1785 Connecticut Copper. Miller 4.1-F.4, W-2355. Rarity-1. Mailed Bust Right, African Head. Dr. Hall Ink on Edge. AU-53 (PCGS)132.6 grains. A small number of similarly high-grade African Heads in the EF to AU range exist, a not unexpected circumstance for what is considered a very common die variety. Sharp examples of near full detail are often encountered with impaired surfaces, but not usually with the glossy, lightly iridescent golden-brown surfaces that are quite superb and little worn, as here. Some minor, piddling porosity that originates with the planchet is noted at the unstruck obverse periphery, as is a minuscule planchet crack near A of AUCTORI, which aids in immediate identification of this coin as a Clark Obverse and Reverse Plate Coin. Although the flan is large enough to accommodate all of the legends, a very subtle off-centering and a natural bevel to the rim below the date has weakened the bottoms of the date digits, but the rest of the legends and designs are quite bold, with many of the individual leaves discernable on the trio of grape vines on Liberty’s shield. It is not surprising that a coin of such overall superb color and surfaces is in Robert’s collection, nor that it was recognized early on for its superiority, having been collected by Dr. Thomas Hall over a century ago, before passing through the cabinets of Virgil Brand and Herb Oechsner as well. Called “Uncirculated” and priced at $16.00 on B.G. Johnson’s October 1936 listing of the Hall Collection, this example also carries Dr. Hall’s distinct “4-1 F-4” attribution boldly inked on edge flanking the 12 o’clock position of the obverse. A nicer and more historic example of the African Head type would be difficult to locate.From the Robert M. Martin Collection. Ex Dr. Thomas Hall Collection; Virgil Brand Collection; Herbert Oechsner Collection, Stack’s, September 8-9, 1988, lot 1026.