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Description

Very Rare Thomas Pons Regulated Half Joe

Portugal. Joao V 6400 Reis 1743. Lisbon mint. TP mark for Thomas Pons, Boston. KM221. XF. Clipped, plugged, and marked on reverse with TP for Thomas Pons, Boston. Weight of 9 dwt, 4 grains (219.8 grains). Large circular plug at center, built up on reverse and smooth on obverse, TP marked on reverse (as are all known specimens from this regulator). The edge shows portions of the original edge device, neatly clipped at 9:00 and 3:00 and smooth in those areas, seemingly polished to roundness. Attractive deep yellow gold, hidden horizontal scratch in hair, traces of encrustation at bottom obverse periphery. A very handsome piece.

This was perhaps regulated to the 1762 Boston standard of 9 dwt, 5 grains, though the fact that two of the known Pons regulations weigh precisely 9 dwt 4 grains suggests a standard at that level. Boston reduced its standard to 9 dwt in 1784. The only 9 dwt 4 grain standard we have found was in Philadelphia in 1777, when several dozen merchants signed a petition to accept 9 dwt Half Joes at 60 shillings and 9 dwt 4 grain Half Joes at 61 shillings. Among the signatories were Joseph Richardson Jr. (and his brother Nathaniel) and John LeTelier, both known regulators. It is possible there was a Boston standard at 9 dwt 4 grains, perhaps in concert with the 9 dwt standard. These are the sort of questions that only pouring over contemporary newspapers will answer: the Philadelphia merchant standard of 1777 was non-governmental and was found rather accidentally in a period newspaper (The Pennsylvania Evening Post, November 6, 1777).


This piece's fine provenance and balanced look makes it particularly desirable among the known Thomas Pons regulations. Further, it is one of only two that remains as heavy as when regulated.

Provenance: From Sotheby's sale of January 28, 1976. Earlier, ex Pridmore. Ex-Gordon, privately.
From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold.



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Auction Dates
August, 2010
12th-16th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 1
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