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    Brazil. Jose I 6400 Reis 1757-R. Rio mint. OH mark for Oliver Hastings (?). KM172.2. VF. Clipped and re-edged. Apparently once plugged, plug later removed, replugged and marked OH in rectangular cartouche by Oliver Hastings of Hatfield, Massachusetts. A grain heavier that the usual post-Revolutionary standard of 9 pennyweights (217.2 grains). Coin struck in medal turn. A circular hole at center has been partially filled with an oval plug centered below the original drilling, suggesting either an error or the removal of an earlier plug. Plug flush to devices on obverse, circular and larger on reverse and standing out in significant relief. Edge shows usual twin leaf device, likely a fraudulent later edge, though additional clipping from 12:00 to below 3:00 has been covered with a simple diagonal reeding. Significantly clipped but the bases of all denticles remain, clipping is most notable below 3:00 where the edge device also changes. Light yellow gold with scattered hairlines, light natural horizontal planchet fissure from center below chin to below legend near 3:00, some abrasions in left obverse and lower right reverse fields, scrapes noted at bust truncation. A spot is present within the lowest curls, some dark encrustation within mark. This piece was clearly circulated after regulation and, given its weight and the likely standard to which it was regulated, lightly clipped after its marking as well.

    According to our consignor, Hastings (1757-1838) worked in Hatfield, MA, listed as goldsmith in Flynt and Fales p. 244. Given the current weight of this piece, it seems highly likely that it was regulated to a pre-Revolutionary standard, or at least a standard higher than the 9 dwt standard common in North America after the Revolution. Given Hastings age during the conflict (and the fact that he was likely fighting, as a 20 year old from Massachusetts), we wonder if this attribution will hold up. The number of smiths with the initials OH (or HO, perhaps) is limited. There is some potential for this to be a very rare Canadian regulation, as Canada was working to a 9 dwt 3 grain standard throughout the 1760s and 1770s. This coin has seen many swings in its value and tells an interesting story; further research should be able to confirm the Hastings attribution or find a more likely suspect.

    Provenance: From Bank Leu's sale of the Bostonian Collection, October 25, 1990, Lot 1778. Plated in Gordon page 95, NA-3.
    From the Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold.




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    12th-16th Thursday-Monday
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