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    Description

    107-Ounce Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingot
    'The Golden Brick' Ex: Ford

    Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingot. When the formation of Kellogg & Humbert was announced in early April 1855, the company was built on the dual reputations of two reputable minters and assayers in Gold Rush California. John Glover Kellogg had previously been associated with Moffat & Co., and then he formed Kellogg & Richter in February 1854. Augustus Humbert was well known also. Formerly a watch-maker in New York, he was appointed United States Assayer. His name was carried on the fifty dollar gold "slugs" produced by Moffat & Co. in 1851. When the Kellogg & Humbert gold ingots first appeared in New York in August 1855, the bankers and bullion dealers were favorably disposed toward them. A notice appeared in that month that stated in part: "The undersigned, bankers and bullion dealers in the City of New York ... cheerfully recommend their stamp for correctness, having tested their assays thoroughly, both in the American and European mints."
    The firm of Kellogg & Humbert was the most prolific of all California assayers, and they also represented a disproportionate number of the gold ingots recovered from the S.S. Central America. But to our knowledge, there were no Kellogg & Humbert ingots known prior to the salvage efforts in 1988 of the Central America. To a great degree, the honesty and integrity of a firm such as Kellogg & Humbert explains why none are known outside the salvage bars. They were, in effect, "as good as gold," which is to say their imprint was believable and transferable into any monetary medium desired in 1857.
    This particular ingot has a unique charm. It has been called "The Golden Brick." It is almost 7 pounds in weight, and is deceptively heavy for its size. The top side has the imprint: No 710 / Kellogg & Humbert logo / 107.87 oz / 941 FINE / $2098.30. The only other imprint is on the upper part of the back side where the individual ingot number is repeated. This high fineness ingot measures 4.37 x 2.25 x 1.18 inches. The Ford catalog called this "the best looking of all the Kellogg & Humbert bars sold at auction, in Mr. Ford's opinion." What makes it so attractive is the deep, irregular, copper staining on all six sides from red rust of the vessel as it slowly dissolved in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. As always, triangular assayer's chips are out of opposing corners. The surfaces are virtually unmarred by contact-the ingot is essentially "as made."
    Ex: Treasures From the SS Central America (Sotheby's, 12/1999), lot 120; Ford II (Stack's, 5/2004), lot 373. (PCGS# 10364)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2007
    8th-10th Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,872

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