Sedwick’s Treasure Auction #3 hits $800,000

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Bronze mariner's astrolabe in coral matrix (as found), probably Spanish, circa 1580. About 10 inches by 8 inches and weighing 8 pounds. One of the highlights of this auction, this piece is one of very few (about 70) known extant astrolabes, which were early navigational devices for determining latitude based on astronomical observation, specifically in replacement of the more cumbersome quadrant (which was impossible to use accurately on a rocking ship).

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Treasure fever has struck again! Numismatist and auctioneer of shipwreck coins and artifacts Daniel Frank Sedwick has released the results of his Treasure Auction #3. This mail-bid auction grossed more than $800,000 with 92 percent of the lots sold. All prices include buyers premium.

Highlights of the auction include a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos of 1703 that sold for $17,250 and a Cartagena, Colombia, cob 2 escudos of 1622 (the first gold coin struck in the New World) that sold for $23,000.

The entire offering of Spanish colonial gold cobs in this auction (mainly from the 1715 Fleet) hit close to a quarter million dollars, one of the biggest auction sales of treasure gold cobs offered in decades. This marks a trend in gold-cob prices.

“The market had a very positive reaction… collectors are increasingly eager for choice gold cobs and we can provide the best selection at competitive prices,” says Sedwick.

“I believe these rare ingots are simply achieving a realistic value among collectors. I’m glad everyone is starting to realize the historical importance of the silver “tumbaga” bars; with a soon-to-be-published study I expect that prices may keep going up,” says Sedwick’s assistant (and fellow numismatic author) Augi García.

As always, shipwreck silver coins comprised the bulk of the sale, representing over 40 different wreck sources.

“The variety and quality we are delivering to the treasure community has been well received. We hope to continue to see the bidding participation of collectors from other areas, like we have already seen from US coin collectors now interested in treasure coins,” says Sedwick.

Among the rest of the coin offerings in the auction was a substantial collection of Spanish colonial milled 8 reales of all different types and most of the mints, including some scarce Mexican War for Independence issues. Augmenting this collection were several consignments of silver cobs from the various colonial mints.

Treasure Auction #3 also featured about 233 lots of artifacts, most of which fetched high prices too. One of the best examples of the artifacts’ passionate bidding activity was a gold cross from the 1715 Fleet that sold for $19,550, as well as a gold “money” chain that hit $16,100.

“Treasure artifacts like these simply aren’t available at auction on a regular basis anywhere else,” Sedwick points out.

Images of lots and realized prices may be viewed on Daniel Sedwick’s Web site at www.SedwickCoins.com. For more information email Daniel Sedwick at info@sedwickcoins.com, call  407-975-3325, or mail at P.O. Box 1964, Winter Park, FL 32790.

Consignments for Treasure Auction #4, scheduled for late October or early November of 2008 must be received by July 31.

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A big surprise for collectors was an offering of circa 1528 shipwreck silver "tumbaga" bars, which before this auction had an average price among collectors of about $3,000 each, yet the 14 bars on offer averaged over $7,000 each, with one specimen exceeding $10,000. This reflects a new appreciation for these artifacts.
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Treasure Auction #3 featured about 233 lots of artifacts, most of which fetched high prices.

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