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    Description

    (1652) Noe 1-A NE Shilling, AU50
    Exceptional Punches
    Ex: Cohen-Partrick

    (1652) SHILNG New England Shilling AU50 PCGS. Noe 1-A, W-40, Salmon 1-B, High R.6. 70.2 grains. Ex: B. Cohen. The NE shillings, sixpence, and threepence were the first coins struck in the English colonies of the New World. These pieces were struck from approximately June to October 1652, although production may have continued to the end of that year. Prior to this coinage, the early New World economy was chiefly a barter system, with various products such as furs, grain, and fish serving as a medium of exchange. The Native Americans used shell money or wampum for trade purposes. Sylvester S. Crosby provides considerable historical background that is still useful today, 140 years after the publication of his reference, The Early Coins of America.

    The General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony provided for the use of musket balls as a medium of exchange, those of full bore to pass at one farthing. The same legislation outlawed the use of British farthing coins. Finally, a Mint act was passed on May 27, 1652, providing for the coinage of silver money. John Hull was appointed Mintmaster, and he worked with Robert Sanderson to issue the first coins actually made in the colonies.

    The design and production was simple. Planchets were round pieces of silver that weighed 72 grains per shilling (36 grains for the sixpence and 18 grains for the threepence). One side received a stylized NE punched at the top of the blank, and the other side had the denomination, XII, VI, or III, punched at the opposite position so that the two punches were aligned 180 degrees apart. For the shillings, three different NE punches are identified, and four different XII punches are recognized.

    In "Early Massachusetts Silver - NE Types" that appeared in the August 2010 issue of The Colonial Newsletter, collector and researcher Jack Howes provided a catalog of all known NE coins with illustrations of each specimen, recording 58 NE shillings, seven sixpence, and one threepence. With appreciation and thanks to Mr. Howes, we are providing a Census of each variety while recognizing that a mixture of old-time grades and modern certified grades opens the ranking to interpretation.

    This example is number four in his list, and this identical piece appeared with the caption "New England Shilling-Genuine (Weinberg Specimen)" in Eric P. Newman's article, "Superb Numismatic Forgeries Are Upon Us" that appeared in the April 1979 issue of The Numismatist. Depicted immediately after the illustration of this piece are two forgeries that were copied from this specimen.

    The flan is imperfectly round with a V-shaped outline at the bottom of the obverse, corresponding with the upper left of the reverse, indicating that the NE panel and the XII panel are nearly but not exactly aligned opposite each other. Both sides have pleasing light gray surfaces with hints of gold or champagne toning around the bold punches. An exceptional example.

    Census of Noe 1-A NE Shillings
    1. AU55 PCGS. DeWitt Smith; Virgil Brand; Carl Wurtzbach (1937); T. James Clarke; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 10/2005), lot 1; David Sundman Collection (Stack's Bowers, 11/2013), lot 4001. Noe Plate 1, No. 1.
    2. AU55 NGC. Waldo Newcomer; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (Heritage, 5/2014), lot 30259; Heritage (12/2014), lot 3437.
    3. AU50 NGC. Sotheby's London (9/1972), lot 162; Kreisberg/Cohen (9/1973), lot 444; Alan Weinberg; Early American Numismatics, Buy or Bid Sale #2 (10/1984), lot 3; Bertram Cohen (8/9/1989); Donald Groves Partrick / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5513; current consignor. The present example.
    4. AU50. Richard Picker; later, New England Rare Coin Auctions (11/1975), lot 362; Kagin's (1982 FPL); Archangel Collection (Stack's Bowers, 10/2018), lot 7001.
    5. XF40 NGC. Central States Numismatic Society (James Kelly, 4/1957), lot 1; Herbert M. Oechsner Collection (Stack's, 9/1988), lot 927; Donald Groves Partrick / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5514.
    6. Stack's purchase (9/9/1981); Henry P. Kendall Foundation / Baltimore Auction (Stack's Bowers, 3/2015), lot 2301; Surf City Collection; Don Willis Collection / ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2017), lot 3801.
    7. XF. Andrew Zabriskie (Henry Chapman, 6/1909), lot 1; Sterling Groves Collection (S.H. Chapman, 1/1912), lot 276; Waldo Newcomer; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; later, ANA Sale (Bebee's, 8/1955), lot 1422.
    8. XF, estimated grade. William B. Osgood Field; ANS. Noe Plate 1, No. 2.
    9. VF. Belden E. Roach Collection (B. Max Mehl, 2/1944), lot 2; Floyd Starr (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 1; Joe Lasser; Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
    10. VF, estimated grade. Chapman Collection (Chapman Brothers, 5/1885), lot 514; later, J. Hewitt Judd; William J. Wild; Norman Stack. Kleeberg 1992, No. 1.
    11. VF, estimated grade. Emery May Norweb; Smithsonian Institution (inv. 1982.0798.0001).
    12. Fine, estimated grade. British Museum (Inv. BM E4148).
    13. Fine, estimated grade. British Museum (Inv. BM 4149).
    14. Fine, estimated grade. British Museum (Inv. BM C4981).
    15. Uncertain Grade. Thomas Coats (circa 1920s); Hunterian Museum.

    Ex: Sotheby's London (9/1972), lot 162; Kreisberg/Cohen (9/1973), lot 444; Alan Weinberg; Early American Numismatics, Buy or Bid Sale #2 (10/1984), lot 3; Bertram Cohen (8/9/1989); FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5513.
    A Selection from The Weiss Family Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2AR9, PCGS# 13)


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