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Lot 3024


Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3024
Date 1786
Side obverse
Grade 30
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 864
Denomination COPPER
Description 1785 General Washington, Confederatio, Large Circle Copper, Crosby VII, 14, Baker-9, Whitman-5645, VF30 NGC. CAC. 128.0 grains, 99% copper per NGC metallurgical tests. This was the second example discovered according to Sylvester S. Crosby, who reported its earlier history in the April 1889 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics: {blockquote}Washington Confederatio "A specimen of the 'Washington Confederatio 1785,' heretofore considered unique, has recently been brought to light, having descended from the late Hon. Richard Frothingham, formerly of Charlestown, to his grandson, T.G. Frothingham, of this city. "It was obtained by Mr. Frothingham, probably about the year 1820, from the toll gatherer of Charlestown Bridge, who was accustomed to save for him such odd pieces as might come into his possession in the course of that business. "The obverse is the Confederatio die with stars on a large central field; the reverse, the head of Washington facing right. Legend, GEN. WASHINGTON. (Early Coins, Plate VII, No. 14.) It is in fine condition and is now in the cabinet of L.G. Parmelee."{/blockquote} The General Washington obverse die is seen here with the Confederatio Large Circle reverse; it is also known with the New Jersey Shield reverse die C, and the 1786 Heraldic Eagle die, obverse 5 in the New Jersey series. The New Jersey mule lends credence to these pieces being American colonial issues, rather than products of England. However, facts about these coins are just as rare as the coins themselves. Aside from some ancient residue around the N, F, and I in CONFEDERATIO, this is an exceptional olive and chestnut-brown copper with smooth surfaces and excellent eye appeal. A small reverse rim bruise at 11 o'clock will identify this piece, the second finest that we know of. Today, we are aware of six or seven examples of the famous Washington/Confederatio rarity. {blockquote}1. AU53 PCGS. Bill Anton Collection. The Breen Complete Encyclopedia plate coin. 2. Choice Very Fine. Lyman Low (201st sale, 5/1920), lot 20; Hillyer Ryder; Wayte Raymond; F.C.C. Boyd; Boyd Estate; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 5/2004), lot 287. 3. VF30 NGC. The present piece with the provenance recorded below. 4. VF, edge damage. John L. Roper, 2nd Collection (Stack's, 12/1983), lot 216. 5. Fine. Wayte Raymond (4/11/1924); John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1331. 6. VG/AG. Prann Collection; Hollinbeck Stamp & Coin Company (10/1/1953); Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/1988), lot 2628. A. Uncertain. An example reported in the Massachusetts Historical Society, from William Appleton.{/blockquote} The Honorable Richard Frothingham was born at Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1781, and died in 1861. He was married to Mary Thompson (1785-1836), and they were the parents of Richard Frothingham (1812-1880), who married Voylena Blanchard, and together, they were the parents of Thomas Goddard Frothingham who brought this piece to the attention of Sylvester Crosby. A trustee of Tufts College, Thomas was described in his obituary as an upright and able merchant, and a warm-hearted, reliable, and true friend. Ex: Charlestown Bridge (Massachusetts) Toll Collector; Hon. Richard Frothingham; Thomas G. Frothingham; Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Coin & Stamp Co., 6/1890), lot 609; Chapman Brothers; James Ten Eyck (B. Max Mehl, 5/1922), lot 837; Waldo C. Newcomer; B. Max Mehl; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $1,000.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $111625.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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