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    Description

    Rare, Desirable Theatre at New York Token
    PR65 Brown, One of 13 Known
    Tied for Finest Certified by PCGS

    1797 PENNY Theatre at New York PR65 Brown PCGS. D&H-Middlesex-167, Breen-1055, Rulau-E-NY-892, R.6. The Theatre at New York tokens are typically seen only when an important collection of Colonial coins comes to market. In the February 1993 issue of The Colonial Newsletter, Donald Scarinci conducted a census of known specimens and was able to locate just 13 examples. With one of those pieces permanently housed in the American Numismatic Society, there are only a dozen examples available to collectors. As a testament to the rarity of this issue, Heritage has sold but one specimen at auction in the last two decades: a Proof 64 piece that appeared in August 2007 and again in May 2008. The present coin is tied for finest certified at PCGS with two coins: one Brown, the other Red and Brown. This offering is a rare opportunity for even a dedicated collector.
    In a paper presented at the October 29, 1994 Coinage of the Americas Conference, John M. Kleeberg dispelled most of the speculation that had surrounded the Theatre at New York token since it first appeared in print in 1798. Although undated, the token was almost certainly struck for the opening of the First Park Theatre on August 29, 1798. Kleeberg reprinted an engraving from the 1797 New York City directory of "The New Theatre in New York," which is undoubtedly the same edifice that is featured on the token. The engraver was likely Benjamin Jacob, who had issued a number of British Conder tokens, and he signed the token below the steps on the obverse. Importantly, the letters on the Theatre at New York token are hand-cut, as opposed to punched, which was the same technique used by Jacob on another of his tokens.
    The tokens were struck by Peter Skidmore, and Kleeberg believes that they might have been made to secure a coinage contract either from New York or the theater owners. If he were unsuccessful, then it might have been possible to sell the tokens to British collectors. This explains the careful striking and proof surfaces of these tokens.
    This Gem specimen has attractive, even brown patina over both sides. Although the fields are not highly reflective like some proofs, the strike is full, with no traces of weakness. A loupe locates a few minuscule contact marks, but none merit individual mention. This piece would please even the most discerning eye. Listed on page 74 of the 2011 Guide Book.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# AUBP, PCGS# 90658)


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    11th-15th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,042

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