The Florida United Numismatists (FUN) annual January show was held this year from Thursday, January 6 to Sunday, January 9 in Orlando. As previously indicated in an earlier post, the Fleet Society did not sponsor a table due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid cancellation issues. We did not want to invest the time and money in arranging for a table only to have the show cancelled like last year. Assuming that the pandemic is behind us, we will have a table as usual at the 2023 FUN Show next January.
Nevertheless, I personally attended the show and spent a great deal of my time just circulating around the bourse floor meeting and talking to members of the shipwreck community that were in attendance. On Thursday, I met up with Steve and Linda Hodges (Society Members # 4 and # 5, Vero Beach, Florida) doing business as the West Bay Trading Company. With them was Danny Lee (Society Member # 38, Lakeland, Florida). Also that morning I visited Bill Pearson (Society Member #24) at his table along with Patti Whipple (Society Member #30). On the bourse floor I ran into Sandy and Allen Sadwin (Society Members # and 15, Wantagh, New York) who were busy adding to their impressive collection of Spanish Colonial coins. They were off to see Dan Sedwick (Society Member # 2, Winter Park, Florida) who had a splendid collection of shipwreck coins and artifacts for sale. With him was Augi Garcia (Society Member #3, Winter park, Florida) who assisted me in securing two 1715 Fleet related specimens for my personal collection.
On Thursday night I had dinner at the Capital Grille with Dave Crooks (Society Member # 7, Chicago, Illinois). Dave has recently been recommended for appointment to the Society’s newly created Advisory Board, where he will assume the roll of Society Librarian.
On Friday, I attended the Sunken Treasure Book Club meeting which is a yearly event at the FUN Show. Organized and chaired by Dave Crooks, attendance was somewhat sparse due to Covid concerns with about 10 people present. Those attending were given an opportunity to give a short bio and discuss how they got started collecting shipwreck related (and sometimes non-shipwreck related) material. Author and avid 1715 Fleet researcher Terry Armstrong (Society Member #9, Merritt Island, Florida) gave everyone an update on recent publications of interest. The meeting lasted about 2 hours.
Also, on Friday I welcomed a new member to the Society. Mr. Lluís Lalana i Culla of Aureo & Calicó, Barcelona, Spain. We are pleased and honored to have a member of this prestigious auction house as our newest member. Also, he is the first member of our society from Spain. So far, in addition to the United States, we have members from several other countries including Canada, The Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and now Spain.
Saturday was just a half day for me as I had to leave for Sarasota on other business. However, it proved to be very profitable. I was able to secure some very nice Fleet coins from Augi Garcia for my personal collection. More importantly however, I had a chance to reunite with Charlie Winn, whom I had met a few years ago at an earlier FUN Show. Charlie has been compiling data on the final period of cob coinage production at the Lima Mint (1684 – 1752). One of the by products of that research is the discovery of lost pedigrees. For instance, he had with him a coin ( a 1698 Lima 8 reales) which, through his research, he was able to identify as Lot # 1136 of the 1972 Schulman Sale of Fleet coins. I had a chance to briefly discuss with him his research and found it to be quite valuable to numismatists who are involved in studying the pedigree of Fleet material. His efforts are to be applauded as this type of knowledge can help to trace the origins of many Fleet coins. Charlie and I are going to be communicating further about his findings. I have encouraged him to publish his findings as a resource for future historians and collectors.
Next year the Society will have a table at the FUN Show provided that we no longer have any Covid entanglements that might interfere with our plans. More on this in a future post.
Ben Costello, President of the 1715 Fleet Society, Inc.