Skip to content
Lot 30377

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 30377
Date 1787
/Catalog #
Grade 35
Service NGC
Denomination COPPER
Description 1787 COPPER New York, Nova Eborac, Small Head, Seated Figure Faces Left VF35 NGC. Breen-988, W-5765, High R.6. Although die punches link the Nova Eborac coppers with the famous Brasher doubloons, the Excelsior coppers, and John Bailey's 1788-dated New Jersey (Nova Caesarea) "Running Horse" coppers, it is uncertain how closely Ephraim Brasher and Bailey worked together. They lived about two blocks apart on Queen Street in New York according to the 1787 city directory, Brasher at number 77 and Bailey at number 22. Bowers writes in the Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins that "it seems likely that John Bailey and Ephraim Brasher operated a minting shop in New York City and produced these [Nova Eborac] and possibly other issues." With the present offering of the Newman Collection Small Head example certified VF35 NGC, we note that the Nova Eborac coppers constitute all four known types. This is unremarkable in the context of the Newman Collection, but for most Colonial specialists it would be considered a noteworthy accomplishment to assemble a complete set of all four types in astonishingly high grades. The very rare Small Head variety is easily distinguished not only by the smaller head size of the laureate bust on the obverse, but also because of the presence of an obvious six-pointed star above the head -- a feature absent on the other three Nova Eborac types. Stars also appear before NOVA and after EBORAC, rather than the quatrefoils of the other types. Quatrefoils appear on the reverse. The engraving is noticeably cruder: Bowers posits that the Small Head variety may have been designed by the same hand as the 1787 "Muttonhead" Connecticut coppers. This piece is boldly struck and shows a good amount of detail remaining for the grade. The strike is noticeably off-center, with the denticles and rim quite heavy and thick at 6:30 to 12:30 on the obverse and 10 to 2 o'clock on the reverse, and weak to absent in the remaining areas around the rim. Ebony, reddish, and tan fields complement the lighter-brown high points. The rarity of this issue is such that we can find no recent trades. At PCGS, we can find no instances of Small Head certified coins . NGC's population report shows, besides this coin, only a single Very Fine example. A Very Good 8 uncertified Small Head sold in Stack's New York Americana sale in January 2011 for $4,313. Before that, we find the John J. Ford "Fine obverse/Very Fine reverse" example sold in May 2004, in which Michael Hodder enumerated a census of 10 other specimens, including two in institutional holdings (the Newman coin was among those). Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $52,875.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Related Content

Image Collection Eric P. Newman Collection, Part IV
NNP is 100% non-profit and independent // Your feedback is essential and welcome. // Your feedback is essential and welcome.