Alongside the mita, Toledo’s other reforms were the first serious attempt to organise this boom city. But the city’s silver had changed the world forever, facilitating the exchange of slaves, fabrics, spices and other goods across the globe.
Few places in the world were left untouched by its riches.
Birmingham, around 1880 E. Eatwell Gift Despite Potosí’s flamboyance, it was plagued by murderous disputes between warring Spanish miners, natural disasters and the perils of living at 4,000m, where very little grows.
Potosí survived as a mining centre on a smaller scale until its liberation by Simón Bolívar in 1825, its former riches now existing only in legend and literature.
“All is affliction and anguish, weeping and sighing. Potosi MBC / VF Silver 1,7 (G) .Scarce... Felipe V 1/2 Real Potosi Macuquino Silver @ Good Specimen @... 1500's Philip II Potosi B Silver 1/2 Reales Antique Spanish Colonial Cob Coin... Mexico 8 Reales Pi 1835 J.S. The wealth attracted artists, academics, priests, prostitutes and traders, enticed by the Altiplano’s icy mysticism. The city is also an important symbol in modern Latin American revolutionary movements, made famous by Eduardo Galeano’s book Open Veins of Latin America – which was a gift from Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez to Barack Obama in 2009. Felipe was all too aware of the vast riches hidden beneath this remote Andean settlement.
The cousins were not inventors but innovators who, by applying the techniques to industry, revolutionized the silver and plating trades all over the world. Along the centre line of the back of the stem, (Potosi Silver) and along the centre of the back of the tip.
Potosi Silver Co. (maker) Materials and Techniques. -- Website / Blog The focus of silver and silver product manufacture moved from London to the new factories of Birmingham and Sheffield. The new arrivals began to clash with the Basque ruling class who had come to dominate the city , causing vicious gang wars.
“To be worth a Potosí” appears in Don Quijote de la Mancha, a phrase that is still used in Spanish to this day.
By the early 1620s, the El Dorado myth was beginning to fall apart – exacerbated by the decaying infrastructure, falling yields and social tensions.“The metals are not reborn, nor do they grow anew,” as one writer had it. The power of the machinery and new technology now at the disposal of the silver industry could produce thousands of identical items to a standard formula of design, quality and price.
There are no reliable mortality statistics about the mining and associated processes, according to Dr Ignacio Gonzalez Casasnovas, an expert on the social history of Potosí, “but we would estimate the toll to be much less than the 8 million deaths of which Galeano spoke.”, Casasnovas is far more certain of the city’s impact on the world: “At a time when European powers were expanding, both economically and technologically, it facilitated the globalisation of the world’s economy. The city gave rise to a Spanish expression, still in use: vale un Potosí, ("to be worth a Potosí") meaning "to be of great value". Marked on the handle: POTOSI SILVER and on the shaft with the trademarks of the Potosi Silver Company of Birmingham, Length: 19.9 cm, Width: 2.4 cm, Depth: 2 cm, Fork, electroplated nickel silver, trademarked 'Potosi Silver', Birmingham, England, ca.1880, 18. The mountain still towers over the city but it is crumbling inside, made unstable by the hundreds of miles of mine shafts constructed over the 500 years it has been exploited.
China’s Ming dynasty eventually proved inflationary. “For the powerful emperor, for the wise king, this lofty mountain of silver could conquer the world.” So read the engraving on an ornate shield sent by Spain’s King Felipe II in 1561 as a gift to the city of Potosí, in what is now southern Bolivia. Modern Potosí is a shell of its former self.
The poverty and dilapidation of modern Potosí mask the story of a once-imperial city whose grand villas are now restaurants, hairdressers and dental surgeries. “Potosí made the money that irrevocably changed the economic complexion of the world.”. San Luis Potosi (8R), NGC AU Details, KM# 377.12... MEXICO - SAN LUIS POTOSI 1892-PiMR 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF/ALMOST UNCIRCULATED... MEXICO REPUBLIC SAN LUIS POTOSI 1890-PiMR 8 REALES COIN, CERTIFIED PCGS MS63... MEXICO - SAN LUIS POTOSI 1836-PiJS 8 REALES SILVER COIN, PCGS CERTIFIED MS61... MEXICO REPUBLIC SAN LUIS POTOSI 1885-PiLC 8 REALES COIN, CERTIFIED UNC. "POTOSI SILVER. Founded in 1545 as a mining town, it soon produced fabulous wealth, and the population eventually exceeded 200,000 people. At its peak in the early 17th century, 160,000 native Peruvians, slaves from Africa and Spanish settlers lived in Potosí to work the mines around the city: a population larger than London, Milan or Seville at the time. Much discussed in The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, it had helped fund the Spanish empire’s wars with the British, Dutch, and French – and helped them overcome the Ottomans.
M.16-1999 [20/01/2000]. Potosí’s silver reached Seville, but also Rouen and Calais, Amsterdam and Macao.”. Drunk on “the mere fumes of silver”, an author of the time noted that the city’s residents “nurtured such elevated thoughts” – exemplified by mining boss Domingo Beltran, who reportedly proclaimed himself to be among the world’s most important figures: “The Pope in Rome, the King in Spain, and Domingo Beltran in Potosí ...”. The discovery of silver turned this isolated Incan hamlet into the fourth largest city in the Christian world in just 70 years. In the rush to exploit the silver, the first Spanish colonisers occupied the locals’ homes, forgoing the typical colonial urban grid and constructing makeshift accommodation that evolved into a chaotic mismatch of extravagant villas and modest huts, punctuated by gambling houses, theatres, workshops and churches. But high in the Andes above the treeline, the rich mountain remains – its contents now in Armada shipwrecks, the jewellery of Arab rulers, and the remaining treasures of the Ming dynasty. Writing about a group of 7,000 native Peruvians – taken from their homes far away to work in the mines – one Spanish observer wrote: “Only some 2,000 people return: of the other 5,000, some die and others stay at Potosí or the nearby valleys because they have no cattle for the return journey.”.
All Rights Reserved. Does your city have a little-known story that made a major impact on its development? The ore mined by the native workers and African slaves made many Spaniards exceedingly wealthy.
“For many miners, their fathers also died of silicosis, and they entered the mine at an early age.
The Potosi Silver Company The discovery of a mountain of silver (and a new way to extract it) transformed this remote Incan hamlet into the economic centre of Spain’s empire – larger than London, Milan or Seville. Many of the Bolivians who still work in the mines suffer from the same illnesses as those who died at the hands of the Spanish – their lungs turned black by the dust. In the 1840s, licences to make the new products were sold widely in Britain and abroad to firms such as Christofle & Co. in Paris. MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1887-PiMR 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF/AU... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1875-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN ALMOST UNCIRCULATED+... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1869-PiPS 4 REALES SILVER COIN, VF/XF... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI 4 REALES SILVER COINS: 1845-AM, 1849-PS, 1861-RO, 1862-RO... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI 4 REALES SILVER COINS: 1849-MC, 1850-MC, 1868-PS, 1869-PS... MEXICO REPUBLIC SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1868-PiPS 4 REALES SILVER COIN, XF... MEXICO FIRST REPUBLIC SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1842-PiPS 4 REALES SILVER COIN, XF... MEXICO REPUBLIC SAN LUIS POTOSI 1874-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, UNCIRCULATED... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1885-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF++... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1886-PiMR 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF/AU... MEXICO REPUBLIC SAN LUIS POTOSI 1851-PiMC 4 REALES SILVER COIN, XF+... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1874-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF++... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1878-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1877-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF++... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1886-PiLC 8 REALES SILVER COIN, XF++ ... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1881-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, ALMOST UNCIRCULATED... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1882-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, ALMOST UNCIRCULATED... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1876-PiMH 8 REALES SILVER COIN, ALMOST UNCIRCULATED... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1884-PiMH 8 REALES, ALMOST UNCIRCULATED+... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 8 REALES COINS: 1885-PiMH, 1886-PiMR (2), 1887-PiMR,... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1889/7-PiR 10 CENTAVOS SILVER COIN, UNCIRCULATED... MEXICO SAN LUIS POTOSI MINT 1848-PiAM 8 REALES SILVER COIN, ALMOST UNCIRCULATED... Bolivia Philippe V 2 Reales 1732 Potosi Very Rare... Spain-Fernando VII 1/2 Real 1822.
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