Skip to content

SELECTIONS FROM STACK'S BOWERS MARCH 2017 SALE

The E-Sylum (3/5/2017)


Book Content

SELECTIONS FROM STACK'S BOWERS MARCH 2017 SALE

Here are some lots that caught my eye in the upcoming Stack's Bowers March 2017 sale in Baltimore. -Editor

Lot 55: 1800 Washington Hero of Freedom Medal

1800 Washington Hero of Freedom Medal obverse 1800 Washington Hero of Freedom Medal reverse

1800 Washington Hero of Freedom Medal. Struck over a 1797 Great Britain Twopence. Bronze. 38 mm. By Obadiah Westwood. Baker-79BA, Musante GW-81. Plain Edge. MS-63BN (NGC).

Struck on a Great Britain cartwheel twopence of 1797, a hardened and unusually thick host with high rims that may have presented some challenges in getting the higher central areas of relief to fully strike up on this medal. The softness seen here was also observed on the LaRiviere specimen, though to a lesser degree. Traces of the undertype are very few, but portions of incuse letters TANN of BRITANNIA may be seen on the reverse rim near 4 o'clock. Though some finishing process was undertaken on the edge, there is one small area with diagonal reeding still visible.

I have a soft spot for Washington medal even though I don't actively collect them. I have a bust of Washington on the desk in my home office. These medals were an obsession of 19th century American numismatists and remain popular today. It's good to see the catalogers using attributions to the great new book on Medallic Washington by Neil Musante. This example is particularly interesting because of the overstriking. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1800 Washington Hero of Freedom Medal. Struck over a 1797 Great Britain Twopence. Bronze. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-6Y1PR)

Lot 59: 1803 Wisdom Virtue & Patriotism Washington Fame Medal

Washington Fame Medal obverse Washington Fame Medal reverse

The Fame medal is considered by many to be the finest of the Washington memorial medals and it has long been prized by serious collectors of Washingtoniana, a field of numismatics that enjoyed strong enthusiasm at the same time that American numismatic pursuits became more widespread and popular in the years leading up to the Civil War. In fact, an example of this medal appeared in W. Elliot Woodward's sale of the John F. McCoy Collection in May 1864, and sold for $85 to J.N.T. Levick, a substantial sum at a time when the price record for any United States coin was less than $500.

While this medal falls under the aegis of American historical medals in terms of its audience, as with other early Washington pieces, this was produced in England, most likely by John Gregory Hancock, his mark "H" on Washington's truncation. While Hancock typically marked his dies "HANCOCK," and it has been posited that this piece was actually by John Henning, its style is all but conclusively that of Hancock.

Provenance: Ex John J. Ford, Jr., acquired 1951; our (Stack's) sale of the John J. Ford,. Jr. Collection, Part II, May 2004, lot 133. Collector envelope with attribution notation included.

Nice ex-Ford example of a classic Washington medal. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1803 Wisdom Virtue & Patriotism Medal. Bronze. 38.3 mm, rims 2.9 to 3.2 mm thick. Baker-84, Musante GW-87. Plain Edge. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-6Y28H)

Lot 64: 1856 "Buck-Cannon" Campaign Medal

1856 Buck-Cannon Campaign Medal obverse 1856 Buck-Cannon Campaign Medal reverse

1856 Buchanan and Breckinridge "Buck-Cannon" Campaign Medal. First Obverse. White Metal. 46 mm. Baker-380A, Musante GW-155, DeWitt-JB 1856-2. Rarity-8. MS-63 (NGC).

A simply outstanding example of this highly elusive and eagerly sought type. Both sides exhibit lovely pewter gray color, the reverse especially prooflike in finish. Fully Choice in quality with a sharp strike and abundant eye appeal. Baker-380A (and its bronze counterpart Baker-380) is considered a classic rarity in both the Washingtoniana and political Americana fields. Not represented in our Ford XXIV sale of September 2013, and of the utmost importance to specialists.

The rebus puzzle was a popular advertising gimmick in the 19th century. I'm surprised we don't see more emoji ads in today's online world. I hadn't seen this medal before, but think it's a great piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1856 Buchanan and Breckinridge "Buck-Cannon" Campaign Medal. First Obverse. White Metal. 46 mm. Baker-380A, Musante GW-155, DeWitt-JB (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-6Y3G4)

Lot 72: 1909 Lincoln Centennial Preserve, Protect, Defend Medal

1909 Lincoln Centennial Preserve, Protect, Defend Medal obverse 1909 Lincoln Centennial Preserve, Protect, Defend Medal reverse

1909 Lincoln Centennial Preserve, Protect, Defend Medal. Bronze. 63 mm. By Victor David Brenner. Cunningham 24-270, King-303, Smedley-84. MS 66 BN (NGC).

Certainly one of the more dramatic medals produced for Lincoln's birth centenary in 1909, and apparently a rare variety as well. According to Paul A. Cunningham in the 2015 reference Lincoln's Metallic Imagery, only 20 specimens were struck with the artist's signature appearing as V.D. BRENNER at about 8 o'clock on the obverse before the die broke. New dies were prepared replacing his name with just the initials VDB moved to the truncation of Lincoln's bust in just about the same position they would be on all Lincoln cents produced from 1918 to date. Produced as a "desk medal" by Gorham Co. for Brenner, this is a visually impressive and rare piece in any of its varieties. Incorrectly attributed on the NGC insert as King-304.

Let's not forget Lincoln, another extremely popular subject of medals over the years. This is a great one from the designer of the Lincoln cent, Victor David Brenner. I love the landscape on the reverse. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1909 Lincoln Centennial Preserve, Protect, Defend Medal. Bronze. 63 mm. By Victor David Brenner. Cunningham 24-270, King-303, Smedley-84... (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-6Y33J)

Lot 4109: Atwater Correspondence on Stickney 1804 Dollar

Atwater letter to Raymond on Stickney 1804 dollar

Atwater Stickney 1804 dollar photo

Correspondence Between William C. Atwater and Wayte Raymond Concerning the Stickney Specimen of the 1804 Silver Dollar. This lot consists of a single page letter from William C. Atwater to Wayte Raymond, the associated mailing envelope, and 11 photographs, each depicting both sides of an 1804 dollar. The letter reads:

"My dear Raymond! Here are all the photos I have of my Stickney dollar. I am sending all of them to you that you may select the best for your purpose. They look pretty good to me and seem to show of[f] the individual characteristics of the coin. Please return to me the pictures you do not use. Atwater."

The letter has been folded once to fit into the envelope; otherwise it is in excellent condition. The mailing envelope bears Atwater's printed business address and is addressed to Wayte Raymond in New York City. The postal cancellations bear the date of March 7, albeit without the associated year. The three two-cent stamps affixed are 1929 George Rogers Clark commemoratives, which probably give a good indication of the year of mailing. The back flap of the envelope has become detached, but is still present. The photographs show the coin in different lighting conditions and on light and dark backgrounds, and are all in excellent condition. The two cardboard stiffeners to protect the photographs are still present.

The coin in question is probably the most famous coin in the world. It was the first 1804 dollar to enter the numismatic marketplace, having been acquired by Matthew Adams Stickney in a trade with officials at the Philadelphia Mint in 1843. It remained in the Stickney collection until 1894 and, upon his death, passed into the hands of his daughter. In 1907 the collection, including the 1804 dollar, was auctioned by Henry Chapman. The purchaser was Colonel James W. Ellsworth, who held the coin until 1923 when Wayte Raymond dispersed the Ellsworth collection. The purchaser this time was William C. Atwater. Shortly after the sale, this letter was sent to Raymond, who wanted a photograph of the coin for "purposes" unclear in the letter.

Great ephemera for the bibliophile or researcher. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Correspondence Between William C. Atwater and Wayte Raymond Concerning the Stickney Specimen of the 1804 Silver Dollar. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-6Y9RS)

NBS Do You Love Coin Book card ad
NNP is 100% non-profit and independent // Your feedback is essential and welcome. // Your feedback is essential and welcome.