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The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 17, April 24, 2022, Article 15

THE MITCHELSON COLLECTION

Dave Hirt passed along these thoughts on an inventory of the Mitchelson collection. Thanks! -Editor

Sometimes I find an item in my library that makes me wonder where I got it from. Such is the case with this item. It is a 13 page list of the items in the Joseph C Mitchelson collection. It has an original cover letter from the Connecticut State Library, signed by the Assistant Director.

Mitchelson was born in Tarriftown, Conn. in 1856. (Although the American Numismatic Biographies book lists it as 1826) He died in Sept. 1911 of a heart attack while walking. His family owned a large tobacco farm. As an adult he went first to the midwest and then the far west to establish his family's tobacco business. He was very successful, and returned to Connecticut a very wealthy man.

He began his numismatic activities and built a remarkable collection, as this inventory will show. He willed his collection to the State Library of Ct., which had a special vault built for it.

This inventory lists 5744 pcs. This list does not have the detail that one would like. It lists boxes, then trays. For example, box 4 lists 1 tray, Colonial, Vermont. Then 4 trays Ct. cents. Box 5 lists 3 trays gold, $20 1922-1928 S&P mints 2 1/2 gold 1915-1928.

Some of these coins are dated after Mitchelson's death, so additional funds may have been provided for later purchases

Box 5 also has one tray, Sommers Islands & more Conn. cents. Box 9 has 5 trays Large Cents 1793-1806. Box 10 has 3 trays Half Cents 1793-1857. Very extensive list of private gold. Kellogg, Norris, Clark Gruber, Humbert inc. 3 $50. Morman, Baldwin, Assay Office,, Wass Molitor, Moffatt, Miners gold bar $13.32 I can not find this denomination listed. Is it unique?

At the end there is a list of coins on display. Wash. peace medal 1793. Colonial, NE shilling & sixpence. Oak Tree & Pine Tree coinage. Silver Dollars 1794 and 1795. Private gold Bechtler, Oregon Exchange, and Templeton. Reid.

What a collection! By the way, the cover letter is dated Jan. 1974.

Thanks - a great collection indeed. It's known for the Connecticut cents, but what a marvelous selection of other U.S., colonial and pioneer pieces. -Editor

Pete Smith writes:

"I checked three reliable sources and confirmed that Dave Hirt is correct and Mitchelson's year of birth was 1856. In the process I learned that his middle name was Cornish. I noted those changes in American Numismatic Biographies and thank Dave for reporting the error."

Here are some photos of the collection posted on the Collectors.com forum in 2019. -Editor

  Connecticut State library

In the CT state library in Hartford CT, there is a state museum where you can view this phenomenal collection. There are two coffin looking displays placed in a dark corner of the main entryway of the museum. I work within walking distance of the state library so I decided to visit it at lunch on Friday.

When I got there, half of the halogen lights (4 of 8) were burnt out... leaving half of each display essentially dark. As you'll be able to see, I had a hard time taking pictures but I did so anyway. It's sad to see a collection of this caliber neglected, but I was still BLOWN out of the water by the quality of these coins!!!

  Mitchelson Half Cents Mitchelson 1794 coin
  Mitchelson quarters Mitchelson 1796 coin
  Mitchelson Continental Dollar Mitchelson Saint Gaudens High Relief Double Eagle
  Mitchelson gold eagles

To read the complete article, see:
NEW PICTURES ADDED 7/31/19!!-The Joseph C. Mitchelson Collection- A neglected World Class collection (https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/982651/new-pictures-added-7-31-19-the-joseph-c-mitchelson-collection-a-neglected-world-class-collection)

For more information, see:
https://museumofcthistory.org/museum-exhibits/mitchelson-coin-collection/

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
THE JOSEPH C. MITCHELSON COLLECTION (https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n40a12.html)
MORE ON THE JOSEPH C. MITCHELSON COLLECTION (https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n41a18.html)

Early American E-Sylum ad 2022-04-17
 



Wayne Homren, Editor

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