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Post-Colonial New World Patterns from the Pat Johnson Collection

As various emerging states in Central and South America began to break free from their colonial yokes and establish themselves as independent in the first half of the 18th century, a sense of pride and nationalism understandably went hand in hand. One of the best representatives of this fervor was the coinages struck by these nations. Exchanging the portraits of a faraway king (whose actual countenance may have been known only through a sketch), these fledgling nations instead chose more local motifs. Many of these designs took the form of coats-of-arms that drew upon iconography and symbolism key to each nation, reinforcing to the populace that their land was now free.

Though local mints, many of which had already been established in what would be the new nations’ capital cities, were in operation, these facilities weren’t always well equipped or most refined with respect to their capabilities. As such, to present the coinage concepts in the best possible manner using state-of-the-art technology, long-standing and highly resourced mints in Europe, such as Birmingham’s Heaton mint, the Royal Mint in London, or the venerable and iconic Monnaie de Paris were all commissioned to strike patterns and concept pieces. The local mints in Central and South America, however, continued to improve and refine their own techniques, and they too issued numerous wonderful patterns that would begin to rival their “Old World” counterparts.

Part II of the Pat Johnson Collection is one of the cornerstone named collections in our upcoming Summer Global Showcase auction, with some 200 lots drawing from numerous Latin American minors as well as the aforementioned patterns. Part I was offered in our January 2022 NYINC sale and featured countless gold denominations and 8 Reales issues. That presentation was incredibly successful, and we expect that this installment, with its slightly different focus, will be just as well received.

Among the patterns, here are some of the particular standouts:

CHILE. Copper 50 Centavos Pattern, 1867-So. Santiago Mint. PCGS PROOF-63 Brown.

COLOMBIA. Silver 50 Centavos Pattern, 1892. Birmingham (Heaton) Mint. PCGS SPECIMEN-65.

COSTA RICA. White Metal 1/2 Peso Pattern, 1850-JB. San Jose Mint. PCGS SPECIMEN-64.

MEXICO. Silver 50 Centavos Essai (Pattern), 1907. Paris Mint. PCGS PROOF-63 Cameo.

VENEZUELA. 50 Centavos, 1873-A. Paris Mint. PCGS SPECIMEN-64.

To view our upcoming auction schedule and future offerings, please visit StacksBowers.com where you may register and participate in this and other forthcoming sales.

We are always seeking coins, medals, and paper money for our future auctions, and are currently accepting submissions for our Official Auction of the 2023 NYINC next January and our Hong Kong auction next spring. Additionally, we are accepting submissions for our ongoing Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auctions, the next of which will be in October (and is rapidly filling up). If you would like to learn more about consigning, whether a singular item or an entire collection, please contact one of our consignment directors today and we will assist you in achieving the best possible return on your material.

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