On this page you will find many items that few have ever seen.

Many areas are covered with an emphasis on pre-production, production of, and uses for United States coins and currency.

Also included will be medals and tokens.  Not legal tender, but beautiful medallic miniature sculptures issued throughout the last three hundred years.  Some of the best works from designers of U.S. coins are to be found here, along with historically important commemorative medals.

And finally we include the decorative arts here.  Vintage coin glass from 1892, trompe l’oil paintings, and vintage prints are just a few of the things you will find.

 

Home » Americana Offerings » New Items Just Added:

Framed Image of Robinson Commemorative Obverse Plaster with Joseph T. Robinson Signature & Robinson Commemorative

Framed Image of Robinson Commemorative Obverse Plaster with Joseph T. Robinson Signature & Robinson Commemorative

The Arkansas commemorative half dollar was issued from 1935-1939, but in 1936 an additional variety of the half dollar was prepared and sold that featured a large portrait of the then-living Senator Joseph T. Robinson, who had been the Democratic nominee for Vice President in the 1928 general election.

Overall dimensions of the frame are approximately 13-1/2 x 15-1/2 inches while the image of the obverse plaster is approximately 7-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches. Robinson signed his name boldly and clearly and the signature is approximately 5 inches in length and done in somewhat faded (presumably black) ink. Beneath this there is a Robinson commemorative half dollar that appears within a circular cut-out in the frame matting. The reverse has an attached newspaper article as well as a notation that the framing was done in Little Rock, AR by Tom Allen in January, 1937.

Priced at: $3,500.00

… Click Here to Continue

Group of Oregon Trail Exonumia Featuring Large Bronze Plaque & Medal

Group of Oregon Trail Exonumia Featuring Large Bronze Plaque & Medal

The Oregon Trail commemorative is a favorite of many numismatists and this lot of material features a great deal of information associated with this coinage masterpiece produced by the husband and wife team of James Earle and Laura Gardin Fraser.

Included is a sterling silver pin with bright blue enamel showing a Conestoga wagon, an Old Oregon Trail Monument Expedition membership card from 1906, several vintage post cards and photos of Ezra Meeker, an Oregon Trail Memorial Associate medal awarded to Lewis B. Gawtry and an approximately 11-1/2 x 15 inch board with an approximately 9-1/2 inch bronze plaque firmly screwed to it.

On Hold

… Click Here to Continue

Bay Bridge 1936-S PCGS MS66 (CAC) 76th Coin Struck with Capital Plastics Holder and Documentation

Bay Bridge 1936-S PCGS MS66 (CAC) 76th Coin Struck with Capital Plastics Holder and Documentation

Descriptions will be posted soon.

cac

PCGS Population: 843 Higher: 168
CAC Population/Higher: 143/62

Priced at: $7,500.00

… Click Here to Continue

1864 Feuchtwanger Eagle Three Cent PCGS MS64 (CAC) Eliasberg

1864 Feuchtwanger Eagle Three Cent PCGS MS64 (CAC) Eliasberg

Descriptions will be posted soon.

cac

PCGS Population: 4 Higher: 0
CAC Population/Higher: -/-

Priced at: $15,000.00

… Click Here to Continue

1938 NY Sterling Westchester Coin Club Medal New Rochelle NGC MS65 with Original Box

1938 NY Sterling Westchester Coin Club Medal New Rochelle NGC MS65 with Original Box

Descriptions and/or images will be posted soon, if you need a coin described sooner, please contact us at 1-908-962-1500.

NGC Population: – Higher: –
CAC Population/Higher: -/-

Priced at: $1,500.00

… Click Here to Continue

Unsigned Plaster Model for the Jefferson Nickel Competition of 1938

Unsigned Plaster Model for the Jefferson Nickel Competition of 1938

A Treasury Department Art Projects Bulletin, No. 14, of 1938 announced an open competition for the design of the new Jefferson nickel. Although the competition was open to the public, there had been a number of announcements already mailed off to known artists who might be interested and capable. The winner of the competition would receive $1,000 and the committee to pick the winner would be composed of Nellie Tayloe Ross, Director of the Mint along with the sculptors Sidney Waugh, Albert Stewart and Heinz Warneke. Two of the major requirements were that the models could not be signed and that any artist that would have liked to have had his or her models returned would have to pay for the return shipping. Additional detailed instructions as to the format and content were included in the announcement. Approximately 390-entries were submitted and, unfortunately, the great majority of those entries have not been found and/or connected to their artists. The winner of the competition was of course Felix Schlag, with Honorable Mention going to Henry Kreis. Kreis is better known to modern numismatists as the designer of the Connecticut and Bridgeport commemorative half dollars and the artist who engraved the obverse of the Robinson commemorative half dollar. Although Schlag won the competition, the final reverse design chosen to be placed into production bore little resemblance to his dramatic three-quarters view of Monticello.

The plaster model included here is without signature marks of any type.  It is a snowy white obverse model with IN GOD WE TRUST behind Jefferson’s head, LIBERTY spaced widely directly above his portrait and spaced widely and centered beneath. The model has very visible, raised guidelines for the letters and numbers and some mild staining by TY of LIBERTY. The reverse and sides are essentially unmarked with a few chips noted near the base, which are not visible when looking directly at the plaster.

The model is approximately 8-1/2 x ¾ inches.

 

On Hold

… Click Here to Continue

Two Unsigned Plaster Models for the Jefferson Nickel Competition of 1938

Two Unsigned Plaster Models for the Jefferson Nickel Competition of 1938

A Treasury Department Art Projects Bulletin, No. 14, of 1938 announced an open competition for the design of the new Jefferson nickel. Although the competition was open to the public, there had been a number of announcements already mailed off to known artists who might be interested and capable. The winner of the competition would receive $1,000 and the committee to pick the winner would be composed of Nellie Tayloe Ross, Director of the Mint along with the sculptors Sidney Waugh, Albert Stewart and Heinz Warneke. Two of the major requirements were that the models could not be signed and that any artist that would have liked to have had his or her models returned would have to pay for the return shipping. Additional detailed instructions as to the format and content were included in the announcement. Approximately 390-entries were submitted and, unfortunately, the great majority of those entries have not been found and/or connected to their artists. The winner of the competition was of course Felix Schlag, with Honorable Mention going to Henry Kreis. Kreis is better known to modern numismatists as the designer of the Connecticut and Bridgeport commemorative half dollars and the artist who engraved the obverse of the Robinson commemorative half dollar. Although Schlag won the competition, the final reverse design chosen to be placed into production bore little resemblance to his dramatic three-quarters view of Monticello.

The two plaster models included here are without signature marks of any type.  They are most likely a pair submitted at one time by a single artist as their patina and style look quite similar. The creamy, antique white obverse has IN GOD WE TRUST in front of the portrait, a widely spaced LIBERTY above and a closely spaced date set off-center below. There are some pencil marks that appear to be guidelines on the model as well as some tape on the edge, though the tape does not appear to have any function. The reverse is unmarked aside from some red, violet or pink ink that has long ago bled. The most dramatic feature readily visible, aside from the design, are a pair of holes drilled neatly through the model, each with an outer diameter of approximately 3/8 inch, perhaps for mounting on a wall. The likely mate for this obverse is a reverse that is strikingly similar to what was finally put into production later in 1938. It has many of the features we are familiar with on the first Jefferson nickels, but also has a pair of bold stars and the fine details of Monticello are in striking relief. Interestingly, the ink seen on the obverse mate is also seen on this piece in the field beneath E PLURIBUS UNUM as well as on the reverse. Additionally, myriad pencil markings are on the surfaces, generally along the edge and plain back, as well as a fairly large chip that has been lost from the rim above the A in AMERICA. This model also has holes drilled into it.

Each model is approximately 8-1/2 x ¾ inches.

 

On Hold

… Click Here to Continue

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) ONE Plate

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) ONE Plate

An unusual plate with the word ONE repeated 648-times in 24-columns of 27-repeats each. The copper plate is approximately 9-1/4 x 4 inches with violet and orange highlights throughout. The reverse is deeper in color with some grooves, but otherwise unmarked. The original paper envelope is included with a green impression affixed and the number 380 written boldly in black or brown ink.

 

Priced at: $325.00

… Click Here to Continue

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) The World in a Pocket Book Page

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) The World in a Pocket Book Page

The 1849 edition of this publication, which matches the date on the bottom of this plate, was essentially a world almanac and could be had in a hardcover edition of 203-pages and published by George S. Appleton. The title appears above an angel (Fame?) blowing trumpet with flags, globe and eagle amidst clouds. Below is the date along with Appleton’s name and address. The approximately 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 inch steel plate has many fine hairlines and pre-dates the formation of the American Bank Note Company (1858). Included is the original paper envelope with notations and image affixed. The mark of JB Keim Philadelphia is on the reverse.

 

Priced at: $555.00

… Click Here to Continue

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) New England Bank Note Co. Title

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) New England Bank Note Co. Title

The New England Bank Note Company was formed in 1833 and joined forces with Rowdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson in 1847, having offices in New York, Boston, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Montreal before the combined firm merged with seven other like-minded firms in 1858 to form the American Bank Note Company. This particular plate is copper and approximately 7-1/4 x 3-3/4 inches with beveled edges and deeper edge color showing brighter central orange color. The reverse shows some tooling marks. Included is the original paper wrapper with an affixed paper imprint of the plate and 383 written in bold black or brown ink.

 

Priced at: $575.00

… Click Here to Continue

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) Portrait Vignette & Banquet Announcement

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) Portrait Vignette & Banquet Announcement

Highly polished, silvery PL-steel plate approximately 7-3/4 x 4-1/2 inches with reverse marked 1446 and also having many small markings on the reverse. The portrait is large, yet the announcement has many lines of text relating to Grant and his achievements. It announces the 69th birth anniversary to be held at Delmonico’s in New York City.

 

Priced at: $635.00

… Click Here to Continue

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) B.A. Fahnestock’s Plate

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) B.A. Fahnestock’s Plate

B.A. Fahnestock is known for one of the era’s pervasive cure-alls known as “B. A. Fahnestock’s Celebrated Vermifuge.” The bottom of the vignette states that it was designed and engraved by Rowdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, which by 1858 had merged with seven other companies to form the American Bank Note Company. The top of the vignette states that it was produced in 1849. This may have been made as part of a label for any number of products and the portrait in upper center is likely that of Fahnestock. The steel plate is approximately 8 x 6-1/4 inches with many roughed out markings on the reverse. It includes the original paper envelope with V42141 written in bold, red ink as well as other markings in pencil and red ink. An image of the plate as it might produce an image (not included in this sale) is shown at bottom.

 

Priced at: $460.00

… Click Here to Continue

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company Stock Certificate

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company Stock Certificate

The Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company was chartered in 1859 and grew steadily to over 12,000 miles of track within seven states in the 1970s. Following the sale of the railway to its employees in 1972 the term “Employee Owned” was added to its literature and logo. Union Pacific Railroad purchased the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company in 1995. This enormous steel plate measures approximately 11 x 6-1/2 inches, is a medium grey color and has several small indents (reminiscent of a ball peen hammer) in each corner. The reverse has many hatch marks and S58905 impressed in one corner. The plate is for common capital stock valued at $100 each. An image of the plate as it might produce an image (not included in this sale) is shown at bottom.

 

Priced at: $345.00

… Click Here to Continue

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) Joseph Schlitz (1831-1875) Portrait Vignette

American Bank Note Company (ABNCo) Joseph Schlitz (1831-1875) Portrait Vignette

Joseph Schlitz, a German-American immigrant born in Germany, married the widow of the founder of the Krug Brewery and renamed it the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. He expanded the company’s profile and was lost at sea in 1875. This plate is approximately 3-1/2 x 3 inches and made of steel that is an even, light grey color. The reverse of the plate is essentially devoid of markings. Also included is the original paper envelope with V46 written in bold, red ink. The remainder of the identification number has been torn off the envelope. Written beneath this in black, cursive ink is Jos. Schlitz and No. 472. Included is a proof impression on white stock paper with copious pencil notes as well as a proof room index card from ABNCo that show Rice as the engraver and that the plate was approved in December, 1876 to be used for checks.

 

Priced at: $290.00

… Click Here to Continue

A Pair of Lorillard (Lorrilard) Wise Plaster Models Submitted for the New Rochelle Commemorative Half Dollar

A Pair of Lorillard (Lorrilard) Wise Plaster Models Submitted for the New Rochelle Commemorative Half Dollar

Lorillard (or Lorrilard, as per Don Taxay) Wise was the first artist contacted about producing models for the proposed New Rochelle commemorative half dollar design. Interestingly, the designs and plasters were originally approved only to be highly modified and later rejected entirely with the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) moving to another artist (Gertrude Lathrop; designer of the previously issued Albany commemorative).

A July 20, 1936 letter from Charles Moore to acting Mint Director Mary O’Reilly requested that certain aspects of the submitted design be reworked and, after this was done, a follow up letter of August 17, 1936 to acting Mint Director O’Reilly stated that the models should be approved with some additional modifications. At that time the conditionally approved design featured a Native American crouched along the shore with ship in background on obverse paired with the New Rochelle coat of arms on reverse, which would match the pair of plasters offered presently. Photographs of these plasters are also included in Taxay’s “An Illustrated History of US Commemorative Coinage” on page 197. Instead of smoothly transitioning to coinage production, additional critiques of the designs were ongoing and a complete reworking of the Native American obverse was later submitted as a sketch including merely the shoreline of New Rochelle. At this point the CFA was split as to approving the designs and plans were put into place to remove Lorillard Wise from involvement and to instead go with Gertrude Lathrop for coinage design and production.

The initially approved designs by Wise, included here, offer a very different view of what might have been for the New Rochelle commemorative half dollar. The positioning of the Native American, in an apparent crouch, seems somewhat odd today and this was also the case in the critiques of 1936 as well as in 1967 when Taxay wrote “The obverse featured an Indian who anatomy can only be described as unfortunate.” There are two positions that the word LIBERTY appears on these first-draft models; one obverse has the inscription on the sun and another has it in the vegetation directly behind the Native American. The plaster included here has the inscription on the sun.

The two plasters included are quite clean with a crisp white appearance and essentially smooth, unmarked reverses. They are approximately nine inches across and one inch deep and neither is a perfect circle, but instead each shows irregular borders immediately surrounding the raised borders that encircle the proposed design.

 

On Hold

… Click Here to Continue

The Coins of the Bible Illustrated-Scott & Company 1884

The Coins of the Bible Illustrated-Scott & Company 1884

Although this is a physically small book, it measures approximately 3-1/2 x 5-1/4 inches and is only approximately ¼ inch thick; the book carries quite a bit of heft. The reason for that would be the four “Fac-Similies of Coins Mentioned in the Holy Bible” nestled neatly into die-cut holes in the back cover, as issued. The book is 38-pages in length with minor scuffing along the covers, but the interior pages are nearly completely devoid of any stains, stray marks or other injuries. The pages are thick and crisp and the typeface bold and easy to read. Perhaps most surprisingly, the reproductions in the back are complete as a group and have not been abused in any obvious manner. It seems that this book was originally produced to allow school age children a chance to learn about coins in the Bible and as such it would stand to reason that the great majority of pieces still extant would show significant handling. This is not the case with the current example. The reproductions included in the back include one each “Shekel of Israel”, “Widow’s Mite”, “Shekel or Stater” and “Penny or Denarius”.

 

Priced at: $995.00

… Click Here to Continue

Shreve and Company Catalogue 1910-1911

Shreve and Company Catalogue 1910-1911

This Shreve and Company catalogue comes bound in a heavy paper cover that has embedded within it a dramatic copper plate with an approximate size of 1-3/4 x 3-1/2 inches. Shreve and Company is a luxury jeweler and silversmith entity that has been in San Francisco since 1854. Their building was one of the few to survive the earthquake of 1906. This catalogue might be considered the Sears catalogue of high end jewelers and silversmiths. It is a heavy book of approximately 225-pages with nearly every page featuring a large photograph (halftone plates) of a group of items for sale with prices listed on the bottom of each page. At the back of the book there is still the attached order form with the date of order listed as “191_”. The off-white cover has some light staining and some of the interior pages also have some light discoloration or staining. The pages are made of high quality material and are intentionally ragged cut on the edges.

 

Priced at: $1,200.00

… Click Here to Continue

History of the United States Mint and Coinage Ancient and Modern-Evans US Mint Centennial Issue 1892

History of the United States Mint and Coinage Ancient and Modern-Evans US Mint Centennial Issue 1892

The 1892 edition of this work has a hardbound blue cloth binding with embossed, gilt lettering on the cover and spine. The binding is fairly tight and the cover retains a vivid shade of blue with minor scuff marks. The last ten pages of the book have an old stain along the top edge of the pages that is reminiscent of a grease or heat stain. There is also a single photographic plate that has a small piece of ancient tape along the edge to stabilize a slight tear. This edition is approximately 180-pages with dimensions of approximately 8-1/2 x 5-3/4 inches. The paper used in this edition is more substantial than that used in previous editions.

It contains an extensive chapter describing the minting process complete with many exceptional illustrations and even an illustration of a counting board with 60 (sixty!) 1804 silver coins, presumably dimes or half-dimes. There is an additional discussion of foreign and ancient coins that is then followed by a more detailed study of US federal and colonial issues. Two dozen or more high quality black and white plates of coins, minting tools and portraits are scattered throughout the work as well. Lastly, there is a nascent coin grading and valuation guide at the end, with at least the valuation guide serving as an ad for Scott Stamp and Coin Co. where an 1804 dollar is listed at $200 and an 1836 Gobrecht dollar at $4.00 while the 1796 quarter is $1.00, which is more than the 1804 quarter at 75-cents!

 

Priced at: $500.00

… Click Here to Continue

History of the United States Mint and Coinage Ancient and Modern-Evans, 1894

History of the United States Mint and Coinage Ancient and Modern-Evans, 1894

This is a copy of the “New Revised Edition” of the Evans US Mint classic. Over the years there were multiple editions of this work published and the book in this listing is a hardbound issue with reddish-brown cloth covering, embossed decorative covers and spine; with gilt lettering and spine trim. There is some fading of the covers, stray pencil marks on several pages and parts of the spine are loose, but overall the book is fairly clean and tight. This edition is approximately 180-pages with dimensions of approximately 9 x 5-3/4 inches.

It contains an extensive chapter describing the minting process complete with many exceptional illustrations and even an illustration of a counting board with 60 (sixty!) 1804 silver coins, presumably dimes or half-dimes. There is an additional discussion of foreign and ancient coins that is then followed by a more detailed study of US federal and colonial issues. Two dozen or more high quality black and white plates of coins, minting tools and portraits are scattered throughout the work as well. Lastly, there is a nascent coin grading and valuation guide at the end, with at least the valuation guide serving as an ad for Scott Stamp and Coin Co. where an 1804 dollar is listed at $200 and an 1836 Gobrecht dollar at $4.00 while the 1796 quarter is $1.00, which is more than the 1804 quarter at 75-cents!

 

Priced at: $350.00

… Click Here to Continue

The John Adams Bolen Medals & Stuck Copies

John Adams Bolen was a die sinker, a jewelry repair man, a sewing machine salesman, a subscription book salesman an engraver and a shop owner, among other things. He is best known to modern numismatists, however, for his prolific, eighteenth century production of medals and store cards. Bolen began his career in the 1840s in the New York-New Jersey area making jewelry and cutting likenesses for James Rumrill of Peckham and Rumrill. He later followed Rumrill to Springfield, MA in the early 1850s and remained there for the rest of his life.

Sometime between late 1860 and early 1861, Bolen was approached about producing a medal for the Pioneer Baseball Club of Springfield, MA. This would be Bolen’s first medal and would later be known as JAB-1. Following the Civil War, Bolen returned to making medals as well as a small number of struck copies of rare US (colonial) issues. From late 1865 through 1869 he would cut 36-dies and issue 23-medals, which began to appear in auctions and were noticed throughout the numismatic community. Following 1869, the issuance of medals stopped until the Masonic Temple Dedication medal of 1874, with only sporadic medals produced thereafter and generally tied to the subject of local Masonic events.

Vexing to Bolen and later numismatists were his 1862-1869 production of struck copies for rare US-related issues including the Bar Cent and Higley Copper pieces, among others, at least some of which had small changes incorporated into the designs perhaps as a signature or copy mark. Bolen was well known in numismatic circles and was a member of numismatic societies and he offered his struck copies as copies instead of as legitimate historical issues. Both Lyman Low and Henry Chapman were outspoken critics of struck copies, electrotypes and other forms of duplication and they referred to Bolen’s work with struck copies as counterfeits. Historically, this label appears to have stuck with Bolen to a degree and it may be debated as to how accurate it truly is.

Collecting Bolen’s works has been an active niche in numismatics at least since the 1860s and at some point after the production of the first medals it was realized by both Bolen and others that a catalogue of issues could be quite useful to the industry.  During his lifetime there were five different lists of medallic work produced with the first of these appearing in 1866 and the fourth in 1882. It would not be until 1905 that the fifth work, which is also the only work that was published under Bolen’s name, would be produced. Importantly, none of the five lists is complete or accurate. It appears that real-time records of medal production were not kept by Bolen and that subsequent issues of lists relied upon Bolen notes or his recollections. Bolen also kept his own reference collection, but again it appears as though this reference collection was started well after medal production was started as it was incomplete. The pieces in this reference collection had a small B struck on the side of the medal along with a notation of the metal and a mintage number, which may very well have been a best-guess number. This reference collection was sold to the ANS in 1948.

A frustrating aspect of Bolen regarding his work is that he sold many of the dies he prepared to strike his medals. A total of 34-dies were sold and many of these were later used by their new owners to strike mules. Not all these dies have been accounted for. To complicate matters further, Bolen himself produced 15-mules. This makes collecting and organizing Bolen’s medals a difficult task, but also allows terrific flexibility into what might or might not be included in any individual collection. The dies were sold in three groups to George B. Mason, John W. Kline and A. Ramsey McCoy. Mason later sold or traded his purchased dies to Dr. Frank Smith Edwards and both parties made various mule combinations and these are known as the Mason/Edwards (M/E) mules. The group of dies sold to Kline that were used to produce mules have been catalogued as the Kline mules (K). Those dies sold to McCoy had their mules marketed by W. Elliot Woodward and are the (W) mules.

The numbering system for Bolen’s medals and struck copies largely follows the listing of medals in Bolen’s 1905 work and lists as, for example, JAB-12. Mules produced by Bolen incorporate an M and would be listed as JAB-M-12. Those mules produced by other parties would contain their designation (M/E, K or W) as well. The definitive reference work on Bolen’s career is The Medallic Work of John Adams Bolen and was written by Neil E. Musante and published in 2002. It is from this definitive work that the great majority of the information in this article was extracted. TB

Notes on Our Next Show





If you have items to SELL please stop by our table and we will be happy to discuss purchasing them

We will also have many items with us for you to view. If you are looking for anything in particular, or have an interest in anything on our website, please email or give us a call, prior to the show and we will make sure we bring this item for you to view.

Thank you and we look forward to meeting you.

Show Schedule