Coins of the World (29 September 2010)

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Date of Auction: 29th September 2010


Estimate: £50,000 - £70,000

Washington Pieces, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Pattern Washington Cent, 1792, in copper, unsigned [by J.G. Hancock for O. Westwood], bust left, washington president around, date below, rev. large eagle with 13 stars above, edge united states of america, 6h (Baker 21; Breen 1229; J.J. Ford Sales, –; Garrett 1712). Very fine, dark patina, of the highest rarity; believed only some six specimens known with this edge £50,000-70,000


Slabbed in PCGS holder, graded XF 45.

In the hope of obtaining a contract from the U.S. government to produce copper coins the Birmingham firm of William and Alexander Walker commissioned John Gregory Hancock (
c. 1750-1805) to design a copper cent, with the bust of George Washington on the obverse and an American eagle on the reverse. The coins, dated 1791 and with two basic types of reverse design executed from dies by Hancock’s assistant John Jorden, were struck at the manufactory of John (†March 1792) and Obadiah Westwood in Birmingham, and the Walkers shipped some to their American associate, Thomas Ketland & Son, in Philadelphia, where the coins were to be distributed to senators and people of influence in the hope, it was thought, of securing a federal minting contract (see lots 1127 and 1128 in this auction).