HENRY HENTSCH GOLD ASSAY BARS
Henry Hentsch came to
California from Switzerland in 1854 to establish a banking house in San
Francisco. In 1856, assay services were added. The business
continued until 1873, when it became a part of the Swiss-American
The following assay bars
were offered by Sotheby's in their December 8-9, 1999 offering of the
"Treasures from the SS Central America." Sadly, the sale
was cancelled because of an injunction, and the market awaits the
opportunity to value and purchase these incredibly rare bars.
Lot 55, $402.71, No.
3229, 22.60 oz., .862 fine
Lot 56, $403.91, No.
3160, 22.88 oz., .854 fine
Lot 142, $819.06, No.
3067, 43.83 oz., .904 fine
Lot 143, $1,168.78, No.
3211, 67.07 oz., .843 fine
Lot 144, $1,983.54, No.
3144, 118.17 oz., .812 fine
Lot 57, $3,211.15, No.
3066, 172.60 oz., .900 fine [could this bar have been made from melted
Note the tight range of
serial numbers (3066-3229), indicating that more of these bars may come on
the market when the balance of the treasure is sold (Sotheby's 1999
offering represented only an approximate 8% of the total amount
Sotheby's observed that the
Hentsch bars had a matte finish quite unlike that of any other bar in the
S.S. "Central America" treasure.