Marvelous Burger and Brasher Regulated Guinea Ex. Ellsworth (1923) - Garrett (1981) A Collection HighlightEngland. George II Guinea 1749. Script JB monogram for John Burger, EB for Ephraim Brasher. KM588. VF. Clipped. Plugged by Ephraim Brasher and marked with his EB in oval cartouche. Also marked by John Burger with his script JB monogram in round cartouche. Weight precisely correct to a tenth-grain for the 1784 New York standard of 5 dwt, 6 grains to which both men regulated (126.1 grains). Boldly straight clipped from 3:00 to 5:00, original edge device otherwise intact. The EB mark low on the portrait bust, a typical Brasher location, is oval and messier than normal. Its placement on the reverse reveals that it was a thin wedge peened down to one side rather than a neat cylinder massaged into the coin's surface in low relief. The torque Brasher put on the coin in this process is the likely cause of a short flan crack from 6:00. Burger did not plug the piece, indicating it weighed correctly when he saw it, but placed a nice even mark in his usual location over the King's eye.
One of the best pedigreed coins in the entire canon of American regulated gold coins. This piece has been in American collections for nearly a century and plated in the earliest American published work on the topic. Aside from its desirability as a piece that combines the two most famous American regulators, both active in New York immediately after the end of the British military occupation, this fine provenance makes it a superb addition to a connoisseur-quality cabinet.
Col. James W. Ellsworth's collection was sold intact to Wayte Raymond and John Work Garrett for $100,000 in 1923. By way of comparison, two decades later, the same price purchased the entire John H. Clapp collection for Louis Eliasberg. Ellsworth owned the entire Nova Constellatio pattern set of 1783. He also owned the finest known Brasher doubloon. This appears to have been the only Brasher-regulated coin he owned, though he also owned two Burger-marked pieces and a Thomas Pons-regulated Half Joe. All of these were sold into the Garrett Collection. T. Harrison Garrett, the founder of that cabinet, appears to have been one of the earliest major collectors to acquire a Brasher-regulated piece: two weeks before he bought the unique Punch on Breast Brasher Doubloon from Ed Frossard in April 1883, he acquired a Brasher-regulated Half Joe from the Chapman Brothers (Garrett IV, Lot 2345). Ellsworth jumped into collecting coins with both feet in the early 1890s and likely acquired this piece sometime after.
Provenance: From Bowers and Ruddy's sale of the Garrett Collection, Part IV, March 1981, Lot 2344. Earlier, acquired from the Col. James W. Ellsworth Collection in 1923.
From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold.
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