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L 72. Viceroyalty of El Peru, mint of Lima 1719/8/7 (double overdate) one escudo, assayer M (Melgarejo) SOLD

Lustrous, very well struck and centered, almost full mint state (NGC AU 58), an unimprovable example of a very rare type, the mysterious Tearful Cross (con lágrimas) memorial design of 1716-17, which apears here on an overdated 1717 die used until 1719. Two 1719 one escudos are known (the other XF). Four one escudos survive for the entire period 1716-1719. This is by far the finest. From the fabulous Caballeros Collection (2009), lot 558, realizing 5000 eu.

 

The Tearful Cross (con lagrimas) design appeared at Lima in 1716, most noticeably on the onza and media onza, where three large tear-shaped drops  emerge from each of the crosslets (hence "the Tearful Cross"). No documents yet officially explain this short-lived modification of the dies, but the iconography is unquestionably associated with a memorial issue (as are the Stars on 1746 issue).  The tears appear only on Lima escudos dies cut in 1716-17. After that, Lima reverts to a simpler design with varying numbers of dots flanking the crosslets. On the 1716-17 one escudo, a large cross and eight somewhat crudely engraved "tears" suddenly appear above the castle (where only dots had been before). The design now seems somewhat crowded, perhaps top-heavy, but the purpose of the changes seems to have overruled aesthetics.

 

On the reverse, four more large crosses now appear in the angles of the cross where only dots had been. Twelve more dots are now sandwiched between the tressure and border, creating a very crowded design, which Lima thankfully abandoned after 1717.

Lima struck 1221 one escudos in 1719, beginning with a deilvery of 412 coins on April 24th. All of the 1719 mintage was likely struck with a single pair of 1719/8/7 dies, which had seen only light use in 1717-18. The 1718 mintage of one escudos, for example, was 904 coins. In this period one escudos represented only a small fraction of 1% of the gold coinage and were effectively an obsolete coinage (used perhaps as "small change" in completing large gold deliveries). It is amazing that even two of the 1719 one escudos have survived.

 

 

SOLD       

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