The reference to the 1793 chain cent in the Roper sale of 1852 brought
to mind another famous sale where no pedigrees have been traced to. This
is Edward Cogan’s first sale in 1858. This was a mail bid sale and the bids were opened on the 1st of November in Cogan’s store in Philadelphia. In 1863 Cogan printed a catalogue of this sale that listed what was essentially a date set of “remarkably fine specimens” of cents that Cogan had put together for a customer.
The coins were not described or even graded. So it would be almost impossible to trace any cent to this sale. There were 19 bidders who bid on 74 of the 77 lots. The total prices realized were $128.08. Four of the bidders were unsuccessful and their names are not known today. The names of the 15 successful bidders are known. Bidder number 5 was Joseph Mickley of Philadelphia who won four lots. One lot was a 1793 Liberty Cap cent that realized $7.25.
In 1867 W. E. Woodward sold Mickley’s collection. Lot 1933 was a 1793 Liberty Cap cent, described as: “entirely uncirculated, polished surface; the finest Cet of this variety that I have ever seen.” It realized $55. This cent was bought by Bayard Smith and the obverse appeared on J. N. T. Levick’s plate of 1793 cents in the April 1869 issue of the AJN.
Was this the cent from Cogan’s 1st sale? It can never be proven with any certainty, but I’d say the odds that it was are better than 50-50.
Interesting challenge. Can anyone offer additional evidence connecting the Mickley coin to the Cogan sale? And how about Dr. Roper's 1793 Chain Cent? I thought for sure an E-Sylum reader would have an answer for us. Where is Ammi Brown's top-condition Chain Cent? See last week's article for details.