Bonhams : Coins and Medals

Coins and Medals

1 Jun 2015, starting at 10:00 PDT .

Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

1785 Vermont Copper, Immune Columbia, VERMON AUCTORI Fine 12 NGC
W-2250, RR-1, Bressett 26-Z, Low R.6. The obverse features a crudely cut die with VERMON AUCTORI surrounding a right facing head of George III; the reverse shows a seated figure facing right with IMMUNE COLUMBIA surrounding and the date, 1785 below. This rare variety is always seen on a small planchet causing the border inscriptions, especially the date, not to be completely visible. The origin of the reverse die is not known, but is likely of American origin, not British. Breen attributed it to Wyon in England, stating that the IMMUNE (instead of IMMUNIS) misspelling caused it to be rejected and sent to America, however, the workmanship does not match that of the Wyon shop. The 'IMMUNE' die was combined with others of the time including Nova Constellatio dies made in England. Due to its early date and unique style, this was listed by Hillyer C. Ryder as number 1 in his text. Despite their peculiar nature, this and other Machin's Mills mulings are "official," as that mint (Wyon) was an authorized producer of Vermont Colonial issues.

Deep golden-tan over the obverse, the reverse is slightly deeper in tone with no spotting or notable corrosion on either side. Admittedly worn, as should be expected for the assigned grade, yet remarkably free of any notable marks or granularity. The overall appearance is of a hard and smooth planchet. The obverse details are clear, especially the legends, though the field blends lightly into the tops of ORI (AUCTORI) in places. The bust is fully defined and shows a touch of detail in the armor and the hair at the very top of the image, and a tiny planchet pit is noted at the back of the hair under MO of VERMON, this being mentioned for future pedigree purposes. The reverse seated figure of Columbia is defined nicely at the base and the viewer's left side and head, though the center of her image is flatly struck. The legends are very well defined, with the rim intersecting the tops of IMM. The tops of the date numerals are plain, though as Tony Carlotto noted in his reference on Vermont coppers, "It is rare to have a full date on this variety, and lucky to have any part of it at all." Regarding the history of the muling, we refer once again to the Carlotto reference where he notes: "Although this variety bears the date of 1785, it was probably struck later toward the end of the Vermont-Machin venture. This is one of the five muled varieties (RR-1, 13, 31, 39, and 40) in the Vermont series." This is an exceptional coin for the assigned grade, a piece that will appeal widely to specialists. We expect that a strong price will be the order of the day for this highly collectible mid-grade Vermont copper rarity.
Sold for US$ 25,740 inc. premium
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