SBP2023年3月#1-Sydney F. Martin集藏III
1785 Confederatio / 1786 Heraldic Eagle Copper. W-5690, Breen-1131. Rarity-8. Large Circle. VF-30 (PCGS).112.7 grains. 10 degree die rotation. A fascinating marriage of two mismatched dies, combining a Heraldic Eagle best known for an appearance on an extremely rare New Jersey copper with the CONFEDERATIO reverse of the Inimica Tyrannis Americana copper. Finely granular on both sides, a byproduct of ground exposure that gave this coins surface a texture without chewing it up. The obverse is light brown with a halo of darker coloration around the eagle. The reverse is a more even sandy brown. The obverse die is aligned to 6 oclock, where the 1786 date is complete but right at the precipice of the edge. The reverse is aligned upwards, and denticles are visible from 3 to 8 oclock or so. The sharpness is excellent on both sides, arguably higher than the grade assigned. A few little marks are seen, including an old scrape on the eagles neck, digs below C and D of CONFEDERATIO, and a couple short scratches within the upper left of the star cluster. Two dull dents are seen on the eagles shield, the larger of which is close to center in the lower portion of the horizontal lines. The strike is even and solidly brings up even the fine central detail.<p><p>This 1786-dated die clearly inspired the similar 1787-dated die, but its motifs and punches are different. The punch set, while stylistically similar (and perhaps from the same source?), shares no characters. The stars are smaller, and the date is also dissimilar. The date punches match those used on some New Jersey obverses (Maris 17 comes to mind), and the lettering of E PLURIBUS UNUM appears to match those found on some New Jersey reverses as well. Breen attributed this die to Walter Mould, no great leap considering its found married to Maris obverse 4 (the Washington bust) and Maris reverse C. <p><p>Every variety that uses this 1786 Heraldic Eagle die is rare. The same could be said for the 1785 Confederatio die, of course, but the obverse is particularly interesting. Its married to a classic New Jersey reverse, Reverse C, to produce the Maris 5-C New Jersey variety. Only two of those are known, the Stickney-Garrett Uncirculated piece and an unconfirmed low-grade specimen. With neither of those pieces available to Maris (the Stickney coin was considered unique at the time), he illustrated the obverse with a coin owned by Bostonian Lorin Parmelee: this one. <p><p>There are only two examples of this rarity known: the present one, with an august provenance, and an example thats been at the American Numismatic Society since 1942. They are similar overall. The ANS example may have a bit more detail, but its surfaces are a bit more granular, and it shows some rim damage.<p><p>Just as there are two known examples of the presently offered variety, and two known examples of Maris 5-C, there are also just two known examples of the marriage of this Heraldic Eagle die and the Washington portrait used in Maris 4-C (Breen-1130), one of which is impounded at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Assuming the unconfirmed Maris 5-C exists, that makes for just four specimens from this die in private hands, two of which are found on varieties that are unique in private hands. Rare air, this.<p><p>It is certain the Confederatios as a class, including pieces struck with this reverse die, were produced in 1785 as an attempt to win a Federal contract for copper coinage. The INIMICA TYRANNIS AMERICANA copper was described and illustrated with a sketch in a report of a committee of the Continental Congress in May 1785. Where the dies went after that, and for what purpose, is unknown, but attempts to attract the attention and business of the Federal government continued until James Jarvis eventually won the contract that became the Fugio coppers. Its quite possible that the extremely rare and rather unusual pairings of these and related dies were produced as true patterns. None of them are common enough to have been produced as even a small scale for-profit venture into circulating coppers (the semi-related 1787 Immunis Columbias notwithstanding).<p><p>This pieces fine and ancient provenance adds appreciably to its interest and desirability. While a New Jersey copper specialist may not have this on their want list, its status as a Maris plate coin adds immeasurably to its appeal. It entered the collection of Lorin Parmelee through his intact acquisition of the George A. Seavey Collection in 1873 and was still owned by Parmelee when it appeared on the plate of the 1881 <em>Coins of New Jersey</em> by Dr. Edward Maris. It went over a century between public offerings, with no auction appearances between the 1890 Parmelee sale and the 2015 Partrick sale. Collectors of this generation are fortunate to have another opportunity to purchase this piece. As best we can tell, since the 1890 Parmelee sale, the only opportunities to acquire <em>any </em>coin showing this Heraldic Eagle die took place at the 1907 Stickney sale, the 1947 ANA sale, the 1980 Garrett II sale, and the 2015 Partrick sale. The last is the only one of this particular variety during the lifetime of anyone reading these words.PCGS# 855.From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier ex the George A. Seavey Collection, before 1873; published in William Strobridges <em>A Descriptive Catalogue of the Seavey collection of American Coins, the Property of Lorin G. Parmelee</em>, 1873, number 98; New York Coin and Stamp Companys sale of the Parmelee Collection, June 1890, lot 600 (to the Chapman brothers for $55); George J. Bauer; unknown intermediaries; Richard Picker; Donald G. Partrick, via Plainfield Coins, September 1968; Heritages sale of the Partrick Collection, January 2015, lot 5642.