SBP2023年3月#1-Sydney F. Martin集藏III
1783 John Chalmers Shilling. W-1795, Breen-1010. Rarity-7+. Rings. VF-35 (PCGS).One of the most important of all early American coins: the finest known example of the Chalmers Rings shilling, struck in 1783 when Annapolis was the national capital, and the Founding Fathers were meeting within sight of Chalmers mint. Lovely antique gray with opalescent tones of blue and violet, boldest among the rings and subtle on the obverse. A hint of gold is present across the fields on both sides. The reverse is perfectly centered, with its charming hand-engraved annular border fully present. The obverse is aligned to 2 oclock, with the hand-cut peripheral denticles strongest at left but present around most of the obverse. This is the best struck and sharpest example of this type, the only one with an abundant portion of the central denomination legend visible: "Equal to One Shi." A central die crack displays a 135 degree angle, connecting the base of E in Equal to the center of S in Shi. Equal is mostly complete but soft at its center. Shi is complete. The rest of the center is lost to the die sinking, but the peripheries are strong, including engraver Thomas Sparrows hallmark handshake, seen on his paper money cuts and each of the types he engraved for Annapolis neighbor John Chalmers. The central reverse is well struck up, with just minor softness at absolute center. Only trivial marks are noted, most notably a diagonal nick under Shi. The eye appeal is superb. <p><p>The Chalmers Rings shilling stands out among early American coins for several reasons. Its rarity is an obvious one - only five specimens are known (one essentially uniface, another holed). It almost never appears at auction; between 1921 and 1980, not a single specimen was sold publicly, and after three sales in the early 1980s (including two in two weeks!), there was not another offering until 2004. Its denomination is unique among Confederation-era American coins, shared with the more common Worm Shilling types that followed this one. And, perhaps most vitally, it represents the very earliest appearance of the famous linked rings motif on an American coin, predating the ca. 1783 Continental dollars and the 1787 Fugio coppers. Beyond all of this, it shares a remarkable history with the other coins of John Chalmers, struck in the temporary national capital as the nations leaders ratified the Treaty of Paris literally down the street.<p><p>In the 1921 John Story Jenks sale, while cataloging the second finest known example (Garrett-Partrick), the Chapman brothers referenced this coin: "Bushnells went to Parmelee, and S.H. and H. Chapman purchased it there, but I do not recall to whom we sold it." It went into the Brock Collection and did not see another public auction appearance for 114 years. In 2004, when this was offered in our Ford sale, Part II, it was the first opportunity to buy a Rings shilling since 1983, the year two examples hit the market (in the Roper and Lauder sales, in successive weeks that December) and one example was permanently taken off the market when the Norwebs included theirs in a donation of 52 colonial coins to the National Numismatic Collection.<p><p>The full listing of known specimens follows:<p><p>1.The present specimen, the discovery coin. Described as unique in the 1867 Mickley sale, Crosbys 1875 <em>Early Coins of America</em>, the 1882 Bushnell sale, and the 1890 Parmelee sale. PCGS VF-35.<p>2.The Jenks-Garrett-Roper-Partrick coin. Acquired by Henry Chapman in 1906 "in a lot of Mexican dollars of the period 1824-1834," according the description in the Jenks sale. Double struck. NGC VF-25.<p>3.The Norweb specimen, donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1983 along with 51 other important colonial coins. Fine to VF.<p>4.The Newman coin. Last sold in January 2020. NGC AG Details, Holed.<p>5.The Lauder-Dittmer coin. Slick on the obverse, some detail on the reverse. NGC Fair Details, Plugged.<p><p>The best two are very attractive coins. The worst two are very historic despite their condition. The Smithsonian is the only institution in the country to include a specimen of this classic rarity in their holdings, including non-numismatic institutions in Maryland and great numismatic specialty organizations like the ANS.PCGS# 597.From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier from W. Elliot Woodwards sale of the Joseph J. Mickley Collection, October 1867, lot 2527; S. Hudson and Henry Chapmans sale of the Charles I. Bushnell Collection, June 1882, lot 997; New York Coin and Stamp Companys sale of the Lorin G. Parmelee Collection, June 1890, lot 297; Robert C.W. Brock Collection, via the Chapman brothers; University of Pennsylvania; Phillip H. Ward; Harry Forman; our (Stacks) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part II, May 2004, lot 281; Anthony Terranova, November 2013.