Following last Novembers successful sale of important Portuguese and Portuguese Colonial coins from the Archer M. Huntington Collection of Hispanic Coins, on Wednesday March 6 2013 specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden
will sell the equally important Spanish Colonial coins from the same collection. Numbering almost 1,500 items, the sale is expected to raise a total in the region of £500,000.
The Huntington Collection, a vast group of 37,895 coins relating to the Spanish World, was sold en bloc to benefit the Hispanic Society of America (HSA). Many significant and academically important pieces were acquired on behalf of the American Numismatic Society (ANS), to which they had formerly been loaned for many years. However, the Morton & Eden sales of Portuguese material, and now the Spanish Colonial coins offer collectors at all levels a rare opportunity to bid for items of impeccable pedigree and provenance.
The gold, silver and copper coins for sale in the present collection span South and Central America and the West Indies and include examples from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Santo Domingo, Uruguay and Venezuela.
However, it is a group of early gold and silver coins from Mexico which are among the rarest and most valuable. Estimated at £15,000-20,000 is a silver Royal 8 reales of Philip V, dated 1729 [Lot 344], while a Royal 4 reales of Philip IV, dated 1639 is estimated at £10,000-12,000 [Lot 343].
Some of Mexicos richest silver mines were located in Real de Catorce and what is now a ghost town had its own short-lived mint. A crude 8 reales, dated 1811, its centres blank, but very rare, is estimated at £8,000-12,000 [Lot 398].
Among several rare coins from Bolivia are a silver Royal 8 reales of Charles II dated 1684 [Lot 22] and a gold 4 escudos of Charles IV of 1791 [Lot 14], each estimated at £6,000-8,000.
Archer Milton Huntington was born on March 10, 1870, in New York City, inheriting his great wealth from his stepfather Collis P. Huntington, who built a vast railroad empire.
Archer was a scholarly collector and a major benefactor with the financial resources of an industrial magnate. His lifelong passion for Hispanic history, art and culture culminated in his foundation of The Hispanic Society of America in New York City.
He was also a major benefactor of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Numismatic Society, donating land and funds so they could both be adjacent to the Hispanic Society at the Beaux Arts Audubon Terrace complex in New York's Washington Heights.
In 1932, he founded the Brookgreen Gardens sculpture centre in South Carolina; and the Mariners' Museum, which is one of the largest maritime museums in the world, in Newport News, Virginia, a new independent city that was established in the late 19th century, largely though the efforts of his stepfather.
The sale will be on view at Morton & Edens 45 Maddox Street offices on Friday, Monday and Tuesday (March 1-5) from 10am to 4.30pm, or by previous appointment.