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[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 40 NGC 491 1742 DBLN Brasher Lima...
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[ Colonials ] [ COINS ] 40 NGC 491 1742 DBLN Brasher Lima Doubloon 1742 DBLN Brasher Lima Style Doubloon. XF40 NGC. Lots 30011 through represent what is almost certainly the ultimate collection of coins related to Ephraim Brasher, the New York city gold and silversmith. Included are two colonial copper coins produced by John Bailey and punchlinked to the Brasher Doubloons, two gold coins from Brazil that each have an EB counterstamp, the important 1742-dated Lima Style Brasher Doubloon, the famous 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's wing, and the unique 1787 New York Style Brasher Doubloon with EB punched on the eagle's breast. Perhaps the single most important entry into the history of the Brasher Doubloon ( specifically the Lima Style Doubloon), was published in the ANS Coinage of the Americas Conference series. Ephraim Brasher's 1786 Lima Style Doubloon was presented by Michael Hodder at the 1991 conference, and was published by the ANS in 1992 as part of Money of Pre-Federal America, edited by John M. Kleeberg. Walter Breen su ggested that the Lima Style Doubloons were produced after the New York Style pieces. In his Complete Encyclopedia, Breen noted: Most likely their unfamiliar design the New York Style Doubloons met with resistance, so that Brasher substituted another design, imitating the then common Philip V Lima Doubloons; he hallmarked these similarly. This statement would probably still be taken as the truth except for the report of Michael Hodder who noted that the EB punch appearing on the Lima Style Doubloons is in an earlier die state, meaning they had to be struck first. Regarding the Lima Style Doubloon, Hodder (p. 128) noted: Another gold coin type which bears an 'EB' counterstamp has been known for nearly a century, the so-called 'Lima Style' Doubloon. Apart from a few auction catalogue descriptions of indifferent usefulness, and a report by the American Numismatic Society published in 1915, even less of value has been written about this putative Brasher product. Today, a seemingly more impenetrable aura of mystery surrounds the Lima Style Doubloon than the more familiar New York Style type. It has attracted none of the public attention that has fastened upon the latter, and among serious collectors of early American coins little is known or understood about it. It has been proven that the Lima Style Doubloon is a genuine product of Ephraim Brasher, from his shop in New York. Hodder (p. 149) noted: The weights of the two known Lima Style Doubloons are essentially identical to the required weight of a Spanish colonial 8 Escudos piece called for by the Bank of New York and the New York City Chamber of Commerce in a notice dated 1786. An elemental analysis of a Lima Style Doubloon, two New York Style Doubloons, and the Smithsonian Doubloon was compared to a similar analysis of three 8 Escudos pieces from the mid-1740s. It is clear from analysis of the data, recorded by Hodder on page 143, that the Lima Style Doubloon and the New York Style pieces were virtually identical, and these pieces were considerably different than the prototype pieces, being the Spanish colonial gold coins of the 1740s. Also tested was a later date United States half eagle. All of the Brasher pieces had a similar alloy of approximately 6% silver and 3% copper, while the early 8 Escudos pieces were approximately 8% silver and 2% copper. The later date half eagle had approximately 2% silver and 8% copper. It can be concluded that the source of gold for the Brasher Doubloons was not earlier Spanish coinage, precluding the overstrike theory that has been discussed by some, and it was also not later United States gold, ruling out the possibility that they were productions of a later date. The source of gold was not standard U.S. gold or unrefined Spanish colonial gold, as Hodder pointed out. As Brasher was seeking a coinage contract from the State of New York, and as he produced the New York Style Doubloons as examples of his work, perhaps the Lima Style Doubloons represented a pattern coinage issue. As a neighbor and associate of George Washington, it is almost certain the two gentlemen discussed a State coinage, or perhaps even a National coinage. Perhaps Brasher quickly prepared dies and struck a few of these Lima Style Doubloons as samples of his work without regard to the actual coinage design. In the absence of original written documentation, we will not know for sure, but this pattern theory seems likely. Another possibility came from B.G. Johnson of the St. Louis Stamp and Coin Company, who wrote to B. Max Mehl prior to the sale of the Ten Eyck coin: The Brasher Doubloon arrived today, and I have looked it over carefully, and have no hesitancy whatever in pronouncing it genuine and of that period. It was quite likely struck for the West Indian trade. In those days, sugar, rum, etc. being imported from the West Indies and generally paid for in Spanish or Portuguese gold. In all probability there was a shortage of this gold of regular coinage, and these pieces were struck to make up the deficiency. I would guess that the piece was struck before the other Doubloon, probably at the very close of the Revolution. It is an extremely interesting coin, and by rights should be included in the American private gold series. There can have been no other object in striking this coin in good gold except for to circulate as a medium of exchange. Brasher was a goldsmith, and probably struck these off for his customers when he could not supply them with Doubloons. Goldsmiths in those days operated to a certain extent as bankers and as money changers. Johnson was correct that these were struck before the New York Style Doubloons, and suggested that they were specifically produced as trade pieces in exchange for the import of goods. Perhaps the Lima Style Doubloons were the original American trade coins, long before the trade dollars of the 1870s. Certainly, these Lima Style Doubloons should be considered part of the American colonial series, and also part of the private gold series, desirable to two different classes of collectors today.Obverse and reverse design Obverse: Two pillars with fleur-de-lis above and waves below, divided by two vertical lines into nine sections with L 8 V above, P V A central, and 7 4 2 below. All is enclosed in a beaded border with BRASHER in small letters between bottom beads and waves. Lettering around is absent on this example, the outer portions clipped or filed away. Although not visible on this specimen, the obverse legend reads: o PHILIP o V o D o G o H o REX ANO 1786. Between G and H are small letters NY, identifying Brasher's place of residence. Reverse: A Jerusalem cross divides the die into four quadrants. Rough engraved castles appear in the northwest and southeast quadrants, lions in the opposing quadrants EB hallmark of Ephraim Brasher appears at the center of the cross. As the hal
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