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An attractive 8 reales cob of Diego De La Torre, Lima mint


robinjojo
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Years ago I was actively collecting Spanish colonial coins of various stripes: milled, hammered, even cast.  I was also very actively collecting early Latin America republican coinage.

Going through the boxes, and pulling out coins that I forgot I owned, having sold many in the past in a very haphazard way, I came across this nice example of early hammer silver "cob" coinage from Lima.  Generally speaking, when one looks at the vast period that Spanish colonial coinage was struck at the main mints of Cartagena, Bogota, Potosi, Lima and Mexico, one cannot help but notice how the quality of the coinage declined over time, from relatively round, carefully struck coins, to coins that look little better than irregular pieces of silver, sometimes with little indication of their origins.  It seems that the quality of the coinage declined almost in proportion to Spain's declining fortunes through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

Coupled with a sandal at the Potosi mint with the deliberate  debasing of silver coinage from the 1630s- early 1650s, Spanish colonial went through basically a crisis of confidence that was remedied with a trial and execution of an assayer from Potosi, and the officially countermarked devaluation of the old shield coinage from that mint.  Subsequently there was a complete redesign, introduced in 1652, of the the silver coinage intended to instill renewed confidence in the Spanish silver onza.  The strategy seemed to work, as the new "pillars and wave" coinage traveled widely, especially in Asia, and received a wide acceptance by traders, merchants and local authorities. 

Well, as usual I've wandered far afield from the subject of this thread, so here is the Lima 8 reales cob:

Lima, El Peru, 8 reales, Philip II, undated  (1577-1587),  assayer Diego de la Torre.  P-8 (flat-top) to left, *-oD to right.

S-L4; KM-14; Cal-655

27.38 grams 

Note:  The "P" on the obverse is for El Peru.  The star represents the Lima mint. Lima, because of its date of establishment, on January 6th, the day of the Biblical Epiphany, or Twelfth Day, connects the city with the star of the Magi and initially called Ciudad de los Reyes or City of the Kings.  The name was abandoned, and Lima became the city's first choice.
 

1408610764_D-CameraLimaPeru8realesUndated(1577-1587)DiegodelaTorreS-L4KM-14Cal-65527.38grams10-28-22.jpg.664d5c2f70d10a9258ed1d72174c7411.jpg

 

While I'm at it, here is an example of the devalued coinage from Potosi:

Potosi, 7 1/2  reales ,Philip IV,  1651 E, crown alone countermark revaluation (rare).

KM C19.15

26.4 grams

1001580608_D-CameraPotosi7HalfrealesPhilipIV1651EcrownCMrevaluation26.4gKMC19.152-23-22.jpg.a53de9c4a2e708508315d9f2fd1dd8ca.jpg

 

Got any cobs or Spanish colonial coins?  Please post them or anything else you wish.

Thanks

 

Edited by robinjojo
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isabel.jpg.ef12c0e3db2ef60519e22195fe48ffaa.jpg

Ferdinand & Isabella (1469 - 1504)
SPAIN Castile & Leon (Castilla y Leon)
AR 2 Reales
FERDANDVS : ET : HELISABET : D :
Crowned shield of arms breaking inner beaded circle.
+ : REX : ET REGINA : CAST : LEGIO : ARAGON
Bow and arrows within beaded inner circle
Granada Mint.
29mm
6.80g.
Cayon 2622

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Nice examples!  That one reale is a choice coin, as these coins circulated widely for everyday use.  The Granada 2 reales is a fine example, with very good detail, as is the 8 reales of Charles IV.  

I have a lot of cobs and milled coins that need to be photographed.  Here are a few in the "done" column:

Colombia, 8 reales, Philip IV, Cartagena mint, 1629.

27.3 grams

(RN)E on the obverse, to the left of the shield.

Very elusive and usually crudely struck, the cobs of Cartagena and Bogota Colombia are among the most challenging to collect.  They can obtain high hammer prices, especially for well struck examples. 

However, if one is lucky, a coin such as the one below can appear on eBay unattributed or misattributed.  The RNE, which identifies the coin as being from Cartagena, is weakly struck to the point of the RN not being visible, leaving the E at the bottom visible but muddled.  Some collectors might think that E might be a C, but with experience, understanding the style of the Colombian cobs, especially the treatment of the shield and reverse cross, lions and castles , their typical flan shapes and other features, it is possible for the seasoned collector to conclude that this is indeed a Cartagena 8 reales cob. 

Now, as is so typical of these hammer struck cobs, the date is a something of a guess, perhaps an educated guess, but a guess nonetheless.  If you look at the reverse, starting at around 10 o'clock, the "1" is quite visible. Next to it is a very faint but discernable "6", between 10 and 11 o'clock.  Beyond that point, it is guess work.  A helpful guide is Krause, which lists a date of 1629 for this mint.  Could there be a "2" followed by a "9"?  Perhaps, but only perhaps - my best guess.  If the last digits were boldly struck and not at a spot on the flan which is very irregular, the coin would be much more valuable.  Still, it is a rare coin.

182781718_D-CameraColombia8realesPhilipIVCartagena162927.3g(RN)EeBay2-24-22.jpg.7f18ab16be058601a62c88dcd7f49776.jpg

 

Colombia, 8 reales, Philip IV, Bogota mint, early to mid 1660s.  Purchased from Superior in the early 1990s.

27.1 grams 

PoRS NR (Nuevo Reino or "New Kingdom" for Bogota) on the obverse.

This is a later cob from Bogota, minted in the mid-1660s.  By this time cob production had ceased from Cartagena.  The coin also reflects the pillars and waves design that was used at Bogota, Potosi and Lima.  Mexico continued with the old shield and cross design until 1733, when cob production ceased with the "klippe" coinage.

Again, with the date, to the right on the obverse, running vertically, we are so near to a complete date, yet so far.  Following a bold "1" the two 6's have very short upper extensions.  The final numeral is totally flat.  Could it be a 2 or a 3 or a 5?  The crude strike (doubled) plus the irregular flan makes this a permanent mystery. 

1256897097_D-CameraColombia8realesPhilipIVBogota1660sPoRSNR27.1gSuperior2-25-22.jpg.a2c371d89f9d5067aeb88ebc1645b07d.jpg

 

Here's a Potosi cob that I've owned since circa 1980.  It is a fine example of the better quality coinage produced at the mint during the reign of Philip II, especially during the early years of the 1570s - 1580s.

Potosi, 8 reales Philp II, 1581-1586,  Assayer B.

Paloetti Group 5B, see No 83.

Sorry for the poor image quality.  This was one of earlier efforts, and I need to do a re-shoot.

22680396_D-CameraPotosi8realescobAssayerBPaloettiGroup5BNo83Blackburn10-29-22.jpg.07553fd2af123950de2bc7f77c5f76a0.jpg

More to come.... 

 

Edited by robinjojo
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Here's a Potosi 8 reales cob, 1655, that I photographed today.  This coin shows the "tic-tac-toe" arrangement of the obverse design, which replaced the old shield design in 1652.

Potosi, 8 reales, Philip IV 1655 Assayer E.  Purchased from UBS, Auction 45, lot 2775, Sept 15-17 1998.

KM 21

26.8 grams

The obverse design was still in development in 1655, before the final basic design was made in 1657.  The most notable element in the obverse layout is the "PH", for Philip IV, above the 8.  This element was dropped in 1657 as were the dots on either side of the 8.  Also, note how the waves on the obverse point up in the middle.  That's an easy way to distinguish Potosi pillars and waves cobs from those from Lima, whose waves undulate to a lower point in the middle.

As these coins go, this is a nice example.  Undoubtedly the coin was salvaged, possibly from the Maravillas (1656), but it is very nicely struck, with good centering full central dates on both sides, and part of the peripheral date, the bottom parts of the two 5s, on the obverse between 6 and 7 o'clock.  On the reverse a very clear pomegranate, for Granada, rests just above the top of the cross.  There is some doubling on the obverse, which is very typical with these coins.

1477276877_D-CameraPotosi8realesPhilipIV1655AssayerE26.8gramsKM21UBSauction45lot2775Sept15-17199810-30-22.jpg.35ce6a5453d0edfca65d7a0aa57c169e.jpg

 

Here's a Lima pillars and waves 8 reales for comparison:

Lima, 8 reales, Charles II, 1686, Assayer R.

KM 24

27.0 grams

81161447_D-CameraLima8realesCharlesII1686AssayerRKM2427.0grams10-30-22.jpg.02259833dd2122c825061ee2411590d3.jpg

 

Edited by robinjojo
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On 10/28/2022 at 3:35 PM, robinjojo said:

Years ago I was actively collecting Spanish colonial coins of various stripes: milled, hammered, even cast.  I was also very actively collecting early Latin America republican coinage.

Going through the boxes, and pulling out coins that I forgot I owned, having sold many in the past in a very haphazard way, I came across this nice example of early hammer silver "cob" coinage from Lima.  Generally speaking, when one looks at the vast period that Spanish colonial coinage was struck at the main mints of Cartagena, Bogota, Potosi, Lima and Mexico, one cannot help but notice how the quality of the coinage declined over time, from relatively round, carefully struck coins, to coins that look little better than irregular pieces of silver, sometimes with little indication of their origins.  It seems that the quality of the coinage declined almost in proportion to Spain's declining fortunes through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

Coupled with a sandal at the Potosi mint with the deliberate  debasing of silver coinage from the 1630s- early 1650s, Spanish colonial went through basically a crisis of confidence that was remedied with a trial and execution of an assayer from Potosi, and the officially countermarked devaluation of the old shield coinage from that mint.  Subsequently there was a complete redesign, introduced in 1652, of the the silver coinage intended to instill renewed confidence in the Spanish silver onza.  The strategy seemed to work, as the new "pillars and wave" coinage traveled widely, especially in Asia, and received a wide acceptance by traders, merchants and local authorities. 

Well, as usual I've wandered far afield from the subject of this thread, so here is the Lima 8 reales cob:

Lima, El Peru, 8 reales, Philip II, undated  (1577-1587),  assayer Diego de la Torre.  P-8 (flat-top) to left, *-oD to right.

S-L4; KM-14; Cal-655

27.38 grams 

Note:  The "P" on the obverse is for El Peru.  The star represents the Lima mint. Lima, because of its date of establishment, on January 6th, the day of the Biblical Epiphany, or Twelfth Day, connects the city with the star of the Magi and initially called Ciudad de los Reyes or City of the Kings.  The name was abandoned, and Lima became the city's first choice.
 

1408610764_D-CameraLimaPeru8realesUndated(1577-1587)DiegodelaTorreS-L4KM-14Cal-65527.38grams10-28-22.jpg.664d5c2f70d10a9258ed1d72174c7411.jpg

 

While I'm at it, here is an example of the devalued coinage from Potosi:

Potosi, 7 1/2  reales ,Philip IV,  1651 E, crown alone countermark revaluation (rare).

KM C19.15

26.4 grams

1001580608_D-CameraPotosi7HalfrealesPhilipIV1651EcrownCMrevaluation26.4gKMC19.152-23-22.jpg.a53de9c4a2e708508315d9f2fd1dd8ca.jpg

 

Got any cobs or Spanish colonial coins?  Please post them or anything else you wish.

Thanks

 

Nice Pieces Robin, I do collect mainly Peru colonial and republic. I started collecting bust type and republic, had opportunity to buy nice cobs, but passed on them. However, a year and a half ago, I started to collect them. I do like minors coinage specially, but here are some Diego 8s. They are different varieties.

 

PERU DIEGO 1.JPG

PERU DIEGO 11.JPG

PERU DIEGO 2.JPG

PERU DIEGO 22.JPG

PERU DIEGO 3.JPG

PERU DIEGO 33.JPG

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Those are beautiful examples of Diego de la Torre 8 reales cobs, Achori Pe!  Finding these coins is a daunting task, but to find examples that have not been salvaged is even harder!

I was on an extended Spanish colonial and Spanish mainland (much more the former than latter) for many years, before being drawn back to ancients a few years ago.  

Here are a few more examples:

Lima, 8 reales, 1743 V, recut 3 over 2.  From a hoard found in Sanaʽa, Yemen.

KM 34a

26.47 grams

This unusual coin has a recut 3 over 2 in the last position of the date.  The "3" was done by hand, over the 2 in the die.  Normal "3" also exists, but it seems that someone at the mint decided that the 3 punch would not obliterate the underlying 2, so a large, crude 3 was done by hand.  That is my theory.

1652363613_D-CameraLima8reales1743Vrecut3over226.47gKM34aSanaaYemen6-14-22.jpg.5eb7b53bdeb1b56427b9abecdee13510.jpg

 

Lima,  8 escudos, 1750 R.

This is a gold cob that I purchased from Pat Johnson of Huston, Texas around 1992.  At the time a number so silver and gold cobs salvaged from the Luz, the shorthand reference to the Nuestra Senora de la Luz, a Portuguese ship under Spanish license, that sank off of Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1652. Many gold coins, cob and milled, previously rated as very to extremely rare suddenly became more available.  The trick with the milled gold coins was to find one that was well struck.  Many examples have weak centered. As of the hammer struck coins, centering and detail, as well as minimal signs of salvage were the main points to look for.

Still, buying this coin on my non-profit salary was a stretch for me.

1098501688_D-CameraLima8escudos1750RReformattedPatJohnson8-30-20.jpg.d8ed9c6e70092a177cf4a55eee8c1ce2.jpg

 

Moving away from Lima and over to Potosi, here is an 8 reales cob produced in 1770, at a time when the mint was producing the much scarcer milled pillars and waves coins.  That brief period of milled production for Potosi, starting in 1767 and ending in 1770 was probably due to the time and expense involved with the production of milled coinage.  Milled coinage resumed permanently in 1773, with the introduction of the portrait 8 reales of Charles III.  1773 marked the final year of cob production at that mint.

Potosi, 8 reales cob, 1770V.

KM 45

26.9 grams

230655788_D-CameraPotosi8realescob1770VKM4526.9grams2-23-21.jpg.ae83cad2ee27a1949bd97a9aa6957ef1.jpg

 

For the sake of comparison with the above "ugly duckling", which I really like, here is a milled pillars and waves Potosi 8 reales from the same year.  Some collectors consider this year to be one of the best coins to own for type due to its beauty and quality.

Potos,i 8 reales, Charles III, 1770 JR. 

KM 50

27.3 grams

230155368_D-CameraPotosi8realesCharlesIII1770JRAUKM5027.3g2-23-21.jpg.dcd3c0276cc378b9c68ec26f9a8e801d.jpg

 

 

Edited by robinjojo
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Very nice Lima cobs @robinjojo, that overdate is unusual. Lima over dates in cobs are very scarce, I do have the 2 Reales 1743/2. I am attaching a picture of it. Your 1750 Lima 8 escudos is very nice, I think for Lima there were more 4 escudos than any other denomination. I do have the 1750 1 escudo, I don’t think it’s from La Luz since there is no record for it.
 

Moreover, on your Potosi pieces, they are very nice and hard to find in that condition. I like that era where cobs and pillars were struck and circulated at the same time. In my opinion minor denomination for Charles iii cobs are very scarce and rare to find in nice condition. According to pillars, it’s hard to find a nice example of Potosi. Yours is very nice and the cabinet toning is superb. Here are some of my piece from that era. 

-my first coin is my 1743/2 2 Reales, it’s very clear overdate. 


-the second coins is my 1750 Lima 1 Escudo, it was from a Very important Spanish gold collection sold privately in the 80s, then it was sold by Goldberg in 2007. It found a way to me this year. 


-third piece is 1769 Potosi 1 Real. It’s very rare date in my opinion, specially in that grade. 


-forth piece is 1768 Potosi 1/2 real, although not monogram visible, the date is very well struck. Charles iii 1/2 Reales are very hard to find with full monogram and date, also with partial monogram or date. 

-then it’s my 1767 Potosi Pillar 1 real, choice for the type and denomination. I’m collecting that serie as well, very few piece (1767-1770), but a challenge to find in nice condition. 

I will add other photos of my half Reales Charles Iii Potosi later. They have the monogram and date, but early 1760s. 

 

DC75F9CC-1B19-42F1-A9EA-C9E4EA9FDDE6.jpeg

4A015071-37F1-4686-ACDE-1479EEC9B1EF.jpeg

6AD2BA08-7C26-4CF5-B129-C1012A89751A.jpeg

C26A2DC6-1E04-4AA3-A3A9-233986BCCECF.jpeg

25BCA892-4397-47F9-A6F1-1B3017393FB5.jpeg

B4765A79-052C-4E2E-9977-52307458C13B.jpeg

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Super nice coins, Achori Pe!  That over date is really strong!

Collecting Spanish colonial minors are a challenge unto themselves.  The fact that denominations below 4 reales (one could argue to include 4 reales) saw a lot of circulation.  Indeed, one, half and quarter reales in really nice condition can be exceedingly rare, depending on mint and date. 

 

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