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Mexico, unknown eagle on ??? 1813 Supreme Nat. Council half real

Started by bgriff99, October 15, 2014, 05:38:45 AM

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I won this in a mail bid auction around 1990, probably Richard Long, but did not keep the catalog (violating even my own sloppy protocol).   It offered a collection of pieces of this period, and I won half a dozen or so.    I'm sure they realized this was unknown or little known, and that's probably why my bid took it.   

The obverse legend reads :   "S. J. N. G. Dei. Gratia." instead of "Vice. Ferd. VII. Dei. Gratia."     S.J.N.G. is for Suprema Junta Nacional Gubernativa.   On the reverse it has Mo in the denomination position, possibly for "medio", but no other half real has anything in that position including the normal version of this type.
Or it may be part of the legend, for "Mexico."   Or even just to make the coin a bit more acceptable.   It is said they distastefully included "Ferd. VII" only for that reason.   S.M. is the assayer, same as on the regular types.   Notice the broken 'T' punch in 'Gratia', and after 'Guv', but in 'Nat' they retouched it with another punch.

I only have Utberg and a '96 Kruase for this.   There are copper 2R 1814 pieces of this design, but otherwise 1813 is the final year of eagle-on-bridge types.  So potentially a late variant that went immediately out of production.   The silver looks about .600 fine, but it's die struck, hand punched, circulated.   The edge design is on, good even boxes.   Pending what information you sleuths turn up, I'll contact the present successor company of who it came from.   


Supremely interesting. The 1813 assayer marks on Mexico city official coins are TH (he may be a member of this group :D), JJ and HJ. I have not found an assayer SM in 1813 on the official coins (also checked SP). I am discounting M (Guatemala) and SF (Palma de Mallorca), so I guess SM had a drooping moustache, a gun belt with two holsters and two munition belts over his shoulders ;)

Some elements, notably the IND and the Mo monogram, look like they were included to make the semi-litterate believe that it was an official coins. Therefore, I suspect that the Mo monogram could be explained either way, depending on who the receiver was. The trick probably worked. Your coin has obviously circulated.

In 1813, Spain had a liberal constitution and a king who refused to accept it. The government was broke, so it sold Florida to the US and didn't pay its colonial soldiers. The country was exhausted by the ongoing Napoleonic war, in which it played second fiddle to everyone, including Portugal, due to lack of military leadership. In those circumstances, colonial revolutions were natural and to be expected and people would probably accept any piece of silver, at least by weight, if not by tally.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


I just encountered this posting - 4 years late or so.  In any case,  I have 2 similar pieces - one each in silver and copper.    There is real dearth on info on this variant of the Supreme Congress 1/2 Real.  It is mentioned by Pradeau in his Numismatic History of Mexico, but it is not mentioned in SCWC or in Grove's coins of Mexico.   Both of my examples like yours end the reverse inscription:  T•Mo•S•M• .  The T is standard(but not universal) for these types and is generally accepted as Tlalpujahua, where the Supreme Congress was located in 1812 and parts of 1813.  The Mo is almost certainly for Medio = 1/2 Real.  The letters S•M• are also pretty typical and are identified as standing for "Su Magestad" which was a title accorded to the Congress, so it could act as a sovereign authority.  The 2 Reales of 1814 that you mentioned exist with the same elements in the inscription:  T•2R•S•M•. but also exist with V•2R•T•I•.  I am at a loss for identifying these.  bgriff99, Did you ever get any other information ?

- Terry


Terry, thanks, I'm still here but did not follow up.   My main area is cash coins.   As you work out the letter meanings, none of them are an assayer, or is that still a possibility for T and SM?


I am pretty convinced by that T is the "mint mark" for Tlalpujahua and I think it probable that S.M.  does stand for "Su Magestad"  Now, if we think about what the assayer initials are about which is accountability for the validity of the coin then S.M. can be seen to stand in for this.It is the Congress doing so.  The Supreme Congress had to leave Tlalpujahua during 1813. As I continue to gather info, I hope to get some idea about V•2R•T•I•  which only exists on 1814 2 Reales to my knowledge.   If those could be identified as another location and personal initials then that would make the case for S.M. to be a assayer instead.     Complicating this scenario of a mint mark change from T replacing V,  some 1814 2Rs retain T•2R•S•M• but those could be holdover designs from before the move and only later was the decision to update to the  V•2R•T•I•.  Without further information, the co-existence of the V•2R•T•I• and T•2R•S•M• coins does weaken the Tlalpujahua/Su Magestad interpretation somewhat. 

- Terry