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Lot 30066

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 30066
Date 1786
/Catalog #
Grade 40
Service NGC
Denomination CONNCT
Description 1786 COPPER Connecticut Copper, Mailed Bust Right, Small Head, BRITA NNIA XF40 NGC. M. 2.6-BRI, Vlack CT-86A, W-2500, R.8. 138.9 grains. A second and even finer Evasion or Bungtown copper. The AUCTORI CONNEC obverse is combined with a BRITANNIA reverse on this example. In his 1976 article "American Circulation of English and Bungtown Halfpence" that was published by the American Numismatic Society in Studies on Money in Early America, Eric P. Newman discussed several locations suggested as the Bungtown site, including those in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts. The Massachusetts location was North Swansea and Rehoboth according to Newman, who explains: {blockquote}"On February 7, 1786, Benjamin Eastabrooks, a laborer of Rehoboth, was caught passing 'mixed metal' counterfeit British halfpence in Boston and was convicted. These halfpence can be presumed to be those that the newspapers indicated were being produced in a southern Massachusetts town near Providence, which could only be the North Swansea-Rehoboth community." {/blockquote} One as yet unanswered question regards when these pieces were made. Some have suggested they were contemporary counterfeits of the late 18th century, while others have suggested that they may have been produced in the late 19th century, perhaps by C. Wyllys Betts. It is our view that the former observation is more likely than the latter. Although cataloged as a 1787 copper, lot 2605 in W. Elliot Woodward's March 1865 catalog sounds much like this piece: {blockquote}"Connecticut Cent, 1787; obv. a rudely executed bust, evidently intended for George III., surrounded by inscription 'Auctori Connec.;' rev. still ruder figure of Liberty, surrounded by the inscription 'Britannia;' an undoubted original, in good condition, unique."{/blockquote} The existence of a piece from the middle 1860s suggests strongly that these were 18th century products, rather than later pieces. The Eric P. Newman specimen is an extraordinary olive-brown and golden-tan example, showing minuscule verdigris as on the previous lot, with otherwise smooth and highly attractive surfaces. This piece shows a reverse planchet flaw at 10:30. Here is a remarkable Britannia evasion copper for the advanced collector. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society; possibly ex: Dr. Thomas Hall; Virgil Brand; B.G. Johnson. Realized $41,125.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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