1724 Wood’s Hibernia Pattern Halfpenny. Martin 9.2-P.1, W-unlisted. Rarity-7. Neptune or Scepter and Trident Reverse. Proof-65 BN (PCGS).129.2 grains. The finest known example of this classic rarity and charismatic type. We believe just six are known: this coin, the PCGS Proof-64 BN Garrett-Roper-Archangel coin that brought $90,000 in our October 2018 sale, the VF/EF Robison coin, the VF Boyd-Ford coin, and the impounded specimens at the Massachusetts Historical Society and the ANS. As the finer of just two Uncirculated examples, and the best of the six recorded, this piece ranks among the most important examples of William Woods issues known.
The surfaces are lustrous and reflective, beautifully preserved, with lovely olive highlights between the rich chocolate brown fields and the vestiges of mint color in the lettering and protected areas of the design. The centering is ideal, the devices are fully delineated, and the surfaces are immaculate. A thin striation is seen on both obverse and reverse, descending to the rim past X of REX on the obverse and in the field below R of VTROQVE on the reverse. Some parallel striations, present on the planchet before striking, are seen on the left side of the reverse. Theyre most visible in the upper left reverse field and just right of the date. The quality of this piece, in terms of both production and preservation, is absolutely superb and worth seeing in hand.
This bust is used on similar Rosa Americana patterns, but it really finds its greatest medallic form on the copper Woods Hibernia patterns of this obverse type. This piece is perhaps the centerpiece of Syds pattern collection, just as it was the focal point of the magnificent Norweb Collection for much of the 20th century.
.PCGS# 541752.<strong>To view supplemental information and all items from the Sydney F. Martin Collection, click<a href="https://stacksbowers.com/sydney-f-martin-collection/"target=’_blank’> here.</a></strong>.From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier from Sothebys sale of the Palace Collection of Egypt (King Farouk), February 1954, lot 2352; our (Bowers and Merenas) sale of the Norweb Collection, Part III, October 1988, lot 3492; John Agre and Dave Wnuck (Coin Rarities Online), May 2015.