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‘NE’ shilling tops $400,000 in Stack’s sale

A New England
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A New England ?NE? shilling of 1652 led results of Stack?s May 22 auction, selling for $414,000.

The 1,710-lot sale of items from the Henry Leon collection (1,537 lots) along with Part 18 of the John J. Ford Jr. collection (173 lots) realized a total of $4,525,787.05.


A significant portion of the sale held material from the American colonial period, though federal U.S. coins and other items were also offered.

The ?NE? shilling, Noe II-A, was graded Extremely Fine-40 by Stack?s catalogers, who noted its ?superb? visual appeal and called it ?highly pleasing.? New England shillings are considered the first coins struck on American soil. This one was from the Leon consignment.


Second-highest realization in the sale takes us to the other coast. $126,500 was top bid for for a California gold Justh & Hunter ingot from around 1857. The gold bar, serial number 9494, contains 41.47 ounces of .889 fine gold has a face value stamped on it of $762.10. The auction firm described its condition as ?Nearly as found.? It came from the S.S. Central America shipwreck.

Another item with Central America pedigree was an 1851 Augustus Humbert octagonal $50 gold slug with reeded edge, the ?887 THOUS.? variety, graded EF-40 by Professional Coin Grading Service. It sold for $43,125.

Two colonial-era pieces from the Sommer Islands, a group of islands located in the Bermudas, drew great interest. Struck in England, these are considered the first coins struck for English colonies in the Americas. They feature a pig on the obverse, and so are sometimes referred to as ?hogge? coinage.

A large sails Sommer Islands shilling from around 1616, Breen 1, graded Extremely Fine-40 by the firm, sold for $109,250. Catalogers said only six examples of the denomination are known, and three of those are likely in museums.

Another Sommer Islands piece from circa 1616, this a twopence, small star, Breen 7, graded PCGS VF-25, brought $86,250. The auction firm speculated that only 16-18 genuine examples of the twopence exist.

A price of $103,500 was bid for a 1787 New York Excelsior copper, Breen 990. It was graded Choice Very Fine-35 by the auction firm.

A Connecticut 1737 Higley copper, Crosby 22, Friedus 3.2-B.a, Breen 241, graded Fine-15, brought $80,500. A 1739 Higley copper, broad axe variety, Friedus 3.1-D, Breen 244, Crosby 26var, graded Fine-12, went for $69,000.

Two other items also sold for $69,000, both of them Indian Peace Medals. First is an 1801 silver shell Thomas Jefferson medal, the second size, graded very good by Stack?s. Second is another 1801 silver shell Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace Medal, this one the third size, described as having detail of extremely fine.

Top federal U.S. coin issue in the sale was an 1800 $5 gold piece, blunt 1 variety, graded MS-64 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp, that went for $59,800.

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