Alan Luedeking submitted these thoughts on the Sandino lead 10 Pesos coin illustrated last week.
I was fascinated by the piece on Sandino's lead 10 Pesos coin submitted by Dennis Tucker from Ken Bresset's book Milestone Coins.
I have never seen the unique piece illustrated in The E-Sylum (Vol. 14 #1) nor even heard about it prior to this article. I have heard that shortly after the revolution of 1979 some unscrupulous Sandinistas "manufactured" replicas of the rare Sandino piece in lead in response to demand for more rare coins after a few (not Sandino pieces) had been looted from the collection of Banco Central.
I have never seen one of these modern fabrications, and was wondering if Mr. Bressett could tell us a little about the provenance of the interesting and supposedly unique piece he illustrates. For reference, attached is an illustration of a genuine piece (made by Sandino in August 1927) said to have been brought back to the United States in the 1930's in the hands of one of the U.S. Marines who had just served a tour of duty there.
The earliest notice of these pieces can be found on page 100 of the February 1928 issue of The Numismatist, and an interesting write-up on these pieces can be found on page 52 of the April 1964 Whitman Numismatic Journal, which account closely parallels the fascinating historical background presented by Mr. Bressett.
Ken Bressett writes:
In response to Alan Luedeking’s request for additional information about the lead Sandino 10 Pesos ‘coins’, I can add the following:
Two unquestionably genuine specimens of these lead pieces were acquired in Nicaragua at the time of the revolution. They were obtained by Marine Corps General M. Stanley Newton who was deployed there to quell the revolt. General Newton, an experienced numismatist, is well known for his extensive collection of United States coins (perhaps second only to the Eliasberg collection) that included examples of nearly every date and mint of all gold, silver, nickel and copper coins. His U.S. coins were eventually sold by RARCOA at the Chicago ANA auction August 18-22, 1970.
General Newton was not only a numismatic colleague but also a close personal friend of mine who, in his retirement, lived close by. We visited often. He frequently recounted his military experiences in China and Nicaragua and spoke often of the unusual Sandino coins that were some of his favorite numismatic items. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly in 1970 at age 67. At that time his two Sandino coins were gifted to me as a special gesture of friendship.
One of these pieces is of the exact type shown in Mr. Luedeking’s attachment. Over the years I have seen pictures of a few others of this variety. The second piece that I obtained from the Newton gift is the variety with a retrograde dollar sign that is used to illustrate my article in Milestone Coins. I have never seen or heard of another specimen of this variety, and believe that it may be unique. The composition, style and lettering of both pieces are similar. The first coin, however, is in wretched condition and barely discernable. It is illustrated in an article written by me and General Newton in the Whitman Numismatic Journal in 1964. The General also composed a similar article that was published in Numismatic Gallery Monthly, May-June 1950.
Thanks for the background! Fascinating (and rare) pieces!
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
AGUSTO CÉSAR SANDINO OF NICARAGUA, ALCHEMIST
Wayne Homren, Editor
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