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    Description

    1652 Noe 1-A Willow Tree Shilling, XF45
    Full Tree, Date, and Denomination
    Ex: Smith, Stearns, Oechsner, Hain Family

    1652 SHILNG Willow Tree Shilling XF45 NGC. CAC. Noe 1-A, Salmon 1-A, High R.6. 67.9 grains. This richly detailed Willow Tree shilling has an impressive pedigree, and an equally imposing auction history. In its earliest recorded appearance, it opened the 1906 Harlan P. Smith sale, where the Chapman Brothers included it on Plate I and described it as "1652 Shilling. MA(SAT)HVS(ET)S. (I)N. Tree sketchily drawn, and resembling a bush, usually [referred to as] a willow tree. Rev. (NEW) ENL(AND) : AN : DOM.; in center 1652; XII. Double struck as usual, except the tree. Very Fine. Extremely rare."

    At its 1966 Stearns auction sale, the coin was cataloged by Robert Vlack as "Noe Plate III, #4. This is the actual specimen pictured in the above reference. Ex: Smith Sale (1906). Unquestionably one of the most attractive Willow Tree shillings in existence and the best of about 6 known."

    For its 1988 Oechsner auction appearance, the coin was cataloged as "The Noe plate coin. A full sharp tree, most of the legend visible. The reverse is double struck, with the date reading 166522. A wonderful example of this rarity. Even medium gray, and free from any detractions. One of the finest extant of the variety and probably in the top 6 of all [Willow Tree shilling] varieties."

    The coin later participated in the 2002 Hain Family auction, where it was cataloged as "lovely, medium silver gray in color on both sides. The Noe Plate Coin (1-A, No. 4). On the obverse, MA, THVS, N show, along with much of the inner and outer beaded borders. Full tree, a remarkable feature on a Noe 1-A and clearly the reason Noe chose to plate this specimen. On the reverse, AN DOM shows, the XII denomination is clear, the rest shift double struck with the date reading 166522 and the balance of the legend a jumble. The 1991 ANA Exhibition Coin (No. 13). One of the nicest Noe 1-A's your writer [Michael Hodder] can remember seeing and a rival to the piece [Don] Taxay once called the finest he had seen. The Garrett specimen was superb and the Stearns:5 coin is nearly Unc[irculated] but both of these are off the market for the foreseeable future. Your writer knows of 12 different examples of N. 1-A. This is a variety that seems to survive in Extremely Fine and better condition more frequently than not."

    To these former lot descriptions we will add that the tree has nearly complete detail. All branches appear present, and although a few are lightly brought up, most of the tree is bold. The date and denomination are also sharp, but the date is composed of three different strikes: 16, 652, and 2. The peripheral legend shows a majority of the letters, but a few are indistinct on each side. The coin was struck three times, rotating moderately clockwise (relative to the reverse) between strikes. The gunmetal-gray surfaces are remarkably free from distractions, and the centering is close to ideal.

    A complete variety collection of Willow Tree shillings is practically unobtainable, since just two Noe 2-A examples are known. The Willow Tree threepence provides another stopper, represented by only three survivors. But it is possible to secure a Willow Tree type coin with an essentially full tree, date, and denomination, if the present lot is secured.
    Ex: Harlan P. Smith Sale (S.H. & H. Chapman, 5/1906), lot 1; C.H. Stearns Collection (Mayflower, 12/1966), lot 4; Herbert M. Oechsner Collection (Stack's, 9/1988), lot 928; Hain Family Collection (Stack's, 1/2002), lot 4; Donald Groves Partrick.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2ARC, PCGS# 16)


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,159

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