Welcome Sign-In | Register
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


Important AU58 Lord Baltimore Shilling
Finest of Only Two NGC-Certified Examples

(1659) SHILNG Lord Baltimore Shilling AU58 NGC. Breen-64, Large Head, R.6. The Boston Mint was sufficiently productive that most collectors can own a Pine Tree or Oak Tree example. The other early silver series struck for the colonies, the Lord Baltimore coinage, is decidedly rarer. Even advanced numismatists can only dream of owning a Baltimore penny, of which six pieces are known. The other three issues, the fourpence, sixpence, and shilling, are collectible but hard to find, especially in better grades.
Most examples of Baltimore shillings are from the present dies. A Small Head variant exists, but is unique in silver and extremely rare in copper. It was probably a rejected prototype for the shilling production, and the same can be said for Breen-67, a shilling with a different shield design known from a single specimen.
The present partly lustrous shilling is delicately toned in caramel-gold and powder-blue. Slight wear is evident on Cecil Calvert's forehead, nose, drapery, and hair. Both sides are essentially (and surprisingly) free from abrasions, although a few faint roller marks (as produced) are visible near the profile. The upper left obverse field appears swollen, as made from a sinking obverse die. The obverse has faint clash marks from an unknown source near the rounded bust tip.
On the reverse, there appears to be clash marks from broad denticles near the right side of the crowned shield, similar to those seen on certain die states of the Sheldon-220 1801 cent. Clearly, the dies were significantly wider than the flans. All legends are well engraved with the exception of the second M in MVLTIPLICAMINI, which is entered low relative to the neighboring A.
The head of Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, was so iconic of Maryland numismatics that it again surfaced on the 1934 Maryland Tercentenary commemorative half. However, that bust was three-quarters facing instead of a left profile. William Idler store cards of 1859 to 1860 used a more derivative imitation of the Maryland silver coinage. These specifically imitated the prohibitively rare Maryland penny. Idler was a Philadelphia coin dealer, and the father-in-law of Captain John Haseltine of Confederate cent fame.
Cecil Calvert (1609-1675) never visited his American colony, although his two younger brothers went there to manage it. Cecil inherited the colony from his father, George Calvert, who was granted the title by King Charles I, a fellow Catholic sympathizer. Specie, of course, was in short supply in the Maryland colony, and tobacco circulated as money. As production of tobacco rose, its purchasing power diminished. To stabilize the economy, silver coins bearing Cecil's bust and personal arms were struck in London and exported to the colonies, circa 1659.
The Protestant English government learned of Calvert's coinage, and Cecil was arrested in October 1659. He was charged with two crimes: underweight silver coinage, and the exportation of specie from England. The Baltimore coinage was approximately 30% underweight to induce it to remain in the colony, although the unfamiliar types soon traded by their weight instead of face value. Calvert's punishment, if any, is unrecorded, but it is known that his coinage remained in circulation in Maryland until at least 1671.
NGC has certified only two Lord Baltimore shillings, the present piece and an XF45 example. PCGS, which has been grading Colonial coins for a longer period of time, has certified two as AU58 and a single finer example as MS61. The present piece ranks among the finest graded Lord Baltimore shillings, and would be the highlight of any Early American holding. Listed on page 38 of the 2008 Guide Book. (NGC ID# 2U3L, PCGS# 34)

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
April, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 3,929

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

Heritage membership

sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your

Consignments wanted

Only 3 days left to consign to the 2015 December 10 - 12 World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong!

Learn about consigning with us

It is with a sense of tremendous gratitude that I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to you for the manner in which you managed the recent sale of my currency collection.
Thomas Flynn,
Scottsdale, AZ
View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2015 September 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 September 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $11,642,180
2015 September 17 - 22 LB Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 September 17 - 22 LB Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $5,258,388
2015 September 17 - 21 LB Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 September 17 - 21 LB Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $1,015,415

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved