Important Spanish Colonial Cuartillos from the Emilio Ortiz Collection Featured in Stack’s Bowers Galleries January 2024 Auction

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / December 15, 2023

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to present Emilio Ortiz’s Spanish Colonial Cuartillos as a stand-alone catalog in their January 2024 NYINC Auction. This comprehensive collection, assembled over decades, includes nearly all issues of the ¼ Real denomination produced during Latin America’s colonial period. Many pieces have been absent from the market for years and in some cases have never been offered in the state of preservation seen here.

Comprising 422 lots made up entirely of this minor denomination, the catalog spans all colonial mints including Lima, Potosi, Mexico, Guatemala, Santiago, Bogota, and others. Among the highlights is an impressive array of cob Cuartillos from famed assayer Alonso Rincon, including issues from both the Lima and Potosi mints. While almost always encountered with serious damage or wear, the Ortiz Collection specimens are some of the finest known. Also noteworthy are the elusive cobs from Bogota, a challenging and often misunderstood issue with a highly individual character. Low mintage figures for the Santiago mint explain their scarcity today, and this collection includes some of the finest Cuartillos extant from that mint.

Some of the most exciting offerings in this sale come from the final period of Spanish domination in the Americas, during the various wars of independence. Rare royalist issues from emergency provincial mints in Mexico and Venezuela make up an interesting portion of the catalog and represent a great opportunity for specialists in those difficult series. Four examples of an enigmatic copper issue, recently attributed to Cuba, appear in the catalog. An 1822-dated Cuartillo from Guatemala, struck in the year following the country’s official independence, makes an extremely rare auction appearance. A selection of overstruck Santo Domingo issues displays incredible originality and eye appeal, including one with exceptional undertype detail remaining.

Live bidding will begin on January 12, 2024 at 6:30 PM EST, but bidders can browse the catalog online and begin placing bids on their favorite pieces today. A collection with this degree of completion and quality is unlikely to appear in one sale again for many years, so connoisseurs of Spanish colonial coinage should not miss out on this special opportunity. For more information email

About Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s nearly 90-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, The Sydney F. Martin Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Salton Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law Collection. 

The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, with galleries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Offices are also located in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hong Kong, Paris and Vancouver. Stack’s Bowers Galleries hosts an annual Global Showcase in August featuring United States coins and currency, Ancient coins and World coins and currency in its Costa Mesa auction gallery. They are also the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic events, including the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, the Spring and Fall Hong Kong shows, and the Maastricht Paper Money Shows. 

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