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    Sommer Islands Shilling, Fine 12
    Extremely Rare Large Sail Variety

    (1615-16) SHILNG Sommer Islands Shilling, Large Sail Fine 12 NGC. Breen-1, W-11465, R.7. 86.0 gn. The short-lived "Hogge Money," named for its obverse motif, was authorized by England's King James I in June 1615 in order to facilitate commerce. Importantly, it was the first English coinage created specifically for use in the Americas.

    The Bermuda Islands were named for Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez, whose initial landing occurred in 1505. The hogs that made their way onto the islands when Bermúdez's ship grounded and wrecked on a subsequent voyage proliferated. In 1609, the Sea Adventurer, one of nine British ships en route to the Virginia plantation landed on the islands as the result of a hurricane. The provisions they acquired while there, including descendants of the hogs left by Bermúdez, led them to return numerous times to re-supply.

    In 1615, the British founded a colony on the islands, then known as the Sommer Islands, after Sir George Sommers. Once the plantation was granted permission for coinage, the governor of the islands, Richard Tucker, arranged to have coins produced in England. Struck in brass, the four denominations consisted of two, three, and six pence coins along with shillings. A silver wash was applied to make them more palatable to the colonists.

    Until the 1960s, there were few known examples of Hogge money. The advent of metal detectors, along with archeological exploration, has led to the discovery of approximately four or five dozen pieces in the last several decades. Recovered from the ground, the majority experienced significant corrosion, with pieces missing along the rim in many cases.

    As is the case with nearly all other examples, this shilling is deeply toned and granular. The central reverse displays a few small specks of aqua verdigris, and each side has two or three small digs. The rims are intact. Most of the obverse design is evident. The hull of the ship is fairly sharp, and portions of the sails are clear. The gap between the central sail and the hull confirms the Large Sail variety, which is significantly rarer than its Small Sail counterpart, partly due to a small hoard of the latter located in Bermuda in 1977. As of (3/14), NGC has certified only two Large Sail Sommer Islands shillings; one is graded Good, and the other is the present lot. Listed on page 36 of the 2014 Guide Book.
    From The Old New England Collection. (NGC ID# AUBH, PCGS# 7)

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Old New England Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    23rd-27th Wednesday-Sunday
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