Potosi 4R - Need Help With Assayer - Trez, Cuzco, Realeswatcher?

Diver_Down

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Dec 13, 2008
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Looking for some help on the Assayer. It is a 4R Potosi. Obviously, pre-Pillars/Waves. The Assayer mark has the curve associated with a B, but the lower bubble seems to not be as curved. If it is a "B", then it is a Ballesteros (Juan or Hernando). But my questioning eyes raise the possibility that it could be an R where the lower leg isn't flaired but squared off. Any ideas?

DSCF8978.JPG DSCF8981.JPG
 

cuzcosquirrel

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Aug 20, 2008
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B used some unusual design features that are easy to pick out between his phases. We have to consider the other B also and R. I suppose that individual minters would want to sell all the acounterments and dies in the coinhouse to the next apointee, and this was a part of their "palanca" to each other. So cutting dies might have mingled around a little on the striking die faces, and been refreshed a bit or more deeply cut.

It's almost easier to say what it is not. I would call this coin atypical. The cross goes all the way to the bendets on the back. The bottom castle is squished in. The rear lions are placed vertical. It has a very standard ticking on the rear that is leaning about 10 degrees from center. The rear bendets are very deeply cut and bold, which is unusual and it looks recut.

The front uses a crown with two types of dots on it. Portugal seems to have existed in a small shield, but is now missing. Tyrol has those inward facing vertical lines which are seen on other coins. The lions are set diagonally. The lines on the bottom left quarter are very slanted and long. The lion is of the long, horizontal type with the tail cut off by a shield line. These minters did both varieties.

I haven't found a similar die face for either side yet, and it looks kind of hard to be exactly sure of the minter. There is a B stamp die where the lower part of the letter B sticks out more than the top, helping confuse things. There are sets of dies that B and R both used that have many of these elements, while they do not have others. I will look around later and try to type it using catalogs or more pictures.
 
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cuzcosquirrel

Hero Member
Aug 20, 2008
553
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B used some unusual design features that are easy to pick out between his phases. We have to consider the other B also and R. I suppose that individual minters would want to sell all the acounterments and dies in the coinhouse to the next apointee, and this was a part of their "palanca" to each other. So cutting dies might have mingled around a little on the striking die faces, and been refreshed a bit or more deeply cut.

It's almost easier to say what it is not. I would call this coin atypical. The cross goes all the way to the bendets on the back. The bottom castle is squished in. The rear lions are placed vertical. It has a very standard ticking on the rear that is leaning about 10 degrees from center. The rear bendets are very deeply cut and bold, which is unusual and it looks recut.

The front uses a crown with two types of dots on it. Portugal seems to have existed in a small shield, but is now missing. Tyrol has those inward facing vertical lines which are seen on other coins. The lions are set diagonally. The lines on the bottom left quarter are very slanted and long. The lion is of the long, horizontal type with the tail cut off by a shield line. These minters did both varieties.

I haven't found a similar die face for either side yet, and it looks kind of hard to be exactly sure of the minter. There is a B stamp die where the lower part of the letter B sticks out more than the top, helping confuse things. There are sets of dies that B and R both used that have many of these elements, while they do not have others. I will look around later and try to type it using catalogs or more pictures.

1580's assayer B at end of run using castles on front from his earlier 1570's run. It could be B overstriking one of the other mint masters, but I don't think so. Scratch the part about Portugal on the front. There is a beat-up picture of one on line with enough features to match it.
 
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Diver_Down

Diver_Down

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Dec 13, 2008
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Thanks Cuzcosquirrel. I really appreciate it. Do you have links to the "beat-up" on-line specimen that you reference?

Side-note - it is a shame that ColonialCobs has lost the on-line traction to the site. Realeswatcher, Trez, and many others had migrated over there about 5 years ago. There were quite a few members that studied the die differences and are/were a wealth of knowledge. You have always been a highly respected member here and I really appreciate your insight.
 

Coinboy

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cuzcosquirrel

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Aug 20, 2008
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Can't find the exact picture right now but I will continue to look around. It's either late 3rd period B or 5th period B with round ticking instead of x's. R might have done some oversight or used some of his dies on it. We can tell there are several sets of dies being used in production. Check out this source too, as it has examples of some of the variations. Lot 238.

https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=sale&sid=888&cid=23579
 
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Trez

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Diver Down,
I took a look at this post and agree with Cuzcosquirrel - 3rd period B my guess too. The die for Leon and Castile and the style B is all I went on, didn't look at any other details, sorry.
I never really followed the Atocha style coinage, I still prefer the cobs from the 1715 fleet.
Nice 4R.
Hope all is good with you,
Cheers,
Trez
 

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