Coins of the World (29 September 2010)

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Date of Auction: 29th September 2010

Sold for £15,000

Estimate: £8,000 - £10,000

Brazil, Pernambuco, Geoktrooieerde Westindische Compagnie, 12 Guilders, 1646, Recife, struck on a square flan, gwc monogram, value above, rev. anno brasil, lozenge and date, 7.52g/3h (Scholten 1447a; KM. 7.1; F 1). A few surface marks and scratches, otherwise about extremely fine, very rare £8,000-10,000


Provenance: Stack’s Auction (New York), 7 March 2006, lot 883; E. Roehrs Collection.

The captaincy of Pernambuco in north eastern Brazil was a Portuguese colony from the 16th century. The Dutch tried to extend their influence there in the 1620s and in 1630 succeeded in capturing Olinda and Recife. The wealth of the territory, based on sugar production, gave the Dutch West India Company good reason to establish and try and hold this province of New Holland, However, the Portuguese were reluctant to relinquish control and struggles continued into the 1640s. During a revolt in 1645 the Portuguese recaptured much of the territory and by 1654 the Dutch were driven from their last stronghold at Recife.

The emergency coinages of 1645-6 and 1654 were struck when Pernambuco was besieged by the Portuguese. An Instruction of 10 October 1645 ordered the mintmaster, Pieter Janssen Bas, to strike gold coins equal to 4, 2 and 1 Brazilian ducats. The gold came from Guinea, the West Indies and elsewhere. The diecutter was Jan Bruynsvelt