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Lot 30080

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 30080
Date 1787
/Catalog #
Grade 12
Service NGC
Denomination CONNCT
Description 1787 COPPER Connecticut Copper, Mailed Bust Right, Liberty Seated facing Right Fine 12 NGC. M. 1.4-WW, W-2740, R.8. 86.4 grains. There are only two examples known of the coveted Miller 1.4-WW copper, with the seated figure on the reverse facing to the right. There is no other reverse die of any date in the Connecticut series that has the figure facing to the right. In fact, the only other similar pieces are the Non Vi Virtute Vici coins, and certain varieties of Nova Eborac coppers. With only two examples known, and one of those in a long-term collection, this piece will likely set a price record for any Connecticut copper ever sold at public auction. Prior to announcement of the present sale, collectors discounted the possibility of obtaining this variety. The other known example, slightly finer than this piece from the Eric P. Newman Collection, appeared in the March 1988 Norweb sale, and that piece is now part of a well-known New York collection. The Norweb coin was graded VF. The Eric P. Newman coin has been known since the mid-1880s. Walter Breen reports that Lyman Low discovered this variety in 1884, and a line drawing of this coin appeared on the title page of Counterfeit Halfpence Current in the American Colonies, by C. Wyllys Betts, published in 1886 by the American Numismatic & Archaeological Society. It is a rare occurrence that a coin can be plate matched to a line drawing, but that is the case here. This piece has rich steel-brown surfaces with olive-brown high points. The central details are weak on this piece, as they are on the Norweb coin. That central weakness undoubtedly contributed to the quick demise of both dies. A patch of roughness at the central obverse is distinctive, and was clearly illustrated in the Betts line drawing. This impressive piece has hard and glossy surfaces. The Norweb specimen traded hands privately in 1957, and was sold 31 years later in 1988. It has been off the market since that time. The Newman specimen was sold at auction in 1898, and traded hands privately until B.G. Johnson acquired the coin from the Brand estate in 1935. Eric P. Newman acquired the coin from Johnson, and it has been held in his collection ever since. The present sale marks only the third auction appearance of this die marriage in 116 years, for an average of 39 years. Interested collectors are advised to bid liberally, or wait another 39 years for the next appearance. Ex: Lyman Low; Col. Walter Cutting (Lyman Low, 5/1898), lot 141; S.H. & H. Chapman; Dr. Thomas Hall; Virgil Brand; Brand Estate (sold for $0.75 on May 17, 1935); B.G. Johnson (sold for $100.00); Eric P. Newman; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $164,500.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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