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Returning to old ground - acquired an 8 reales from the Clyde Hubbard Collection


robinjojo

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For the past few years I have concentrated on collecting ancient coins, with an almost obsessive focus on Athenian owls.  However, I saw some coins offered in the last Sedwick auction from the collection of Clyde Hubbard (1916-2020).  I have lots of 8 reales, both hammer struck and milled, but never one from the collection of this major figure in Mexican numismatics.  So, I submitted a couple of bids during the live session and was able to secure two Hubbard coins, an 8 and 2 reales, the former pictured below.  The 2 reales, of Philip IV is very dark and will require some experimentation photographing.

For those not familiar with Clyde Hubbard, here's a brief word.

Clyde Hubbard, from a video interview in 2010, at the ANA Convention.

image.png.407aadca7767c36397170a6b4cfee964.png

Clyde Hubbard is considered to have been one of the foremost authorities in the field of Mexican numismatics.  Living in Mexico from the late 1940s to his death in 2020, he amassed one of the most comprehensive collections of Carlos and Johanna coinage, in addition to other colonial and republican periods. His collection spans the period when choice coins were readily available in Mexcio, as hoards were appearing in flea markets and through private sales. 

A founding partner of SONUMEX in 1952, Clyde Hubbard also coauthored guide books on Mexican coinage, including A Guide Book of Mexican Coins, 1822 to Present and Hookneck El Aguila de Perfil (the eagle in profile).   

His extensive collection has been auctioned off for the past few years, through Sedwick and other houses.  The last auction featured a run of Carlos and Johanna coinage, with a focus on 2 reales and 1 real coins, some very rare types and generally in very nice grade.

The 8 reales that I secured is an undated type of Philip III, a fairly common coin as these go, but in very nice condition.

Mexico, 8 reales, Philip III, undated type (1599-1607), assayer F.   Ex Clyde Hubbard Collection.  Lot 585, Treasure Auction 34.

KM 44.1

27.40 grams

D-CameraMexico8realesPhilIIIND(1599-1607)assayerFClydeHubbardKM44_127.4g11-11-23.jpg.ac1de82fc0603c01f9417ffff4aafa28.jpg

This coin, with its attractive center detail, is missing the legend on both sides.  So, how can we determine that this is a coin of Philip III and not Philip II without the help of the king's ordinal?  This is a common situation with this predated coinage.  The best way to make an educated guess is to examine the shield.  To do this, you need illustrations of the variety of shield, or coats of arms designs used by both monarchs.

It happens that I have an old copy of Standard Guide to Mexican Coins (1981).  This reference covers all Mexican coinage, medals and currency from primitive money to 1979.  Included is a page devoted to coats of arms.

(Sorry about the blurry image)

D-CameraShieldsCoatsofArmsfromPhilipIItoPhillipV11-11-23.jpg.1801ca4c26f441df8982f03605300bed.jpg

As can be seen, there are subtle but distinguishable differences between the coats of arms for Philip II and Philip III, especially with the treatment of the section for Old Burgundy, lower left.  For Philip II, there are two diagonal lines.  For Philip III there are three.  This major difference makes it very likely that this is a cob of Philip III.  Once dates are introduced in 1608, assuming they are present and legible on the coin, attribution is easier for dating and monarch.  Quite often, though, this information is missing or muddled.

The original envelope from the Hubbard Collection is also very interesting.  The coin appears to have been acquired by Clyde Hubbard on March 2, 1951 (if I am reading this correctly).  On the back is a rubbing of the coin in dark blue pencil.

D-CameraMexico8realesPhilIIIND(1599-1607)envelopeClydeHubbardKM44_127.4g11-11-23.jpg.77c620df0891f3a6c8cb44942dc4491c.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by robinjojo
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39 minutes ago, CPK said:

Wow, very nice coins and from such a historic collection! Congratulations!

Thanks!  I really don't focus on coins from well known collectors, but I was more than willing to make a Hubbard coin the exception.

36 minutes ago, Kali said:

That's a lovely coin. Congrats. I have no hammered 8 reales.

Thanks!  There's a good supply of hammered coins out there, but prices have dramatically increased over the past several years.  If you're looking for a nice type coin, try to get something in mid grade (fine to very fine) and not salvaged, unless it is a very high grade coin. 

You'll find 8 reales and lower denominations from Potosi, Bolivia, the most readily available.  Paradoxically, the lower denominations, 4 to 1 reales, while often much scarcer than the large 8 reales, do not attract that many collectors, so prices tend to be somewhat lower, but even those denominations have seen some increases.  The 2 reales in particular, along with the gold 2 escudos are popular for use in jewelry, something as a collector I don't really approve of, but that's just the market at work.

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Lovely cob, @robinjojo.  I too collect ancients, mainly, but one of the first coins I ever bought was a cob 8 reales.  Thanks to your chart, I think my original attribution to Philip IV is correct.  

This came from Hal Blackburn of Blackburn & Blackburn, who issued numerous "popularly-priced" world coin lists back in the day (1980s-1990s) before the Internet.  He had a batch of these and said they came from Hong Kong, but had been smuggled in from the mainland (back when China was considerably more closed off than nowadays).  I bought it in 1988 - it has worn this powdery green look since then, with no change.  Note the chopmarks and how bent it is: 

image.jpeg.9ff851b65cf4c87b3c72daa53cadfc1d.jpeg

image.jpeg.72cb5e4d9afa96ab1c20e2f3462ee042.jpeg

image.jpeg.108dbdab549ddcd3e396a497d8b4bc22.jpeg

 

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7 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Lovely cob, @robinjojo.  I too collect ancients, mainly, but one of the first coins I ever bought was a cob 8 reales.  Thanks to your chart, I think my original attribution to Philip IV is correct.  

This came from Hal Blackburn of Blackburn & Blackburn, who issued numerous "popularly-priced" world coin lists back in the day (1980s-1990s) before the Internet.  He had a batch of these and said they came from Hong Kong, but had been smuggled in from the mainland (back when China was considerably more closed off than nowadays).  I bought it in 1988 - it has worn this powdery green look since then, with no change.  Note the chopmarks and how bent it is: 

image.jpeg.9ff851b65cf4c87b3c72daa53cadfc1d.jpeg

image.jpeg.72cb5e4d9afa96ab1c20e2f3462ee042.jpeg

image.jpeg.108dbdab549ddcd3e396a497d8b4bc22.jpeg

 

Nice cob!  Yes, that's a Philip IV 8 reales cob. The chopmarks are interesting and not seen as much on cobs as they are seen on milled coinage.  I think a still have a few of those "China" hoard coins, all worn, clipped, chopmarked and with test cuts, 4 reales cobs as I recall, possibly a two reales as well.

I remember Hal.  I used to visit his shop in Carmel, California back in the early to mid 1980s.  He was quite a character and had many nice coins!  One time I was in the back office where there was a slot machine.  I didn't try it though.😉

This is a cob that I purchased from him in the early 80s, actually my very first 8 reales cob, which I still own.

Potosi, 8 reales, Philip II, Assayer B, undated type (1581-1586).

Paloetti Group 5B No 83.

D-CameraPotosi8realescobAssayerBPaloettiGroup5BNo83Blackburn10-29-22.jpg.e07899719d516b94d34d3d679a5fe2a6.jpg

Edited by robinjojo
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23 hours ago, robinjojo said:

Nice cob!  Yes, that's a Philip IV 8 reales cob. The chopmarks are interesting and not seen as much on cobs as they are seen on milled coinage.  I think a still have a few of those "China" hoard coins, all worn, clipped, chopmarked and with test cuts, 4 reales cobs as I recall, possibly a two reales as well.

I remember Hal.  I used to visit his shop in Carmel, California back in the early to mid 1980s.  He was quite a character and had many nice coins!  One time I was in the back office where there was a slot machine.  I didn't try it though.😉

This is a cob that I purchased from him in the early 80s, actually my very first 8 reales cob, which I still own.

Potosi, 8 reales, Philip II, Assayer B, undated type (1581-1586).

Paloetti Group 5B No 83.

D-CameraPotosi8realescobAssayerBPaloettiGroup5BNo83Blackburn10-29-22.jpg.e07899719d516b94d34d3d679a5fe2a6.jpg

I'm jealous - not only of your great cobs, but because you got to meet Hal Blackburn in person.  Living in the Midwest, I only ever talked to him on the phone - back in those days you had to reserve coins over the phone to secure the sale (as you may remember).  He was always very personable despite getting a gazillion phone calls when his lists came out.  Furthermore, on every invoice, no matter for how small a purchase, he'd leave a small, handwritten personal note.  All-round nice guy.  And I miss his lists.  And 1988 prices.  

On the subject of ugly cobs that saw the world, here's one I think has a "Madura Star" countermark.  If not, it is a chopmark of some sort:  

image.jpeg.944e5b06d37c38f51bc9f8363ddc25f6.jpeg

This one has a tremendous amount of wear, a hole through the "Madura Star," but the Arabic inscription is clear:

image.jpeg.c32f11895da7e39440a31fa384a3037c.jpeg

That's it for cobs in my collection - I used to collect world countermarks (now I mostly do ancients).  

 

 

Edited by Marsyas Mike
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11 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

I'm jealous - not only of your great cobs, but because you got to meet Hal Blackburn in person.  Living in the Midwest, I only ever talked to him on the phone - back in those days you had to reserve coins over the phone to secure the sale (as you may remember).  He was always very personable despite getting a gazillion phone calls when his lists came out.  Furthermore, on every invoice, no matter for how small a purchase, he'd leave a small, handwritten personal note.  All-round nice guy.  And I miss his lists.  And 1988 prices.  

On the subject of ugly cobs that saw the world, here's one I think has a "Madura Star" countermark.  If not, it is a chopmark of some sort:  

image.jpeg.944e5b06d37c38f51bc9f8363ddc25f6.jpeg

This one has a tremendous amount of wear, a hole through the "Madura Star," but the Arabic inscription in clear:

image.jpeg.c32f11895da7e39440a31fa384a3037c.jpeg

That's it for cobs in my collection - I used to collect world countermarks (now I mostly do ancients).  

 

 

Those are some really cool chopmarks, particularly the Indonesian ones.  The lower coin also appears to have a natural bubble to the left of the hole - at least it has that shape.  

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