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    Description

    1787 New York Indian Copper, AU55
    Eagle on Globe Reverse, W-5800
    Fourth Finest Known

    1787 COPPER New York Excelsior Copper, Indian and Eagle AU55 PCGS. CAC. Breen-991, W-5800, Low R.7. Thomas Machin's petition for a copper coinage franchise was referred to a committee of the New York state assembly on March 3, 1787. Machin and five others, including die engraver James F. Atlee formed a coinage partnership on April 18, the same day that the New York Senate passed a bill outlawing coppers weighing under one-third ounce. The muling of the Indian design with a Machin's Mills counterfeit halfpence die certainly provides evidence that these pieces were minted at Captain Machin's coinage operation. Walter Breen identified Atlee as the die engraver for the various New York pattern issues, including this variety.

    This impressive piece is the fourth finest of 10 known examples, in our opinion. Our census includes 10 known examples of this variety, with two coins we have not seen that may be duplicates of others listed herein.

    These pieces trade infrequently, and we have only found 10 auction records throughout the history of U.S. numismatics, although one or two others may have escaped our attention. However, the opportunity to buy one of these pieces rarely occurs in the public auction marketplace.

    Light chocolate surfaces exhibit a few raised marks of unfinished die work that might appear as handling marks in the photos. We note minuscule corrosion among a few letters on the obverse, and a small toning spot beneath the right (facing) wing that will aid in future identification. The centering is typical, showing partial border details, with the letters tight against the edge in places.

    Census of New York Indian/Eagle Coppers
    1. MS64 Brown PCGS. Illustrated at the PCGS Coin Facts website, this piece is different from any of the following, unless it is one of the two pieces listed below with an uncertain grade.
    2. Choice Mint State. Matthew Stickney (Chapman Brothers, 6/1907), lot 239; Col. James Ellsworth; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1979), lot 602; Steinberg Collection, lot 105.
    3. Mint State. Lorin G. Parmelee; Ten Eyck Collection (B. Max Mehl, 5/1922), lot 185; Carl Wurtzbach; Virgil M. Brand; Virgil Brand Estate (Bowers and Merena, 6/1984), lot 958.
    4. AU55 PCGS. F.C.C. Boyd Estate; John J. Ford (Stack's, 5/2004), lot 313. The present example.
    5. XF. Richard Picker; John L. Roper, 2nd (Stack's, 12/1983), lot 276.
    6. VF-XF. DeWitt Smith Collection; Virgil M. Brand; Virgil Brand Estate (Bowers and Merena, 6/1984), lot 959.
    7. VF, Burnished. Donald Groves (Stack's, 11/1974), lot 337. The example that we sold in January 2004 (lot 2001) appears to be this coin.
    8. VF. Discovered in England; Americana Sale (Stack's, 1/2002), lot 234.
    9. Uncertain grade. Appleton Collection; Massachusetts Historical Society.
    10. Uncertain grade. Long Island collector.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# B8DW, PCGS# 439)


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    5th-9th Tuesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,718

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