The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 19, May 8, 2022, Article 21


Here's a selection of colonial coin and medal highlights in the May 14, 2022 Early American History Auctions sale. -Editor

Lot 281: London Elephant Token
London Elephant Token obverse London Elephant Token reverse

(c. 1694) London Elephant Halfpenny Token, with Diagonals at center of Reverse Shield, Betts 81, Hodder 1-A, Whitman 12000, Very Choice, PCGS graded About Uncirculated-55.

From an old-time collection, put away for decades this coin is superb for the grade. It has full strong details, gorgeous chocolate brown surfaces, and the glossy luster loved by copper collectors. Among U.S. Colonial coins, the elephant token is one of the most unusual and popular. The presence of the reverse side diagonals makes this a particularly rare variety, one that is ranked Rarity-6 by experts, and one which is considerably more rare than the usually-seen variety without the diagonals. Seldom are the Diagonals variety found this nice. In fact, this is the second finest example certified by PCGS out of the ten examples listed in their Population Report. To the best of our knowledge, the finest example is a PCGS MS-62BN, followed by an NGC MS-61BN, an NGC AU-58, then this PCGS AU-55 in fourth place for both services. Adding to its desirability, this coin is fresh to the market, having been purchased privately by our consignor in 1980. This is a tremendous opportunity for a Colonial specialist to add a Condition Census-level rarity to their collection.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 284: 1785 Immune Columbia Nova Constellatio
1785 Immune Columbia Nova Constellatio obverse 1785 Immune Columbia Nova Constellatio reverse

1785 Immune Columbia Pattern, Nova Constellatio, Pointed Rays, Extra Star in Legend, Breen 1117, Whitman 1960, Rarity 6+, PCGS graded XF-45.

Rarity 6+ (about 12 believed to exist). 145.6 grains. A choice example with light brown surfaces, nicely struck up details and normal, light circulation. This Rare 1785 Immune Columbia Pattern coin combines the only known Immune Columbia obverse with a reverse later used on the Crosby 2-B variety of the 1783 Nova Constellatios. A mere dozen examples are believed to exist. PCGS has graded only seven examples of this rarity and we suspect this includes some duplication. This type rarely appears at auction. Since 1980, there have been only 13 auction appearances of this type, but that number is misleading because four of those appearances are of the same coin, resulting in only nine discreet examples. The finest of the lot was Donald Partrick's Mint State example that sold for $82,250 in 2015, indicating the desirableness and popularity of this variety. This coin has been off the market for decades and did not appear in any of the above-mentioned auction citations. Because of its rarity, choice quality and freshness to the market, we expect active and strong bidding for this lot.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 285: 1787 New York Excelsior Copper
1787 New York Excelsior Copper obverse 1787 New York Excelsior Copper reverse

1787 New York Excelsior Copper, Indian and Eagle on Globe Type, Breen 991, Whitman 5800, Rarity-7, PCGS graded Fine-15.

The 1787 New York Excelsior Copper, Indian and Eagle on Globe is one of the great rarities in the U.S. Colonial series. This example offers a nice, two-tone appearance with tan high points and slightly darker surfaces. Though this example spent some time in circulation, the wear is even and moderate, with no unexpected marks or defects. The centering is good, though the obverse drifts slightly towards 5 o'clock on the obverse and towards 2:00 on the reverse. The date is completely on the flan, though the 1 and the first 7 touch the rim. Condition on these is secondary to their rarity. This coin is a new addition to the Condition Census, having been off the market for the past three or four decades. This example would probably rank as the 9th finest overall, making it one of the more affordable and attainable of this major type. We would not be surprised to see our high estimate exceeded. Again, condition is moot, as any collector of U.S. Colonial coins would be thrilled to own this attractive coin.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 291: 1786 Vermont Landscape Copper
1786 Vermont Landscape Copper obverse 1786 Vermont Landscape Copper reverse

1786 Vermont Copper. Landscape Type. VERMONTENSIUM Legend. Ryder-7. Bressett 5-E. Whitman W-2025. PCGS graded About Uncirculated-50.

117.9 grains. Whitman Rarity URS-8 (65 to 124 known). This choice, very impressive Vermont Landscape Copper is full weight, sharply struck with just some typical reverse die weakness as made. The planchet is hard and glossy with excellent overall eye appeal. Only a couple of planchet flaws in the obverse surface are as shown. Its rims are sharp and the natural surfaces hard and smooth. The Green Mountains, Rising Sun and Pine Trees designs are distinct. Struck off-center on both sides, shifting the obverse design toward 1:00 and the reverse design toward 5:00. This puts the all-important date and lower denticles fully on the planchet. A lovely Condition Census AU-50 of this VERMONTENSIUM Landscape Type.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 296: 1796 Silver Castorland Medal
1796 Silver Castorland Medal obverse 1796 Silver Castorland Medal reverse

1796 Castorland Medal, Original dies, Struck in Silver, Superb Natural Toning, PCGS graded MS-62 (our grade MS-63 Prooflike or Proof).

An early strike from the Original dies, with minimal rust at the pot handle and with no trace of a die crack at S or PARENS. Exceptionally beautiful coloration shimmers from the deep mirror surfaces and help to further highlight the frosty central devices. One of the most eye appealing examples we have ever seen in well over two decades. Some light hairlines are seen under magnification, but remain otherwise invisible to the naked eye being covered with the fabulous multicolored toning. With lustrous golden-russett to sea greens and blue the natural toning on this coin is outstanding and is most enjoyable to behold in person. We feel that this coin is quite conservatively graded and likely deserves an added couple of points for the great eye appeal. We note a major auction house sold an NGC AU-58 for $9,000 (hammer) bringing $10,800 in 2020. This current coin should be viewed in its full blazing color on our web site, or seen in person, to attain a full appreciation of its vibrant, Prooflike blazing nature.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 305: Benjamin Franklin Nini Terracotta Medal
Benjamin Franklin Nini Terracotta Medal obverse Benjamin Franklin Nini Terracotta Medal reverse

1779-Dated Rare Revolutionary War Period Large Size 6.5 (165 mm) Decorative Benjamin Franklin Portrait Terra Cotta Plaque Medallion. By Jean-Baptiste Nini. Choice About Uncirculated.

An extremely rare design Benjamin Franklin Portrait medallion of museum quality and great collector desirability. This large sized impressive 6.5 (165 mm) diameter which is much larger than the usual 1777 Nini Medals. This terra cotta Nini Medal features a plain Bust portrait of Benjamin Franklin facing left. His image is surrounded by the legend: B. FRANKLIN IL DIRIGE LA FOUDRE ET BRAVE LES TIRANS," (He directs lightning and braves tyrants). It was made by Jean-Baptiste Nini (Italian, 1717-1786) and displays true high-relief in detail, with Nini's name incuse on the left side of the bust and a raised crest on the right side. Dated 1779 just below and to the right of the bust. A small tunnel was drilled through the top and back of this medal so that a wire or twine could be passed through for suspension. This is a superb display piece and a wonderful addition to any collection of Franklin memorabilia. This is the first example we've ever offered of this rare design type, which is an important point considering we've offered more than (40) 1770 Nini Medals since 1994.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 320: 1757 Silver Treaty of Easton Indian Peace Medal
1757 Silver Treaty of Easton Indian Peace Medal obverse 1757 Silver Treaty of Easton Indian Peace Medal reverse
1757 Silver Treaty of Easton Indian Peace Medal edge

1757 French and Indian War, Philadelphia Treaty of Easton or Duffield Indian Peace Medal of George II, Struck in Silver, dies for this medal engraved by Edward Duffield, for the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Philadelphia, Struck in 1757 by Silversmith Joseph Richardson, with its Original Silver Loop / Not holed, Custom holder, Extremely Fine.

Julian IP-49, Jamieson-8, Betts-401, 44 mm. The First Peace Medal Issued in America. An exceptional, eye-catching attractive original silver medal. The dies for this historic early American engraved and struck medal were engraved by Edward Duffield, made for the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Philadelphia. Of these first American medals only 54 were struck in 1757, made by Philadelphia silversmith Joseph Richardson, Sr.. Twelve Silver medals were Awarded on the occasion of the Signing of the Treaty of Easton in 1758.

Later, the original dies passed to Joseph Richardson, Jr.. In 1813, Richardson, Jr. wrote to a friend, Thomas Wistar, recounting that his father had struck the Duffield Medals, and that the dies had remained in the family for many years, but at some time in the early years of the 1800's, the original engraved dies were passed to the United States Mint. In a curious side-note, Edward Duffield was a personal friend of Benjamin Franklin, and Duffield was the executor of Ben Franklin's estate following his death.

All known Originals were Struck over Mexican Silver 8 Reales (Pillar Dollars or Pieces of Eight), thus they all have the ornamented edges leftover from the host coin. Also, Originals have no trace of the horizontal or vertical die cracks mentioned above. The current medal offered here has sharp Extremely Fine details. The surfaces are attractive with significant eye appeal. They are mostly smooth, hard, and reflective, with a few scattered small marks on both sides. There is a rim bruise at 9 o'clock, confirming that this example was issued and worn by an important Native American Indian Chief, thus adding to its historical value. Currently this medal is housed in a custom gold-lettered engraved Capital Plastics holder titled, THE DUFFIELD INDIAN PEACE MEDAL / STRUCK IN 1757 / BETTS 401.

It's original Silver Suspension Loop is attached, being the Only Silver Medal Known with its Original Loop Intact and has not been holed. An extreme rarity, famous for being the First Peace Medal Issued in America. For many years, only two Originals of this medal were known - the one in Charles Fisher's sale of March 1936, and a lesser grade holed piece that brought $52,900 in a Bowers and Merena Galleries sale, March 2001, lot 2007. Today, about 13 Original Silver examples are known per a census listed in the John Ford/Boyd Collection Sale catalog of 2006. Four silver medals are known to be impounded in institutional collections. The remaining examples are all held in strong collector hands. In 2009, an unmounted Choice Extremely Fine example sold at auction for $103,500. The finest certified example is an NGC MS-62 Holed from the Ford/Boyd Collection, which was recently resold in 2021 at auction for $168,000 (Holed at the top for suspension). The currently offered Treaty of Easton / Duffield medal is new to the Census. It has never previously appeared at auction to our best knowledge, making it the 14th Original Silver medal known. It ranks among the finest, especially not holed and unique, with its original silver loop intact.

To read the complete lot description, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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