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Paulus

Charles I Halfcrown S. 2764 (?)

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I've just acquired this (seller's pics) - I believe it to be S. 2764 1a2.

It has wax on the reverse, presumably for cataloguing purposes back in the day - can anyone identify it as an example that may have appeared in a book/catalogue?

Bit of a long shot perhaps, but thanks in advance!

1625_hc_1a2_mm_lis_01_ref_02015_02_sellers_alan_worby.jpg

 

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I'm not aware of any auction room that used green wax. Sotheby and Glendining both used red , but depending on when and who, came in varying shades from bright scarlet to a dark red with a distinct purple hue.

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Acetone and a cocktail stick with a couple of hours and a powerful glass should get rid

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You don't remove wax. It is one of the main pieces of evidence of previous illustration, even if you don't know where it came from. I wrote an email emphasising this point to PCGS a few years ago when they were promoting their conservation destruction of historical evidence service.

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Traces of wax help to establish the provenance of a coin making it more interesting. 

Did PCGS respond to your e-mail and did it make them think again?

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6 hours ago, Sword said:

Traces of wax help to establish the provenance of a coin making it more interesting. 

Did PCGS respond to your e-mail and did it make them think again?

They didn't reply, but seem to have quietly dropped the idea, or at least don't openly advertise it. They were proudly advertising the ability to remove unsightly deposits such as wax, so I wrote a letter, which GC then put it into more delicate terms. Richard (I think?) brought it to my attention on this forum.

Edited by Rob
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A result! 

But if the provenance of a rare valuable coin (not that I have one!) has already been established, would it then be OK to then take some photos of evidence and get the wax removed? It's history, but only relatively recent history and the coin has spent most of its life without the wax deposits. 

The alternative is to remove most of it leaving a bit behind. 

Then again, if the wax doesn't cause any damage, I can understand the the arguments for leaving it.  

 

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The problem with established provenances is that they are lost with considerably more ease than they are found. A person's labour of love proving a provenance is instantly negated by the auction house cataloguer failing to record it in the sale catalogue. Any slab label will only provide one previous owner at best,  which again negates all the good work done. Keeping the details on a coin ticket will only work as long as the ticket remains with the coin. Auction houses and TPGs are a bit hit and miss in keeping info with the coin. The point about leaving the wax is that any lost blobs from the impression then become part of the coin's relief detail, with the missing wax forming an identifiable feature in the auction catalogue. i.e it does matter that all of it stays.

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Thanks. That all make good sense. 

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Thanks both.

Here are my pics of it, I'll be leaving all the wax where it is

1625_hc_1a2_mm_lis_01_ref_02015_02_2400.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

Oliver Hoover has written a very interesting paper on the history of numismatic data transmission. Here's an excerpt that may be of interest with regard to Paulus' example.

"Highlighting the various od Uniface and two-sided casts were also produced by cooling molten sulfur in moulds taken from coins. This process was popularized by the French numismatic marketing genius, Théodore-Edme Mionnet (1770-1842), when he sold sulfur casts to the general public at the price of 3 francs per two-sided cast. This initial offering in 1800 included 1,473 possible Greek and Roman reproductions, but by 1806, Mionnet had some 20,000 different pieces available for sale. Thanks to Mionnet, the creation and exchange of sulfur casts became a popular pastime among collectors in the early nineteenth century. Experiments were even carried out in order to colorize the final product. Although Mionnet’s casts were black, thanks to the inclusion of lead in the sulfur casting compound, red, yellow, and green casts could also be produced. Unfortunately, while the technology and materials for casting sulfur coins were certainly available to Renaissance collectors, it is unclear whether they were actually made already at the rebirth of European numismatic interest. The De re metallica of Agricola (Georg Bäuerlein), first printed in 1556, includes descriptions and woodcuts illustrating the casting of sulfur rods and bricks by miners."

It would be interesting to analyse a sample of the compound on Paulus' coin to see if it contains sulphur or perhaps chlorides from PVC damage?

Edited by Diaconis
correction

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