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    Description

    1739 Higley Copper, Fine Details
    Broad Axe Reverse, W-8265

    1739 HIGLEY Higley Copper, Broad Axe -- Damage or Tooling -- PCGS Genuine. Fine Details. Breen-244, Freidus 3.2-D, W-8265, R.7. Ex: Norweb. 127.8 gn, 29.6 mm per its Norweb auction appearance. Samuel Higley, a medical doctor who graduated from Yale College, operated a copper mine near Granby, Connecticut. Higley is associated with various very rare copper issues, the earliest of which is dated 1737. Since Higley died on a ship voyage in May 1737, he could not have made the present lot, dated 1739. Probably, his son John was responsible for several Higley varieties, including W-8265.

    The first Higley issues feature three hammers on the reverse, which refer to smith operations at the copper mine. Later varieties replace the hammers with a single axe and a motto of perseverance: I CUT MY WAY THROUGH. The obverse legends also evolved, from a definitive declaration of value as threepence, to the more conditional VALUE ME AS YOU PLEASE.

    This coin is an important representative of the extremely rare W-8265 variety. Experts believe five to eight examples of this issue are extant. The deer and axe devices are clear, as is the denomination. The date, CUT MY WAY, and VALUE ME are readable. The dark brown fields are evenly granular and contrast with tan-brown devices. The right obverse has a couple of tiny pits, and close examination reveals a few pinscratches on each side near the borders, from an attempt to remove verdigris. Given the rarity of the variety, any example would be a highlight of an advanced Early American collection. Listed on page 50 of the 2020 Guide Book.
    Ex: Norweb Collection, Part I (Bowers and Merena, 10/1987), lot 1240; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2013), lot 3700; ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2019), lot 3644.


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    20th-23rd Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 37
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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