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    Description

    1652 Willow Tree Sixpence, Fine Details
    Rare Denomination

    1652 6PENCE Willow Tree Sixpence -- Plugged -- NGC Details. Fine. Noe-1-A, W-130, Salmon 1-A, High R.6. 33.5 gn. Produced from 1653 to circa 1660, the Willow Tree coinage carries the distinction of being the first coins struck in what would eventually become the United States bearing a date. There is only one known die pair for the sixpence denomination, as is the case with the threepence, though there are five known varieties of the shillings. The use of only one known die pair for the two lower denominations, along with the low number of surviving examples, indicates a small number of those two designs were struck. Coins from the issue generally exhibit not only a weak strike, but often two or more strikes as well.

    The method of manufacture has been debated for many decades, with some arguing that a rocker press was used in production, while others believed the coins were hammered by hand or minted with a screw press. A strong case has been made that the Oak Tree pieces and large planchet Pine Tree coins were likely produced with a rocker press. However, there is still debate as to the method of manufacture for the Willow Tree coinage. In his book, The Silver Coins of Massachusetts, Salmon provides substantial evidence that the Willow Tree pieces were hammered. However, other scholars of the series remain convinced a rocker press was utilized.

    There are very few known sixpence survivors from the Willow Tree issue, with the 2014 Guide Book stating 14 known. The obverse of this almost fully circular specimen displays strong centering overall, with the reverse off-center several degrees to the left and exhibiting multiple strikes. Not surprisingly, portions of the legends are missing. The willow tree design on the central obverse displays a pleasing degree of detail aside from the lower portion. On the reverse, the date remains legible aside from the 6. Subtle hints of gold and rose appear on both sides. Listed on page 38 of the 2014 Guide Book.
    From The Old New England Collection.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    23rd-27th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 29
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