Potosí, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, (1650-1)O, with countermark "BALTR+" (attributed to Buenos Aires, Arg

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Potosí, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, (1650-1)O, with countermark  BALTR+  (attributed to Buenos Aires, Arg
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This item SOLD at 2009 Oct 15 @ 14:26UTC-4 : AST/EDT
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Potosí, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, (1650-1)O, with countermark "BALTR+" (attributed to Buenos Aires, Argentina) below castle and lion on cross side, extremely rare. S-P35, KM-19b. 17.3 grams. Nearly full and practically unique countermark, the only other published specimen a 4R in the Cunietti reference, but at least one other is reported to exist. A reconstruction of the entire mark can by made by joining this example with the Cunietti specimen (which, incidentally, Cunietti does not attribute to Buenos Aires). Curiously, while Buenos Aires received the order from Viceroy Salvatierra in March of 1652 to melt the rochunas and countermark the rodases, documents show that the corrupt governor, Jacinto de Lariz, held the order until August so that he could surreptitiously countermark his own rochunas holdings and thereby save himself 1-1/2 reales per 8 reales! While this establishes evidence that Buenos Aires did indeed countermark coins, the documentation does not show what mark was used except for the blanket term "marca de coronilla." A careful study of the monogram of letters on the bottom of the countermark reveals it to be BALTR+, which we believe can be reasonably attributed to the port city of Buenos Aires, whose full original name in 1580 (second establishment, the original one abandoned in 1541) was "La Ciudad de Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Ayre" (BA = Buen Ayre, L = La Ciudad, TR = Trinidad, + = Santísima). The coin itself is well detailed considering corrosion and thinning, with full cross and shield (the latter rather weak), most of crown, clear assayer. Pedigreed to the Ponterio Capitana sale, lot 227 (Plate Coin) and pedigreed to the Louis Hudson collection. Recovered from: Capitana (Jesús María de la Limpia Concepción), sunk in 1654 off Chanduy, Ecuador