MS62 Continental 'Dollar,' EG FECIT, Pewter

    1776 $1 Continental Dollar, CURRENCY, Pewter, EG FECIT MS62 PCGS. Crosby Pl. VIII, Newman 3-D, Breen-1095, R.3. Elisha Gallaudet was born in New Rochelle, New York, ca. 1728, one of nine children of peruke (wig) maker John "Jean" Gallaudet and Hannah Whitehorne. Elisha's brother Thomas Gallaudet was the forefather of descendants who would found the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut; the first church for the deaf in America, St. Ann's Church for Deaf-Mutes in New York City; and what is today known as Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the world's only university devoted solely to the deaf and hearing-impaired.
    A noted artist and engraver, Elisha Gallaudet was approached in 1767 by a man who asked him to create plates from which North Carolina currency could be forged. Gallaudet instead turned the ambitious miscreant over to the local magistrates, who had him pilloried and lashed 39 times. Among Gallaudet's works are the first bookplate created for the New York Society Library (1758) and a medallion for Columbia University, presented in 1767 to student Benjamin Moore to laud his improvement in the arts (Moore later became president of Columbia). Gallaudet was also chosen to engrave the 1771 New York State currency, the New York City "Water Works" notes of 1774-1776, and the fractional one-sixth dollar Continental currency notes of Feb. 17, 1776. Gallaudet engraved many of the same symbols on those last notes as on the Continental dollar, including the sundial, the Latin word FUGIO (meaning "I fly" and in effect meaning "time flies") and links of a chain. The Continental dollars are probably Gallaudet's most enduring work, patterns of an unspecified denomination apparently intended as a demonstration to the Continental Congress. The production of silver coins was contingent on a loan of silver to the United Colonies from France, a loan that never materialized. Gallaudet based his designs on themes provided by Benjamin Franklin. Gallaudet moved his family in 1776 to Freehold (near Monmouth), New Jersey, to escape the anticipated occupation and possible bombardment of New York City by British forces. He died in 1779 in Monmouth, having fathered eight children.
    This example shows even, medium gray patina over each side with only the slightest variation of hue between the devices and the fields. The design elements on each side are notably well struck with no softness in the centers or around the peripheries. There are no obvious or distracting marks on either side of this lovely dollar. There is, however, an interesting numismatic tidbit present that will prove useful in tracing the pedigree of this coin. A broken punch is seen beneath the date, some two denticles in length, slanting up and to the left.
    From The Troy Wiseman Collection, Part Two. (NGC ID# 2AYU, PCGS# 795)

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

    View all of [The Troy Wiseman Collection, Part Two ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
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