SBP2023年3月#1-Sydney F. Martin集藏III
1785 Gen. Washington / Confederatio Copper. W-5645, Baker-9, Musante GW-03, Breen-1125. Rarity-7+. Large Circle. VF-30 (PCGS).128.0 grains. 135 degree die rotation. A special Confederation-era copper, combining the famous Maris 4 obverse die and a rare 1785-dated Confederatio obverse that makes this coin a pattern of great historical importance, a preeminent early American Washington portrait, and a New Jersey copper related rarity.<p><p>Attractive light brown and tan with smooth surfaces. A scattering of marks is present on both sides, none individually significant, though a rim nick above ED of CONFEDERATIO is mostly obscured by the holder. A tiny natural planchet void is seen on the obverse at the upper left serif of W in WASHINGTON. The centering is good on both sides, with a substantial raised rim present around most of the lower obverse. The reverse is a bit mottled, with oval halos of patina present around N, F, and I of CONFEDERATIO, with some old residue that may have been reduced from either foreign material or scale. Aside from a tiny area of softness and related planchet texture atop the central star cluster on the reverse (opposite the highest point of the obverse device, Washingtons shoulder), the strike is even and complete, with all design elements fully accounted for. A couple of old worn scratches blend in between Washingtons profile and the legend in the upper right obverse.<p><p>There appear to be just six of these. Antons is a bit better; see the Breen <em>Encyclopedia </em>image. The Ford piece is similar to this one. The others are inferior: Ropers had edge issues, Garretts was worn and rough, Norwebs was charmingly slick. Ropers reappeared in Partrick (Heritage, 1-2015:5641) as NGC AU-50, but we like this one better. It brought $129,250 the first time around and a little less a year later. The rumored specimen at the Massachusetts Historical Society is an obverse electrotype shell (thanks to Neil Musante for this information).<p><p>As we noted when we sold Syds Maris 4-C, a product of this obverse die and a New Jersey copper reverse:<p><p>"The Maris 4-C Washington Bust copper is the earliest American medallic portrait of George Washington. It is at least four years earlier than the 1790 Manly medal. Its three years earlier than the Washington Before Boston medal. The 1778 Voltaire medal, struck in England or perhaps France, precedes it, but with a fictional portrait that serves only as a stand-in to recognize Washington the concept rather than Washington the man. Only the 1786-dated Non Vi Virtute Vici coppers rival this one, though the marriage of this die to a 1785-dated Confederatio reverse necessarily offers this type an edge in terms of temporal primacy. Compared on the basics of aesthetics alone, this is clearly the preeminent American medallic portrait of Washington from the pre-1790 era, not only the first."<p><p>By virtue of its 1785-dated reverse, this marriage edges out the New Jersey Washington Bust in date order. While it cant claim a position in the New Jersey copper series (despite its adjacency), it can claim a position of honor and major historical importance.<p><p>This is not only a handsome example of one of the most important early Washington pieces, but it bears a truly fascinating and ancient provenance. It was described in the April 1889 issue of the <em>American Journal of Numismatics</em>: <p><p>"A specimen of the Washington Confederatio 1785, heretofore considered unique, has recently been brought to light, having descended from the late Hon. Richard Frothingham, formerly of Charlestown, to his grandson, T.G. Frothingham, of this city.<p>"It was obtained by Mr. Frothingham, probably about the year 1820, from the toll gatherer of Charlestown Bridge, who was accustomed to save for him such odd pieces as might come into his possession in the course of that business.<p>"The obverse is the Confederatio die with stars on a large central field; the reverse, the head of Washington facing right. Legend, GEN. WASHINGTON. (Early Coins, Plate VII, No. 14.) It is in fine condition and is now in the cabinet of L.G. Parmelee."<p><p>The number of Confederation-era coppers that have provenance back to being plucked from circulation is very slim indeed!PCGS# 849.From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier ex a toll collector on the Charlestown (MA) bridge; Richard Frothingham to Thomas G. Frothingham; New York Coin & Stamp Companys sale of the Lorin G. Parmelee Collection, June 1890), lot 609; Chapman brothers; B. Max Mehls sale of the James Ten Eyck Collection, May 1922, lot 837; Waldo Newcomer collection; B. Max Mehl, 1931; Col. E.H.R. Green Collection, before 1936; Green Estate, via St. Louis Stamp and Coin Company (Burdette G. Johnson and Eric P. Newman); Eric P. Newman; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society; Heritages sale of the Eric P. Newman Collection, November 2014, lot 3024, via Anthony Terranova.