The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 28, July 10, 2022, Article 16


Here are a few more items that caught my eye in Jeff Rock's Rosa Americana Colonial Coins fixed price list #23. To get your copy, contact Jeff at -Editor

1766 Pitt Halfpenny

  1766 Pitt Halfpenny

10. 1766 Pitt Halfpenny. Betts 519, W-8350. Very Fine, well struck save for the extreme right edge of the reverse, an area that is often seen weak on this type; this causes a loss of the legend there, the remainder of the letters on either side mostly strong. The bust of Pitt and the ship are both sharp and show solid VF design detail. Nice medium brown, the surfaces hard and pleasing to the eye. A fascinating issue, one that is clearly important to the American colonial collector as the design not only names America on the reverse, but refers to the infamous Stamp Act which both propelled Pitt into prominence and, a decade later, the American colonies into revolution. Collectors of this historic issue are often faced with just two choices: paying a lot of money for an AU or Uncirculated specimen or finding a more affordable circulated one that is rough or damaged – this is the rare exception that is circulated, not damaged, quite pleasing in color and overall eye appeal, yet still quite affordable.......... $900

  1766 Pitt Halfpenny sketch

A nice pleasing example. -Editor

1787 Connecticut Copper

  1787 Connecticut Copper

25. 1787 Connecticut Copper. Miller 18-g.1. Rarity-6. Choice About Uncirculated. This is the STEVE TANNENBAUM specimen of the variety and appeared as Lot 7173 in the Stack's Bowers sale of his collection in January, 2012, where it was described as follows:

1787 Connecticut Copper. Miller 18-g.1, W-3045. Rarity-6. Draped Bust Facing Left. EF-45. 130.1 grains. Deep golden brown with traces of red in the protected areas though no doubt from a long-ago cleaning. Sharpness easily equal to the task of the assigned grade and readily comparable to Perkins:290 and Ford:313. Usual swelling in left obverse field, some central ticks from the striking process at the center and a light natural fissure along the hair ribbon, reverse with numerous tiny central ticks as well. Nicely centered and highly attractive, and perhaps at the low end of the Condition Census for the variety.

We disagree slightly with the cataloguer of that sale in terms of grade – to our eyes the light red in the protected areas is completely natural, and the coin is a full AU in grade; bidders in the audience certainly agreed, as the piece realized $1,150 over a half dozen years ago, which was fair AU money at the time. Steve considered it to be the second finest known of the variety, and indeed we have not seen anything better than this at auction; the closest was the Partrick- Hessberg coin, an AU with a large planchet flaw. Ford's was a Choice VF but still called the second finest seen by its cataloguer – though this example is much nicer in every respect. This is one of a handful of Connecticut Copper varieties that proved to be much rarer than previously thought, and its rarity rating has gone up over the years while most others have drifted at least slightly downwards. This example has the typical late obverse die state, the swelling no doubt accounting for the rarity of the variety today. This obverse was paired only with this reverse, so it seems both dies must have failed around the same time. A gorgeous example of a legitimately rare variety, with an exceptional provenance. This will simply not be improved upon.......$2,250

Accompanied by Steve's original handwritten envelope and the lot ticket from the auction of his collection.

Nice piece! -Editor

1787 Connecticut Snipe Nose Copper


28. 1787 Connecticut Copper. Miller 33.28-Z.16, W-3770, the Snipe Nose obverse. High Rarity-4. Choice Extremely Fine, a boldly struck example of this very scarce and popular variety. The legends are full, the individual letters all strong, as are the digits in the date which is, unusually, completely on the planchet. The obverse bust shows all the fine detail in the drapery, significant hair design and a prominent eye, while the reverse figure shows most of the folds in her dress and a strong globe, shield and branch – even the centers of the cinquefoils on either side show the intricate design detail at their centers which quickly gets worn away. Dark olive brown, the surfaces with the faintest roughness, but with significant eye appeal – especially since there are no major marks or damage from circulation. Usual late obverse state with a horizontal diebreak nearly bisecting the die and extending out under the bust's nose, giving the nickname for this variety.

This is the HILLYER RYDER coin, and is accompanied by his original handwritten ticket – the 33.24 designation was Dr. Hall's (who published a limited edition of a book on the 1787 Connecticut coppers). It was purchased by Ryder in 1910, nearly a decade before Henry Miller's work would be published, which renumbered some of the 33- obverse die varieties and added in varieties not known to Dr. Hall. Most of the Ryder coins ended up in the collection of John Ford, who sold some downgrades and duplicates in a handful of auctions by Stack's and Bowers and Merena, mostly in the 1990s. Ford never looked at his Connecs much, but he was a serious enough numismatist to retain all the paper ephemera that came with his coins – unfortunately some of this material has since been lost as coins were slabbed or resold. Certainly one of the sharpest examples of the variety known, likely in the tail end of the Condition Census as well.

Robert Martin had a pair of marginally sharper AUs that brought $4,200 and $6,300 in a very weak market, and Partrick's somewhat flawed AU brought $5,280 – compare the detail and this one is right up there, but a heck of a lot lower in price. A great find for the collector, with a wonderful provenance too..........$1.050

Super coin with a great provenance. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

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