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Lot 3018

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3018
Date 1785
Side reverse
Grade 63
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 45411
Denomination COPPER
Description 1785 Cent Inimica Tyrannis America / Confederatio, Large Circle Cent Original MS63 Brown NGC. Breen-1123, Whitman-5630, High R.7. 120.6 grains, 99% Copper per NGC metallurgical tests. There are two obverse dies known for this type, here with the legend INIMICA TYRANNIS AMERICA and in the next lot, with the legend INIMICA TYRANNIS AMERICANA. The reverse dies are also distinctive, here with the large circle of stars, and below with a small circle of stars. This extraordinary copper has full cartwheel luster with choice golden-brown surfaces showing a few splashes of greenish-steel toning. Although imperfectly centered, the strike is sufficient to show full border details on both sides. A tiny planchet defect through the quiver will identify this example. The obverse motto, "America Opposed to Tyranny," was taken from a longer Latin phrase, "Manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem," attributed to Algernon Sidney circa 1659. Sidney was an English soldier and statesman opposed to King Charles II; he was executed for treason in 1683. A notice in the November 20, 1755 edition of The Pennsylvania Gazette described Sidney as a "Friend of Peace." The second half of the Latin passage is the official motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Large Stars Confederatio pieces are known as decads, the name given to a copper coin valued at approximately one hundredth of a Spanish dollar. A sketch of the design appeared in the papers of the Continental Congress in 1785, and is considered by some as an important pattern issue. In his book In Yankee Doodle's Pocket, Will Nipper writes: {blockquote}"Another design, then under consideration by Congress, was a large gloried circle containing thirteen stars in a cross pattern and surrounded by the word CONFEDERATIO ("Union"). That design, which Jefferson may have conceived, appears as a sketch in the Papers of the Continental Congress, in 1785."{/blockquote} Walter Breen explained further on page 120 of his Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, where he reproduced the sketch mentioned by Nipper: {blockquote}"Thomas Jefferson's 'Propositions Respecting the Coinage of Gold, Silver, and Copper,' May 13, 1785 (written while he was in Paris, recommended the device of an Indian trampling on a crown, with MANUS INIMICA TYRANNIS, 'This hand is hostile to tyrants' (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, VII, p. 202). A deleted paragraph of the Report of the Grand Committee of Continental Congress suggested the name 'Decad' for the large copper coin, valued at 1/100 Spanish dollar, and for its device a sketch of the union of 13 stars in a circle with a serrated border representing rays, surrounded by CONFEDERATIO 1785."{/blockquote} Only six or seven examples of this variety are known to us, despite the assertion of nine to 12 known in the May 2004 Ford catalog; about eight specimens survive according to Nipper, and seven or eight are listed in Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, where this piece is plated. The Whitman Colonial Encyclopedia assigns a URS-4 rating, meaning five to eight examples are known. The Eric P. Newman example is far finer than the others, as our census reveals. The cataloger for the 1952 ANA Sale wrote: {blockquote}"Only five or six impressions are known of the crudely struck pattern, of which this is one of the finest. It is superior to the Parmelee and Mougey pieces; almost the equal of the G. Clapp, A.N.S. example and inferior, as all are, to the superb coin in the collection of Eric Newman."{/blockquote} {blockquote}Census of Known Specimens 1. MS63 Brown NGC. 120.6 grains. The present specimen per the provenance recorded below. 2. VF, estimated grade. Illustrated on page 186 of the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. Nothing else is known of this piece. 3. VF. 1961 Metropolitan Coin Company Fixed Price List. 4. Fine. 112.2 grains. John L. Roper, 2nd Collection (Stack's, 12/1983), lot 214. 5. Fine, estimated grade. George Clapp; American Numismatic Society Collection, acquired in 1941. 6. VG. 112.4 grains. Lorin G. Parmelee; Col. James W. Ellsworth; John Work Garrett; Garrett Collection; Johns Hopkins University (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1329. 7. VG, holed and plugged. 117.7 grains. Henry Chapman; Waldo Newcomer; B. Max Mehl; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; B.G. Johnson; James Kelly; R. Prann; Alan Harper; James Kelly; New Netherlands Coin Co.; ANA Sale (New Netherlands, 8/1952), lot 2416; Sol Kaplan (1953); Emery May Norweb; Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/1988), lot 2626. {/blockquote} Ex: Waldo Newcomer; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $750.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $352500.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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