Important Daniel Van Voorhis Regulated Half Joe, Extremely Rare, Marked by a Coiner of Vermont CoppersBrazil. Jose I 6400 Reis 1753-B. Bahia mint. DV for Daniel Van Voorhis. KM172.1. Fine. Clipped and re-edged. Plugged and marked DV in rectangular cartouche for Daniel Van Voorhis, New York. Weight below all but the lowest island standards, nearly 20 grains below the post-Revolutionary 9 dwt New York standard to which Van Voorhis would have worked (197.7 grains). Heavily clipped, into the tops of the obverse lettering, Plugged at center, circular and flush on both sides, footprint broader on reverse. Punched on obverse with vertical orientation. "Rather battered," as Gordon described this coin in the standard reference, "although the countermark is neatly done." Rusty encrustation at the base of the reverse and somewhat mattelike surfaces suggest salvage from either a water or ground find.
An extremely rare regulation from one of the partners in the Vermont copper coinage. There are few goldsmiths in early America more vitally connected to coinining. Van Voorhis was a partner in the 1787 compact that brought the contract for Vermont coinage to Capt. Thomas Machin's mint in Newburgh, New York. He has been suggested as a possible engraver for dies of Vermont coinage; he was without question highly involved in their production. Van Voorhis was a Revolutionary War soldier, living in Philadelphia and serving at the Battle of Princeton, then remained in the Princeton, New Jersey area during the early 1780s to work as a smith. He had partnerships with Simeon Bayley, William Coley, and Garrett Schenck in New York City before leaving the occupation about 1805. He worked at the customs house in Brooklyn in his retirement before his death in 1819. His partnerships were prolific, though his silver pieces marked with this solo mark are quite scarce. They are typically dated to early in his career, which may suggest that this piece was regulated while he was working in Philadelphia during the Revolution. If not that early, it is certainly no later than the mid 1780s.
For his well-documented biography, his connection to early American coinage, and his rarity as a regulator, Daniel Van Voorhis must rank as one of the most important smiths represented in this collection.
Provenance: Acquired from Isaac Rudman in 1976, privately. Plated in Gordon's West Indies Countermarked Gold Coins, p. 215.
From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold.
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