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Lot 3040

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3040
Date 1776
Side obverse
Grade 66
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 795
Denomination $1
Description 1776 $1 Continental Dollar, E.G. FECIT, Pewter MS66 NGC. CAC. Newman 3-D, Breen-1095, W-8460, R.4. 273.0 grains, 90% tin, 5% lead, 3% antimony per NGC metallurgical tests. The obverse and reverse are both plated in Eric P. Newman's 1952 study on the Continental Dollars. A stunning E.G. FECIT dollar with virtually full brilliance. The obverse is perfect with a die crack connecting most of the rings on the reverse. The die alignment is 45 degrees. The trail for the identity of E.G. began with Ephraim Getz as suggested in the June 1909 issue of The Numismatist. The article "First Silver Dollar for the United States" in that publication includes a quote from Edgar H. Adams: {blockquote}"There are but two specimens [in silver] of this Continental dollar known to have been struck from this die, with the name of the engraver, E.G. Fecit. Who 'E.G.' was is a matter of speculation. Someone has stated that the initials stand for Ephraim Getz, but what authority there is for this statement is not known."{/blockquote} A little over four decades later in his 1952 study, Newman discounted the suggestion of Ephraim Getz, and suggested that E.G. might have been Elbridge Gerry, a member of the Continental Congress from Massachusetts. Although Gerry was not an engraver or die-sinker, he was a member of the five-man committee appointed to superintend the treasury. Newman wisely noted that his attribution was merely a possibility. He wrote that "Elbridge Gerry's intimate association with treasury matters might therefore make him the E.G." Seven years later, Newman compiled a documented article, "The Continental Dollar of 1776 Meets its Maker," that was published in the August 1959 issue of The Numismatist, and reprinted in our May 2014 catalog, part IV of the Eric P. Newman Collection. Newman wrote: {blockquote}"There is no doubt that all of the varieties of the coinage were made by the same diemaker, and it is fortunate that the initials EG were placed on one variety (3-C). "There was no other avenue of research than to begin by looking for a qualified person with those initials. It was a pleasant surprise, therefore, to find that in 1776 there lived an American engraver by the name of Elisha Gallaudet. Merely naming him without supporting data would satisfy no one even though no other qualified person with the initials E.G. could be found. Thus, research to prove or disprove the theory was undertaken."{/blockquote} Gallaudet was named in New York legislation dated 1770 as an engraver of colonial notes. Newman provided considerable additional documentation to support his identification of Elisha Gallaudet as the E.G. of the Continental dollars. He concluded with 12 detailed points of the identification that appear indisputable. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $305500.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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