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    Brazil. Joao V 6400 Reis 1749-R. Rio mint. SS mark for Samuel Soumain, New York (?). KM149. VF. Clipped and multiply re-edged. Plugged and marked SS without cartouche. Over two grains below the usual 9 dwt standard of post-Revolutionary America (213.9 grains). Clipped down to bases of denticles, additional straight line clip right of 12:00. Edge shows large oval bead edge device from 9:00 to 1:00, simple near vertical reeds hand cut around rest of circumference, some evidence of filing. This could have been regulated to a 9 dwt standard or an earlier, heavier standard. Misshapen oval plug extends on obverse from raised outline of hole (drilled from reverse to obverse), plug leans to southeast with large SS stamp unevenly executed. Letters parallel to plug, leaning diagonal to southeast in relation to coin. Plug on reverse is nearly flush to surface with outline around, more round than on obverse but still misshapen.

    Our consignor identified this as possibly the mark of a smith named Simmons, who worked in Philadelphia circa 1797. This seems unlikely, as by that era most of the regulation work in North America involved clipping Half Joes for shipment to the West Indies, taking advantage of their low weight standards, rather than plugging a piece up to weight for North American circulation. The mark is distinctive enough to be firmly identified at some point. It is not the mark of the famous silversmith Simeon Souman, but it may be his kinsman Samuel Soumain, who died in 1765. In that era, Soumain would have worked to a 9 dwt 5 grains standard, but this coin could well have been reduced from that high standard after the fact. Its wear suggests an early date of regulation as well. Samuel Soumain worked in Annapolis and New York.

    Well worn, light yellow gold with ruddy highlights, some minor hairlines, short scratch in hair, trace of surface encrustation near 9:00 on obverse.

    Pridmore notes this mark with an IB mark in a Glendining's sale of June 1934.

    Provenance: Gordon plate 214. Ex Sotheby's April 28 1976, Lot 299.
    From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    12th-16th Thursday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 707

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