CNG Lissner Collection Virtual Catalog - New World

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  • The Richard L. Lissner CollectionThe Collection of an American Connoisseur

    St Jamess Auctions, LLCKnightsbridge Coins

    Auction 29

    In association with

    Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.with cataloging by

    M. Louis TellerNumismatic Company

    1-2 August 2014Terminal 1 & 2, 1st Floor

    Chicago Marriott OHare Hotel, 8535 West Higgins Road, Chicago

  • 298


    ARGENTINA 11401155BOLIVIA 11561279BRAZIL 12801317CANADA 1318CARIBBEAN TERRITORIES British West Indies 1319 Curaao 13201326CHILE 13271422COLOMBIA 14231532COSTA RICA 15331584CUBA 15851602DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 16031621ECUADOR 16221667

    EL SALVADOR 16681693GUATEMALA 16941784GUYANA 1785HAITI 17861830HAWAII 1831HONDURAS 18321871MEXICO 18721960NICARAGUA 19611974PANAMA 19752004PARAGUAY 20052016PERU 20172106PERU (North Peru) 21072108PERU (South Peru) 21092124PUERTO RICO 2125SURINAME 2126URUGUAY 21272148VENEZUELA 21492183

    Session 3 9:30 AM Session 4 2 PMSaturday August 2, 2014

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    A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO SOUTH AMERICAN COINAGEThe political and numismatic history of Central and South America begins almost immediately after the discovery of San Salvador by Cristbal Coln (Christopher Columbus) on 12 October 1492. Under the terms of the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, which divided the newly-discovered lands outside of Europe between Spain and Portugal along an imaginary north-south line 370 leagues (1184 nautical miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands, Spain was to receive sole control over the New World. Because the terms failed to take into account the location of the continent of South America in relation to the boundary line, the tip of what is modern-day Brazil came under Portuguese control. For this reason, while the rest of Central and South America became part of the Spanish Empire and followed the currency system of Spain, Brazils coinage is based on that of Portugal. To control all Spanish exploration and colonization, and to collection import duties and taxes of all goods entering Spain, the Casa y Audiencia de Indias, more commonly known as the Casa de Contratacin, was established in Seville.

    The Spanish colonization of the Americas, sometimes referred to by the Spanish Conquista, involved numerous adventurers, known as conquistadores, and religious missionaries (the Dominicans, Franciscans, and Jesuits), groups that emphasized the primary overseas aims of the Spanish government conquest of new territory for raw materials, particularly gold and silver, and religious conversion of the local native populations to Christianity (i.e. Roman Catholicism). Four main expeditionary areas comprise this early period of colonization: Mexico and the Yucatn, Peru, the Ro de la Plata and Paraguay, and the Nuevo Reino de Granada. Employing technological advantages (the horse, armor, and the gun), possessing an immunity to European diseases, and manipulating local tribal animosity, the conquistadores were eventually able to overpower and subdue much larger native forces. The conquest of Mexico by Hernn Corts (1518-1520) is the earliest example of this; with a small force he was able to defeat the Aztec Empire, conquer their capital at Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City), and imprison their ruler, Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin (Montezuma). In Peru, Francisco Pizarro Gonzlez began a similar process with his capture of the Sapa Inka Athualpa at the Battle of Cajamarca (1532). Because of the regions mountainous terrain, it was not until 1572 that the Inca Empire was finally conquered. In 1527, the first Spanish settlement in the Ro de la Plata was was created with the Fort of the Sancti Spiritu, followed in 1536 by the establishment of Buenos Aires and in 1537, Asuncin. Because the site suffered from numerous native attacks, the original site of Buenos Aires was abandoned in 1541; in 1580, the governor of Paraguay, the conquistador Juan de Garay, established a new settlement at the site of the modern-day city. Finally, between 1537 and 1543, six Spanish expeditions entered the highlands of Colombia. In 1536, the conquistador Gonzalo Jimnez de Quesada defeated the local Chibchas and about 1538 founded the city of Santa F de Bogot and named the surrounding area el nuevo reino de Granada.

    Following the conquest of the Aztecs, in 1521 the Virreinato de Nueva Espaa, or the Viceroyalty of New Spain was established. At its greatest extent, it governed Spanish-held territories in the Caribbean and Florida, Mexico and Central America, most of the United States west of the Mississippi and into Canada, and the Philippines. This was followed in 1542 by the creation of the Virreinato del Per, or Viceroyalty of Peru, which consisted of the continent of South America, with the exception of Brazil. In 1717, the Virreinato de la Nueva Granada was added, and Virreinato del Ro de la Plata in 1776. Until the independence movement in the 1820s, it was through this system that the Spanish monarchy governed its overseas possessions in the New World.

    The New World territories used the Spanish monetary system of of coinage first instituted by Fernando and Isabella in Medina del Campo in 1497, consisting of silver reales (and its multiples and fractions). In 1535, the gold escudo replaced the gold excelente and thenceforth, this became the basis for all the colonial coinage of Spanish America. The discovery of local sources of both gold and silver, particularly the Cerro Rico in Potos, Bolovia (which provided Spain 41,000 metric tons of silver between 1556 and 1783), necessitated the creation of a number of new mints, not only for local consumption, but also for the export of the quinto real, or crowns portion, sent back to the Casa de Contratacin on the large plate fleets. The Mexico City mint (established in 1535) was one of the most important of these mints; the other, Potos (established in 1574), was located at the source of the ore. Later, others mints were established and operated from time to time to handle the discovery and export of the metal. Until the eighteenth century, hammered coinage was struck. Known as macuquinas, or cobs, these coins became associated with later images of pieces of eight (due to eight reales being cut into pieces for fractions), and pirates on the Spanish Main. Following the introduction under Felipe V (1700-1724) of milled coinage, which increased the efficiency of production and provided against clipping or shaving a process whereby minute traces of the metal might be removed and pocketed as the coinage passed from hand to hand, the coinage of Spains New World empire coinage become a medium of international exchange, even after Spains former colonies gained independence. Before issuing their own coinage, the early Republics countermarked existing colonial issues as currency. Even Great Britain, during its coinage shortage of the late eighteenth century circulated both four and eight reales with a counterstamp of King George III. And in the currency-strapped American colonies and United States, the eight reales, or so-called Pillar Dollar, circulated well into the nineteenth century. Folk etymology attributes the origin of the dollar sign to the filleted pillars in the reales design.

    Napoleons invasion of the Iberian Peninsula and the flight of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil in 1807, as well as the events surrounding the abdications of both Spanish monarchs, Carlos IV and Fernando VII between March and May 1808, sparked a number of uprisings in the Spanish America, a situation that was exacerbated by the installation of Joseph Bonaparte as king of Spain, and the Peninsular War (1807/8-1814). The reasons for these uprisings were varied as not all were driven by the quest for independence. The earliest revolts were the short-lived governing juntas, or popular governments, in Chuquisaca, Bolivia, and Quito, Ecuador. In Mexico, a similar attempt at independence was made under Miguel Hidalgo, but was soon put down. While those in the Nueva Granada, Venezuela, Chile, and Ro de la Plata were more successful, this period was

    Session 3 Saturday, August 2, 2014 9:30 AM

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    marked by a myriad of these juntas and a great deal of conflict with pro-independence and royalist sides forming up against each other. The restoration of Fernando VII to the Spanish throne in 1813 (see lot 921 above) brought matters to a head. Committed to reinstituting absolutist rule both at home and throughout the empire, Fernando declared those independence movements that had developed during his exile as illegal and began sending troops to quell those areas still in rebellion. Known as the Reconquista, an allusion to the Reconquista of Medieval Spain, this attempt, while moderately successful in pro-royalist areas, served to coalesce those pro-independence areas into a full-scale counter insurgency; it also precipitated revolts against the Spanish monarchy. Out of this conflict arose a number of libertadores, popular military leaders who became the principal architects of independence in Central and South America. Among them, Simn Bolvar (1783-1830) became the most prominent. He lead Venezuela (together with Antonio Jos de Sucre), Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru (together with Jos de San Martn, the libertador of Argentina) to independence, and in 1819 became the first president of the republic of Gran Colombia, a position he held until his death in 1830. These libertadores became the national heroes of the new republics, and became a vital component of the new states currency. To commemorate his achievement in its independence, the Republic of Venezuela in 1879 created the Bolvar, a new currency which, with its multiples and fractions, replaced the old venezolano. In Ecuador, the Sucre was established, named for Antonio Jos de Sucre. Although others adopted more localized names such as the Peruvian sol,