Mexico 1909 peso

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Heritage sale 3010, lot 21600
Mexico 1909 peso rev Heritage 3010-21600.jpg
This specimen was lot 21600 in Heritage sale 3010 (Boston, August 2010), where it sold for $34,500. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Important Mexican Pattern Peso--Republic Pattern Caballito Peso 1909, KM 453 type, KM-Pn183 variant, in silver (not matte), Raised Lettered Edge, engraved by Charles Pillet, marked 'ESSAI' in tiny capital letters in the right obverse field behind the horse's tail, also in the left reverse field under the eagle's wing, uncertified, Brilliant Proof or Specimen, choice or possibly finer, having blazing luster, mirrored fields, and motifs subtly frosted. High rims, mostly squared off sharply. The edge lettering reads, in all capital letters, [two 5-pointed stars] INDEPENDENCIA Y LIBERTAD separated by three vertical fillet lines (indicating how the edge band was put together). This is the extremely rare prototype pattern for the famous peso minted from 1910 through 1914. All the rays are long. Signed in capital letters of varying height 'CH. PILLET' at an angle along the inner rim by the first two rays. Struck by the Paris mint, this remarkably beautiful coin was engraved by Charles Philippe Germain Aristide Pillet (born 1869, died 1960), a Parisian artist who seems to have been at the peak of his talent in the years 1905-1910. Awarded the French medal of honor in 1923, he produced an array of French medals, patterns for certain nickel coins of Greece and France, and perhaps most important of all patterns for two Mexican coins, the 50 Centavos of 1907 and the presently offered piece. He was awarded a number of honors by France, England, Italy and Spain for his engraving work from 1890 through 1908. He was called upon to create the inaugural medal for the Canal Porfirio Diaz at about the same time he created this pattern. He exhibited at the New York International Medallic Exhibition held by the ANS in 1910. The present lot is a monumental offering, and clearly one of the prizes of the current auction sale, a wonderful specimen showing remarkable detail of the proposed design, extremely well preserved, and a treasure of modern Mexican numismatics."
This specimen is the pattern for the "Caballito" peso struck at Mexico City 1910-14. It is the last full weight peso from Mexico, ending a tradition going back to colonial times. The 1910 is the most common date of the five dates.

Recorded mintage: unknown but few.

Specification: 27.07 g, .903 fine silver, .786 troy oz ASW, edge lettered INDEPENDENCIA Y LIBERTAD. Designed by Charles Pillet of France.

Catalog reference: KM 453.


  • Harper, David C. [Ed.], North American Coins & Prices, 17th Ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2007.
  • Buttrey, T. V., and Clyde Hubbard, A Guide Book of Mexican Coins, 1822 to date, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1992.
  • Harris, Robert P., A Guide Book of Modern Latin American Coins, Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing Co., 1966.
  • Utberg, Neil S., The Coins of Mexico, 1536-1963, San Antonio, TX, 1963.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, Scott Cordry and John Kraljevich, Heritage Sale 3010: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2010.

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