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    Description

    1786 Connecticut Bungtown Copper, Fine 15
    Early Provenance Undetermined, Miller 2.3-T

    1786 COPPER Connecticut, Mailed Bust Right, Large Head, Similar to M. 2.3-T, W-2485, R.8, Fine 15 NGC. 124.1 grains. This piece is described in recent literature as an identical variety to the Newman coin. However, the obverse die is clearly different and the reverse die is similar but not identical. There is a great deal about the Bungtown coppers that remains to be discovered, and research is ongoing. All we really know about the present piece is that it previously appeared in the May 2005 sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection. In the Ford text, Michael Hodder wrote that the "present whereabouts" of the Betts piece remains unknown, but then assigned the Betts provenance to the Ford-Partrick coin following that description. The line-drawing in the 1886 Betts reference, Counterfeit Half Pence Current in the American Colonies, shows a prominent V-shaped planchet void that does not appear on either the Partrick or Newman examples.

    In the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins, Q. David Bowers recorded four different varieties of the Bungtown coppers, including "Miller 2.3-T" with the note that two are known, the Ford coin and the Newman example. Had the Newman coin been available for study, Bowers would certainly have recognized that the obverse die is different from the present Ford-Partrick coin. We attributed the Newman coin as Miller 2.5-V, and even that attribution is open to debate.

    This piece has mostly smooth olive, steel, and tan surfaces on a round flan, with maroon roughness along the right side of the reverse, but the overall appearance is quite acceptable. The central details are distinct, with a bold date, while the peripheral legends are partially illegible, as made. Some researchers suggest that this and related pieces are the work of C. Wyllys Betts in the middle or late 19th century, while others attribute the coins to the late 18th century. The debate continues to this day. Listed on page 65 of the 2021 Guide Book.
    Ex: John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 5/2005), lot 246; Jon Hanson (5/10/2005); Donald G. Partrick. Said in the Ford catalog to be from C. Wyllys Betts (1886) and Henry C. Miller (Thomas L. Elder, 5/1920), lot 2181, although that provenance is unconfirmed.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    1st Sunday
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