Apparently the successful buyer of this Lima 4E piece (Lot 15) in the recent Sedwick Treasure Auction #7 agreed with its description as the “FINEST KNOWN!” of its type, for it brought down the hammer at $18,400 (15% buyer’s fee included). This is the companion piece to the Lima 8E (Lot 10) from the Frank Sedwick Collection which was our Cover Coin last time. It, also, sold for a hefty price at auction: $19,550! These are two of the most important pieces to have been recovered from the fated Spanish silver fleet of 1715. They are exemplary, beautiful, and historically significant.
A 4 escudos, boldly dated 1711 and exhibiting a nearly perfect strike with “HIGH Mint State details” … our Cover Coin this time is certainly more than “choice.” The workmanship under assayer Cristobal Melgarejo was superb, and the resulting output from the mint during his tenure were exquisite specimens of numismatic art.
Frank Sedwick —progenitor of the “Sedwick Dynasty” in the study and sales of Spanish colonial coins and affectionately known as “Dr. Cobs”— had this jewel stored in his vault for some future use…or maybe just to admire from time to time. His son, Daniel Frank Sedwick, recently pulled this out of hiding, along with the “finest-known” 1712 Lima 8 escudos, and read his Dad’s notes regarding these two specimens. Dan determined that Dr. Cobs had intended to sell the pieces when their prices rose to what he thought they were worth. Thus, they were both entered in the historic Treasure Auction #7 of April 7—9, 2010.
This masterpiece, like its companion, is almost perfectly round, its pattern is well centered and deeply struck, and the color is the “butter gold” that we all admire. A Cross Potent quartering lions and castles graces the obverse, while the crosshatch design of the pillars and waves on the reverse organizes in its nine positions: L || 4 || M, for Lima, 4 escudos, and Melgarejo on the top row; P. || V. || A., for the motto PLVS VLTRA on the middle row; and 7 || 1 || 1, of the date, on the bottom row above the waves.
PHOTOS: Augi Garcia, Courtesy of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC. —ER