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Rare John Bayley (?)Regulation on Early Half Joe

Portugal. Joao V 6400 Reis 1747. Lisbon mint. IB mark for John Bayley (?). KM221. Choice VF-XF. Clipped and re-edged. Plugged and marked IB for John Bayley, Philadelphia. Weight of 215.6 grains within half a grain of the usual post-Revolutionary standard. Clipped circumferentially with consistency to the base of denticles, edge device of simplified split rectangles in crude imitation of the original twin leaf design also consistent; likely clipped just once. Flat oval plug raised above surface of obverse, round and convex like the head of a thumbtack at central reverse. IB mark oriented upside down, pellet between letters, cartouche rectangular with rounded corners. This is a different mark from the IB seen on the piece in Stack's January 2008 Americana sale, lot 7001, letterforms somewhat different from that mark as well. That mark was attributed as Jacob Boelen III, a New York smith working after the American Revolution. Though a showing a different mark, the weight of this piece is a near twin. The present mark is also distinctive from the one on the cob in the American Numismatic Society collection, depicted in Gordon on p. 106.

John Bayley worked in Philadelphia from the 1750s until the end of the American Revolution. Jacob Boelen III worked in New York after the Revolution. This mark, though distinctive from the ANS piece and the Stack's 2008 Americana piece, could in truth belong to either smith. Both would have been familiar with the world of regulated gold coins, and either could have worked to a 9 dwt standard. The 2008 Stack's specimen realized $57,500 in a less mature market for regulated gold. There may have been two smiths using an IB mark to regulate gold, or the different marks could simply be different marks of the same maker. Further exploration into collections of early American silver, particularly institutional holdings with good provenances, will undoubtedly reveal the true identity of the IB regulator(s).

Pleasing yellow gold, deeper toning at peripheries, some dark encrustation within legends and design elements. Light hairlines on both sides, faint rim bruise below 9:00 on obverse. A handsome example with gentle wear.

Provenance: 1975 NENA sale, November 1975, Lot 230; Glendining's sale of the John J. Ford Jr. Collection, October 1989, Lot 265.
From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold.

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

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Auction Dates
August, 2010
12th-16th Thursday-Monday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 1
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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