GREAT SALE OF COINS
The Daily Republic (2/28/1851)
[The Daily Republic (Washington, District of Columbia), 2/28/1851, p. 1]
GREAT SALE OF COINS. – Messrs. M. Thomas & Sons commenced last evening the sale of the collection of coins, medals, and autographs of the late Dr. Lewis Roper, deceased, of this city. It is probably unequalled by any private collection in the United States, and the announcement of its sale created quite a stir among our virtuosi. The sales last evening were confined to American coins and medals, the bidding was very spirited, and some of the prices paid were extremely high. A half dollar, with the head of Washington, dated 1792, brought the enormous price of $18. Two Washington cens, date 1791, brought respectively $1.62½ and $1.75, and one of 1792 brought $2.12½. Four other Washington cents were sold for $2.20. An American silver dollar of 1838, with the flying eagle, brough the extravagant price of $5, and a half dollar of the same coinage, $7.25! Two dollar pieces of 1836 brought $3.25; one 1839 $1.75, and a dollar and half dollar of 1794, $1.75; while another half dollar of ’39 sold for $2.10. Four old Massachusetts shillings brought $3.60, and a three penny Massachusetts piece sold for $2. A “half disme” of 1792 brought $2; two old Annapolis shillings, $1.75; a half cent of 1792, $2.40; a gold dollar of 1836, $2.37; two old cents and eight half cents, $1.50; and a three cent silver piece, 90 cents. The actual value in metal, of the lot Americans, scarcely exceeded $10, and yet they brought about $66.
Among the medals sold was a gold one issued on the storming of Stony Point, valued at $30. It sold for $38. Two silver medals of Washington, $3.24, a silver medal of George II, $1; a copper medal, (Kittaning destroyed by Colonel Armstrong, September 8, 1756) $1; Libertas American $2.12; copper medals of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, $1.75 each; do. of J. Q. Adams, $2.50; gift medals of J. Q. Adams, $1, and 62½ cents respectively; 62½ cents and $1.12 were paid for copper medals of Martin Van Buren, and 50 cents and $1 for similar medals of John Tyler. Sic transit gloria mundi! A copper medal of Com. John Paul Jones sold for $2.12, one of Commodore Decatur, $2.12; one of Commodore Hull, $2, and a number of other naval medals, at prices ranging from 50 cents to $1.50. A gold locket, with the head of Washington ruled on glass, was struck off at $2, a fragment of old Independence bell at 50 cents.
The great mass of the colleciton remains unsold, and the sale will be continued this evening. Among them are several hundred ancient Roman and Greek coins, of gold, silver, and copper; Italian, Papal, and Episcopal coins; English coins from the time of Canuts to Victoria; French coins from Charlemagne to Napoleon, and other coins of all the European nations, besides numerous medals of great historical interest. There is also a collection of numismatic works, and numerous rare and valuable autographs. – Philadelphia Bulletin, 21st.