US Coins

Muttonhead 1787 Connecticut copper

Some of the Colonial pieces sold in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ October auction at the Whitman Baltimore Expo carry colorful and fun nicknames.

One Colonial copper coin from the Archangel Collection was this Muttonhead 1787 Connecticut copper graded About Uncirculated 58+ by Professional Coin Grading Service that sold for $9,600 on Oct. 26.

The variety is classified as Miller 1.2-C in The State Coinage of Connecticut by Henry C. Miller and the hand-engraved dies of this variety are particularly unrefined.

The?term “Muttonhead” expresses a low opinion of a person’s intelligence, and the die work is primitive even by the relatively modest artistic standards of the Connecticut issues.

Other colorful nicknames collected among Connecticut copper issues include Hercules Head, African Head, Laughing Head and Horned Bust. 


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Stack’s Bowers counts the offered coin as among the finest known, with a sharp Muttonhead portrait and a broad planchet that shows a small planchet clip at 1 o’clock relative to the obverse that is as made. A particularly voluptuous seated figure on the reverse goes unnoted in the description, with the cataloger summarizing the hard surfaces as “Frosty and lustrous chestnut and steel brown with exceptional visual appeal.” The variety is listed on Page 73 of the 2019 “Red Book.” 

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