The American Numismatic Association National Money Show is set for
the Irving Convention Center in metropolitan Dallas March 8 to 10.
Kagin’s Auctions will host the show’s official auctions on March 8 and
9, with an online session on March 10, and is offering free ANA online
memberships to all registered bidders.
See related articles here and here.
A pre-auction press release noted, “No Kagin Auction sale would be
complete without some Pioneer Gold and selections from shipwreck
treasure. This series is highlighted by two gold ingots from Kellogg
& Co. and Harris, Marchand & Co. from the S.S. Central
The recent announcement that more treasures recovered from the SS
Central America would be in the “Ship of Gold” exhibit at the
Feb. 22 to 24 Long Beach Expo has brought attention to this famous
ship that sank in a hurricane in September 1857. More than 420
passengers and crew died and an estimated 30,000 pounds of gold sank
to the bottom of the ocean.
The many gold ingots discovered in the wreckage included a
10.07-ounce ingot issued by the assay office of Harris, Marchand &
Co. The firm had offices in Sacramento and Marysville, California, and
was formed by Harvey Harris, originally from Denmark, and Desire
Marchand, who studied assaying at the Paris Mint. The Sacramento
office was established in September 1855 and the Marysville office
began soon after.
According to the catalog of Christie’s and Spink America’s Dec. 14,
2000, auction titled “Gold Rush Treasures from the S.S. Central
America” where this lot entered the marketplace, no gold ingots of
this firm were known to have survived until the recovery of the SS
Central America treasure.
The ingot is fully described in that sale as follows: “Face: No 6472
HARRIS MARCHAND & CO (arcs above the all-seeing eye hallmark)
$176.31, the second 1 in the denomination being upside down. The
beautiful Harris Marchand & Co. hallmark is circular from a
coin-style die and displays an ‘all-seeing eye’ with radiant rays
around, MARCHAND arcing above, ESSAYEUR curving below, all in a
circular depression. Back is blank. Front edge: 847 FINE. Back edge:
10.07. OZ, the punch for that notation upside down when viewed with
the face up. Left edge is blank. Right edge is blank. Small portion of
upper right corner of face missing due to assayer’s cut.” At that
auction it sold for $29,900 against an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.
Kagin’s describes the ingot as “Essentially as Poured,” further
observing, “Deep yellow-gold with the colorful encrustations sometimes
seen in S.S. Central America ingots, garnered from some 130
years undisturbed on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of
the prettiest we have seen.”
The Kagin’s catalog entry cites a 17.02-ounce Harris ingot that
realized $164,500 in its September 2017 auction as a potential
comparable, while recognizing that the subject example in the upcoming
ANA auction is more attractive and lacks the pouring cracks seen on
the larger one.