Remarkable Noe-25 Oak Tree Threepence AU501652 3PENCE Oak Tree Threepence AU50 PCGS. Crosby 3-A2, Noe-25, R.6. In its appearance in Part XII of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, the present lot was cataloged as "The finest seen: nicer than the Noe plate coin, both Hain coins, Norweb's, and the two in the MHS (1970) sale ... . The variety is quite rare and may actually be underrated at R-6 since the pieces enumerated above are the only ones easily located in the literature." Noe varieties 23 through 27 are from the same pair of dies, but the appearance of these dies evolved as the result of mint re-engraving. The backwards first S in MASATHVSETS found on Noe-23 and Noe-24 is corrected on Noe-25. Noe-25 can be distinguished from Noe-26 and Noe-27 by its tree, which has a straight and comparatively bold trunk. The "common" Oak Tree Threepence is Noe-28, struck from a different die pair.
This extraordinary example is notable for its extensive satin luster. Relatively few Massachusetts silver pieces retain a significant portion of their original luster. The present piece is slightly soft on the right curve of the 6 in the date, and has moderate obverse incompleteness near 4 o'clock, but the overall appearance is bold, and the tree is nearly complete. Slightly wavy, as expected of a rocker press emission, and a bit off center toward 10:30, with the top of the final S in MASATHVSETS off the flan. The original dove-gray toning is deep and consistent throughout. Thin lines above and below the tail of the 6 in the date identify the piece, although it is difficult to tell whether or not those lines were on the planchet prior to the strike.
At the time of their production, Massachusetts silver coins had no collector value, despite their significance as the first silver coins struck by English colonies in what became the United States. Most pieces were clipped, folded, worn, and eventually melted. Here is a fortunate high grade survivor that belongs in the finest quality Early American collection. Listed on page 36 of the 2007 Guide Book. Population: 3 in 50, 1 finer (2/07).
Ex: F.C.C. Boyd Collection, John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part XII (Stack's, 10/05), lot 56. (NGC ID# 2ARH, PCGS# 18)
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