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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 19, May 11, 2008, Article 8

HAVING FUN WITH THE COLLINS 1794 DOLLAR MANUSCRIPT

[W. David Perkins of Centennial, CO submitted the following
item relating to the Jack Collins manuscript on 1794 dollars.
-Editor]

I enjoyed your review in last week's E-Sylum of the Jack
Collins and Walter Breen manuscript for "1794: The History
and Genealogy of the First United States Dollar."

At this time I cannot find the file with my correspondence
with Jack Collins (three moves will cause this problem…),
but as I recall I first contacted Jack in the late 1980s
or early 1990s.  I had acquired a "special" copy of the
September 18, 1968 Lester Merkin Public Auction Sale
catalog from the late Art Rubino, a numismatic (and other)
literature dealer from Santa Fe, NM.  Art had set up at a
Denver coin show, and in a box of catalogs (under a table
in his booth) was a copy of this sale with "Mr. Ostheimer"
at the top of the cover, and "My Estimate / Realized" in
the bottom right corner.

When I opened it I found a three page auction settlement
from Merkin to the Ostheimers laid in.   As it turns out
(from the auction settlement statement) the 1794 silver
dollar in this sale was not consigned by the Ostheimers.
All but two of the over 100 early dollars had been consigned
to this sale were the property of the Ostheimers.  [For more
information on this discovery and sale catalog, see The Asylum,
Volume 25, No. 2 Spring 2007, pages 16-19.  The cover page
of the Ostheimer's copy of the sale catalog is also illustrated
on the cover of this Spring 2007 issue.]

I was aware of the book on 1794 Dollars that Jack Collins
was working on, I believe from Q. David Bowers having mentioned
this off and on in the Bowers & Merena Rare Coin Review.  I
wrote Jack Collins to let him know the 1794 Dollar was not
the Ostheimers.  As it turns out, Jack already knew this (I
was impressed!).  Over the years we corresponded on occasion
about other 1794 Dollars.

I was able to meet Jack for the first time at the 1995
Anaheim ANA Convention.  This was the first chance I had
to see and study a copy of his manuscript.

I added notes of 1794 Dollar appearances sporadically to
my copy over the years.  One day J.P. Martin called me from
ICG and said he had a 1794 Dollar that he thought may have
been repaired on the obverse, and would I be able to stop by
and take a look at it and give him my opinion.  J.P. described
the specimen over the phone.  I told him I could stop by the
next day over the lunch hour (ICG was conveniently located
only a couple hundred yards from my office).

J.P. was not aware of the Collins manuscript nor that I had
a copy of it at the time of his call.  Nor did I tell him…
That night I did my homework and marked three pages as
possible matches based on the description J.P. had given
me.  When I arrived J.P. gave me the coin to look at.  I
had the Collins manuscript on my lap and under the table,
and sure enough it was the one of the specimens I had
thought it might be.

I told J.P. that I thought he was right, and described where
and what I thought had been done.  He was impressed, as was
Keith Love and the others in the room.  I then showed him
the "Before and After" pictures of this specimen in the
manuscript and we all had a good laugh!  In reality, it was
me who was impressed with J.P. in that he caught this repair
as it was done pretty well.

I also purchased a copy of the new Collins manuscript book
from George Kolbe at the NBS Meeting during the 2007 ANA
Convention.

 BOOK REVIEW: 1794: THE FIRST UNITED STATES DOLLAR BY JACK COLLINS
 esylum_v11n18a07.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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