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The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 21, May 21, 2017, Article 23

NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: MAY 21, 2017

Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week. Tell us what you think of some of these. -Editor

Ebling's Columbia Garden Counterstamp

Ebling's Columbia Garden Counterstamp obverse Ebling's Columbia Garden Counterstamp reverse

New York--New York. EBLING'S / COLUMBIAN / GARDEN / 200 / BOWERY / N.Y on an 1801 2 reales. Brunk E-59, Miller NY-165A. VG-8 (NGC).

The Bowery in lower Manhattan was the center for culture -- high as in theaters, low as in gambling dens and ladies of the night. Somewhere in between was the vast Atlantic Garden beer hall at 150 Bowery, memorialized on Civil War tokens and famous for two huge orchestrions or automatic orchestras -- the first installed in the 1860s and its successor brought after being a sensation at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. We have not delved deeply into Ebling's, but it is likely that an hour or two spent in Internet research would furnish enough for a nice feature story in the Token and Medal Society Journal.

As to the silver 2 reales coin, this and its cousins were legal tender in the United States and were more common in the 1850s in circulation than were Liberty Seated quarters of comparable exchange value.

This example of Ebling's counterstamp has the first line of the stamp inverted. A nice bold punch shows all letters deep. Brunk does not mention any known pieces with the name inverted making this one probably unique. The host coin shows a nicely profiled bust with most legends easily read.

Provenance: Ex Aaron Feldman, May 3, 1958; our (Stack's Bowers) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part XXIII, August 2013, lot 21711. Lot tag and paper envelopes with attribution and pedigree notation included.

Cool pedigree to Aaron Feldman, coiner of the phase, "Buy the Book Before the Coin." Also an unusual piece due to the inverted name logotype. Interesting piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
New York--New York. EBLING'S / COLUMBIAN / GARDEN / 200 / BOWERY / N.Y on an 1801 2 reales. Brunk E-59, Miller NY-165A. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-7KY9T)

Risley & McCollum's Hippodrome Token

Hippodrome Token obverse Hippodrome Token reverse

New York--New York. (Circa 1850s) Risley & McCollum's Hippodrome. Miller-NY 663 (type). Gilt brass. 33 mm. MS-63 (NGC).

TROISIEME reverse. 80% or more of the original gilding survives, with wisps of olive-green on the high points and a dusting of blue on the reverse. A classic early American circus token, described as "extremely rare" by Satterlee in 1862.

Provenance: Ex F.C.C. Boyd; our (Stack's Bowers) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part XXIII, lot 22516. Lot tag and paper envelope with attribution notation included.

A Hippodrome is a theater or other performance venue. I've searched for more information on this particular venue and only found one possible reference, excerpted below. But it doesn't mention Risley & McCollum, so I'm not sure I've found the right one. Has anyone researched this? -Editor

1853-56: FRANCONI'S HIPPODROME
NW corner of Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street

- May 2, 1853: Opening of Franconi's Hippodrome, a large (4,000-seat) wood-and-brick structure with a canvas roof, modeled after the Hippodrome de l'Etoile of Laurent and Victor Franconi in Paris, and erected on the site of Thompson Madison Cottage. The company is that of Sands' Circus, with a small addition of "French" equestrians imported from Batty's Hippodrome (formerly Astley's Amphitheatre) in London and led by Henri Franconi (actually Henri Narcisse Franconi, a son of the celebrated Henri Franconi, Laurent's brother—thus engendering an intended confusion). The arena was active with more or less successes until 1856, when it is demolished to make way for the Fifth Avenue Hotel.

To read the complete article, see:
1853-56: FRANCONI'S HIPPODROME (http://www.circopedia.org/Circus_buildings_in_New_York_City#1853-56:_FRANCONI.27S_HIPPODROME)

To read the complete lot description, see:
New York--New York. (Circa 1850s) Risley & McCollum's Hippodrome. Miller-NY 663 (type). Gilt brass. 33 mm. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-7KYG3)

1861 Beauregard Confederate "Dime"

1861 Beauregard Confederate Dime obverse 1861 Beauregard Confederate Dime reverse

Original mount and loop, as issued. A prized and extremely elusive Civil War rarity. Acquired from the 1982 New York Public Library auction by Bowers and Ruddy, this piece comes from the cabinet of Dr. Thomas A. Emmet. Emmet published the first mention of this medal in numismatic literature, based upon this precise specimen, in the American Journal of Numismatics for February 1868, which noted this medal was "one of a number presented by the city of New Orleans immediately after the first battle of Bull Run." The article mentioned that this specimen "was sold by a Confederate soldier in New York." The Emmet article, and this piece, were also mentioned in Bauman Belden's War Medals of the Confederacy, published in 1915.

Beyond its historical importance as the first published specimen of this medal, this example is also among the very finest. The ANS piece is well worn and has a large misshapen hole blown through it (the usual remedy for the mount falling off), in addition to two smaller holes that were likely intended to fasten it to a piece of clothing or jewelry.

Peter Bertram recorded only 4 examples ... There are a few more than that, but certainly fewer than 10 are known. An NGC EF-45 example brought nearly $12,000 in a 2014 sale. Virgil Brand paid $25 for his in 1905, and Lyman Low got $21 for a specimen called "Fine" in 1921.

I remain firm in my belief that this medalet was struck in the American South, as its texture does not resemble any French medal of this era, nor are the CR engraver's initials known on any French medal of this era. The reeding has long suggested an intended similarity to a U.S. dime, though it's doubtful any actual currency use was intended.

A classic rarity of the Civil War, these pieces turn up on the market with remarkable infrequency.

Fantastic piece of numismatic importance, as so ably cataloged by John Kraljevich. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:
Extremely Rare 1861 P. G.T. Beauregard Confederate "dime", the Dr. Thomas A. Emmet discovery specimen (http://www.jkamericana.com/featured2/extremely-rare-1861-g-t-beauregard-dime-the-dr-thomas-a-emmet-discovery-specimen#.WR73G2aGPv8)

Charles Davis ad01


Wayne Homren, Editor

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