot. 14.31 Ounces. CABG-029. Blake & Co. was one of the primary assayers in the Sacramento area in northern California, in close proximity to the gold fields along the American River. Gorham Blake arrived in San Francisco on May 22, 1852 after working the previous year as a superintendent in an iron mine in Vermont. He was soon employed as an express agent in the Placerville office of Wells, Fargo, and the following year he became an assayer. Blake & Co. company was established in 1855, and while there were numerous personnel changes over the years, Gorham Blake was a driving force, except for a short time, until the company finally went out of business in 1861. The productivity of Blake & Co. was impressive, especially for a firm of its size. By the end of 1856 the company had assayed 200,000 ounces of gold. The fineness of the raw gold varied considerably, thus underscoring the need for a local assayer rather than relying on "pinches" of gold dust for currency. The Michigan Bluff area yielded $20.15 per ounce, while Carson Valley only yielded $12.13 per ounce. The ingots of Blake & Co. were shipped to numerous destinations worldwide, but its most famous shipment is one that never arrived, the 33 ingots that went down in the Atlantic when a hurricane sank the S.S. Central America in September 1857.

    This is one of the smaller-sized ingots from that transport that never arrived. This ingot was poured from Mold B-01, the so-called adjustable Twix Bar mold. This long, thin bar has information impressed into three of the long sides. One side has the BLAKE & CO. hallmark. The adjoining long side has: No 5229 [sideways] / 604 FINE / VALUE $178.67. The next adjoining side has the assay chip out of one corner and states the weight: 14.31 Oz. Housed in a plastic case. The ingot measures 19 x 72 x 17 mm. The surfaces show slight polishing that is common to ingots from this firm. A few gas bubbles are evident on two of the long sides.
    From The Marcello Collection, Part IV.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Marcello Collection, Part IV ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jan-Feb, 2019
    31st-3rd Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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