1783 Chalmers Shilling, AU58
1783 SHLNG Chalmers Shilling, Long Worm AU58 PCGS. CAC.
Breen-1012, W-1790, R.4. Captain John Chalmers (1750-1817) was
an Annapolis, Maryland, silversmith. In 1783, he struck various
silver issues, which range from rare to extremely rare. Chalmers
probably considered a nuisance the prevalent cut and worn
Spanish-American silver real pieces, and recoined them as a
community service and to promote his business.
Long Worm Variety, W-1790
Threepence, sixpence, and shillings were issued by Chalmers. Several varieties show clasped hands within a wreath, perhaps indicating peace between the Colonies following the long War of Independence. The shillings also have an even more interesting design: two birds sharing (or squabbling over) a long, thin object. Most numismatists believe this object is a worm, although Crosby regarded it as a branch. Another, larger worm is present above, separated from the birds by a hedge.
Both Long Worm and Short Worm varieties are known, with the former traditionally regarded as rarer. These motifs are subject to speculation, but perhaps Chalmers was suggesting an end to state disputes over the proposed Federal Constitution. Chalmers also produced a Rings shilling variety that ranks as one of the great rarities of the Early American series. The unusual designs for the Chalmers pieces contribute to their popularity. They are also significant as one of the few private silver issues struck in the Colonies/States during the 18th century.
The present richly detailed example offers full legends and attractive mottled golden-brown, olive, rose, aqua, and cream-gray toning. A few faint marks are present near the wreath, but the general appearance is smooth and pleasing. Slightly off-center toward 3 o'clock with only dentils affected. Listed on page 51 of the 2013 Guide Book. Population: 3 in 58, 1 finer (10/12).
Ex: Troy Wiseman Collection, Part Two (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 742, which realized $37,375. (NGC ID# 2AUT, PCGS# 595)
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