How many times have we heard the tale of rare coins found in an old tin can or box? Here's the latest in a press release from Morton & Eden.
An extremely rare example of a mid 17th century New England shilling, one of the very first coins to have been struck in North America, has recently been discovered in an old sweet tin. It is due to be auctioned online on Friday 26 November by specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden in London, when it is estimated to fetch £60,000-80,000.
The coin was identified by coin specialist James Morton, who recounts;
There were several hundred coins in the old Barker & Dobson sweet tin. The coins were completely varied, from all over the world and in all metals, ranging in date from medieval times right up to the 1970s. I could see straight away that there were plenty of interesting pieces alongside some ordinary modern coins, but there was one simple silver disc, which immediately jumped out at me. I could hardly believe my eyes when I realised that it was an excellent example of a New England shilling, struck by John Hull in 1652 for use as currency by early settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The recently discovered rare New England Shilling, 1652 (Est: £60,000-80,000)
The simple silver coin is of rudimentary and rustic design and bears the initials NE for New England, together with the Roman numerals XII (indicating 12 pence which equals one shilling). The New England shilling is one of only two or three dozen examples, which are known to survive.
Massachusetts ‘Pine Tree' shilling (Est: £4,000-6,000)
James Morton added:
Also in the tin was a Massachusetts ‘Pine Tree' shilling, the more sophisticated successor to the original New England issue, as well as two examples of ‘Continental Currency' pewter dollars bearing the date of the Declaration of Independence (1776), a ‘Libertas Americana' bronze medal, and several British hammered gold coins. But the star of the collection is undoubtedly the remarkable New England shilling, the plain appearance of which belies its historic significance''
A US Continental Currency 1 dollar, 1776, struck in pewter (Est: £30,000-40,000)
The tinful of coins coin has been consigned to Morton & Eden for sale by the art advisor, the Hon. Wentworth
Wenty Beaumont, whose family seat is Bywell Hall in Northumberland's Tyne Valley. One of Wenty Beaumont's ancestors, William Wentworth (1616-97) is thought to have arrived in New England as early as 1636 and several members of the family were later to occupy prominent positions in the Colonies, including John Wentworth and his son (also John), both of whom represented New Hampshire in the Continental Congress of 1774-1781.
Libertas Americana' copper medal (Est: £4,000-6,000)
Wenty Beaumont recounts:
My father recently found the tin in his study. If he knew it was there he had long since forgotten about it. I'd never seen it before and when I opened it I thought it was just a rather bizarre collection of random old coinage. However as I don't know anything about coins I felt it was worth checking out so I took it to show James Morton at Morton & Eden. I'm very pleased I did and needless to say I was completely amazed when James Morton pointed out how important the rare shilling was in the context of North American history. I can only assume that the shilling was brought back from America years ago by one of my forebears.
The early North American shilling will be auctioned online by Morton & Eden on 26 November together with other coins from the 1960s sweet tin.
For more information, see:
THE BOOK BAZARRE
RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE
: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume
series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at www.WizardCoinSupply.com
Wayne Homren, Editor
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