US Coins

Early American auction boasts unique items

A Civil War Union Army corps badge fashioned from a silver 3-cent coin, a unique variety of encased postage and a contemporary counterfeit  1708 Massachusetts Colonial note highlight Early American’s Oct. 24 to 26 online auction.

The 538 lots include collectibles related to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, early lottery tickets, postage stamp envelopes, encased postage stamps, historical medals, political Americana, and items from other topical collecting fields.

An 18 percent buyer’s premium will be added to the final closing price of each lot won.

Corps badge

The circa 1863 Corps Badge was created from an an 18.3-millimeter silver 3-cent coin, and the reverse retains vestiges of the coin’s Roman numeral III, portions of the C in CENT and at least one star.

The badge reflects the Union Army, IX Corps, 1st Division.

The hand-engraved obverse depicts the Corps’ insignia of a naval cannon with a ship’s anchor crossing at center.

Members of the IX Corps distinguished themselves in combat in multiple theaters, in the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The badges is offered as “Choice Extremely Fine or better.”

Encased postage

Offered as “unique” is a Joseph A. Bates, FANCYGOODS, Boston, encased postage stamp, with FANCYGOODS inscribed as a single word instead of two on the back of the encasement.

Cataloged as Reed-BA03FG in Civil War Encased Stamps: The Issuers and Their Times by Fred L. Reed, the example offered is described as being the only known Bates piece with the inscription anomaly.

The obverse features a 3-cent rose-colored George Washington 3-cent stamp, Scott EP27 as cataloged in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

Encased postage was a form of Civil War era advertising and currency that employed a U.S. postage stamp on the obverse under a mica cover secured to a metallic disc. The reverse of the disc is inscribed with the name of the merchant who issued it.

The monetary value was based on the denomination of the postage stamp.

The piece is offered as Extremely Fine.

Contemporary counterfeit

The contemporary counterfeit Nov. 21, 1708, Province of the Massachusetts Bay 40 shillings note, in “Choice Extremely Fine,” is described as being the only such example of the contemporary counterfeit known.

The contemporary counterfeit is meant to mimic Boston silversmith and goldsmith John Coney’s original note.

The contemporary counterfeit, printed on “thick laid period paper” using “a well-executed copy plate,” bears the “signatures” of Elisha Hutchinson, Penn Townsend and Samuel Chockley.

Visit Early American online for more information on this and future auctions.

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