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    AU Details Sommer Islands Sixpence
    Large Portholes, Breen-3

    (1615-16) 6PENCE Sommer Islands Sixpence, Large Portholes--Bent, Corroded--NCS. AU Details. Breen-3. Heritage's online auction records begin in 1993. Since that time, over a period of 15 years, only two examples of Sommer Islands "Hogge Money" have appeared in a Heritage auction: a Large Star twopence in 1999, and a Small Sail shilling in 1993. Thus, it has been a number of years since any example of any denomination of early Bermuda silver has reached the Heritage auction block, and the present piece is the first Sommer Islands sixpence we have offered.
    As is the case with all "Hogge Money," the Large Portholes sixpence is very rare. Coins of Bermuda (1997), written by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, lists 19 known examples. Ten of these belong to the Bermuda government, and another is in the ANS museum. This leaves eight examples available to numismatists, although a few others likely exist. All pieces show some degree of corrosion, since the humid seacoast environment of Bermuda was unkind to examples recovered from the ground after the passage of possibly hundreds of years. The King's Castle, a seaside fortification, is the source of most survivors.
    The story of the Sommer Islands silver is well known to early American collectors, most of whom have never held an example of the coinage in their hands. Spanish navigator Juan de Bermudez discovered the Bermuda islands, circa 1515. His expedition left a few hogs behind. British admiral Sir George Somers was shipwrecked in Bermuda in 1609, by which time the hogs dominated the island fauna. The crew enjoyed hunting the hogs, and when Sommer Islands currency was issued a few years later, a hog became the major obverse device, while a sailing ship (probably Somers' shipwrecked Sea Adventure) dominated the reverse.
    The present piece has little if any actual wear. The major devices are evenly and richly detailed. The obverse peripheral legend is affected by corrosion, and the edges show occasional metal loss. The flan is somewhat wavy, particularly between 5 and 6 o'clock. A highly desirable example, not only for its sharpness and rarity, but also for its historical importance as the first silver coinage struck for England's American colonies. Listed on page 34 of the 2008 Guide Book.
    From The Liberty Collection of American Colonial Coinage, Part Three.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# AUBF, PCGS# 5)

    View all of [The Liberty Collection of U.S. Colonial Coins, Part Three ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May-Jun, 2008
    28th-2nd Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 11,097

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