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    Henry Hentsch Gold Ingot
    83.54 Ounces, Ex: S.S. Central America
    One of Only 33 Hentsch Ingots Recovered

    Henry Hentsch Gold Ingot. 83.54 Ounces. CAGB-208. Henry Hentsch is a lesser-known name from the California Gold Rush era. No coins were issued under his name, only gold ingots, and to our knowledge none of those were known until the salvage of the S.S. Central America in 1988-1989. Hentsch was a relative latecomer to California. He arrived on the Sonoma in mid-1854, and did not open his assay office until February 2, 1856. At that time, Hentsch was 38 years old. The success of any private assayer in San Francisco depended upon the reputation of the owners. Hentsch was not only an assayer but he was also a banker, and his assaying office was located next door to his bank on the corner of Montgomery and Jackson streets. Hentsch was a Swiss citizen and prior to his arrival in San Francisco he apparently made a solid reputation in Europe, a reputation that transferred to his banking / assaying interests in California, where he advertised the issuance of Bills of Exchange in New York, Liverpool, London, Frankfort, Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, and Geneva.

    Hentsch ingots represented the smallest number of ingots recovered from the S.S. Central America. Of the 532 ingots recovered, only 33 had the Hentsch hallmark, closely followed by Blake & Co. with 34. This is a large-sized ingot from mold HH-04. The legends are neatly laid out on the top of the ingot: No 3113 / 849 FINE / Hy HENTSCH / Oz 83.54 / $1466.16. The surfaces are unaffected by incrustations often seen on ingots from this shipwreck. A long, curved scratch extends from the upper-left of the top side down to the middle right-side; undoubtedly from the salvage operation 30 years ago. The ingot measures 56 x 104 x 25 mm. This is a rarely encountered, large-sized ingot from this little-known California assayer.
    From The Marcello Collection.

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

    View all of [The Marcello Collection ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    11th-14th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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