A Landmark Offering of Spanish Colonial Cuartillos from the Emilio M. Ortiz Collection

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries January 2024 NYINC Auction will be offering a specialized catalog featuring Emilio M. Ortiz’s landmark collection of Spanish colonial Cuartillos. Many incredibly elusive cob issues and conditional rarities will headline the sale, so specialists in the series should be sure not to miss this opportunity.

Valued at just ¼ Real but typically still struck in fine silver, the Cuartillo circulated extensively across all rungs of the social hierarchy of Spanish America. Owing to the coin’s diminutive size, mint workers could not simply miniaturize the 8 Real designs as they had done for the other minor denominations. Consequently, some of the most interesting, creative, and enigmatic designs of the Spanish colonial series are found exclusively on the humble Cuartillo. The wars of independence that erupted in the early 19th century give us some of the most individual and elusive issuances of the Cuartillo, pieces that foreshadow the rich numismatic output of the early post-colonial republics.

Some highlights of the collection include multiple early Cuartillos struck under the famed assayer Alonso Rincon in the Lima and Potosi mints. The distinctive cob Cuartillos of Bogota are well-represented, as are the elegant milled issues of Santiago. Elite examples of the challenging War of Independence issues from Venezuela and Mexico are certain to excite collectors. An enigmatic 1822 Cuartillo from Guatemala will also be making a rare auction appearance.

The entire January 2024 auction of the Emilio M. Ortiz Collection is available for viewing and presale bidding at For information about receiving a printed catalog call 800-458-4646 or email The collection will be auctioned live in New York City on January 12, 2024, as part of our official New York International Numismatic Convention Auction.

We are always looking for consignments for future sales, including our Hong Kong and Showcase auctions and our Collectors Choice Online Auctions. If you have a consignment specialist you already work with at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, give them a call or email them to discuss your holdings. Or, email or call one of our offices to speak to a consignment specialist today.

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