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    Description

    1785 Immune Columbia Copper, VF25
    CONSTELATIO Reverse with Blunt Rays
    W-1990, One of Two Known Examples

    1785 Immune Columbia Copper, CONSTELATIO, Blunt Rays, W-1990, R.8, VF25 NGC. 109.1 grains. A landmark rarity in the complex Immune/Immunis Columbia series of American Confederation-era coppers, being one of only two examples known. It shares an obverse die with all other 1785 Immune Columbia pieces, with a female representation of America surrounded by and holding various symbols of liberty, justice, and commerce. The reverse uses Crosby's third 1783 Nova Constellatio obverse die, which features the CONSTELATIO misspelling and blunt rays within the glory (Crosby, perhaps more elegantly, called them "cuneiform"). Though both dies are described in Crosby's 1875 Early Coins of America, this particular die combination was unknown to him.

    This example was offered in the 1886 sale of the Dr. Edward Maris collection, where Maris (who penned the catalog of his own sale) wrote that "This combination is not in Crosby, and, as far as I know, exists in only one other collection." The obverse is illustrated on the rare plates for that catalog. It sold for $92.50 to T. Harrison Garrett, the originator of the Garrett Family Collection. The other collection to which Maris referred was that of Lorin G. Parmelee, of Boston, whose magnificent cabinet was sold in 1890 by the New York Coin & Stamp Company. These were the only two examples known in 1886 and they remain so today in 2021. Remarkably, while between them the two coins have graced the cabinets of many of the most notable collectors of colonial coins since then--Garrett, Brand, Roper, Norweb--they both ended up together in the incomparable Donald G. Partrick Collection. The Parmelee-Brand-Norweb example was sold in our 2015 FUN sale of highlights from the Partrick Collection.

    While the extant population would suggest, in the absence of any visible die injuries, that the 1785 Immune Columbia copper with blunt rays was not issued for circulation, the only two examples known both show evidence of wear that would seem to indicate use in commerce. The present piece is moderately worn, with peripheral rubbing nearly effacing the initial IM of IMMUNE and causing the rest of the word to be faint. This may be partly explained as resulting from a soft strike, as the other known example (in slightly better condition) shares some characteristics with this piece that point toward insufficient force being used, such as the incomplete top of the final O in CONSTELATIO. The coloration is a pleasant and uniform medium brown, and the surfaces show only a few light hairlines and no distracting marks, though a small rim bump is noted above the UM of COLUMBIA. The obverse die is shifted slightly toward 11 o'clock, and a light planchet-cutter mark can be seen running in an arc across the bottom of that side. The reverse is well-centered and the coin remains attractive overall. Listed on page 57 of the 2021 Guide Book.
    Ex: Dr. Edward Maris (H.P. Smith, 6/1886), lot 314; Garrett Family Collection (Bowers & Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1335; John L. Roper, 2nd (Stack's, 12/1983), lot 212; Donald G. Partrick Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 831)


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2021
    22nd-25th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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