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September 11, 2010: The Colonial Numismatic Barbecue


In one of the highlights of this (or any) numismatic year, yesterday we attended the numismatic barbecue held annually at the lovely east coast home of a serious collector / good customer / gracious host.

And it was, officially, a hoot, attended by about 25 collectors, researchers and a few of us dealers all with a common interest in the coins of colonial America and the same requirement for admission:   Everyone had to bring one item of colonial numismatic interest and then present it to the crowd – a process that begin at about 11:30 AM and continued on for a few hours, and included an amazing variety of cool coins, numismatic literature and related items with a few highlights as follows:

  • A rare, intact and original 18th century wax seal of the state of New York bearing the design seen on the inside of the oval shield on a NY Excelsior copper (which was fresh in our minds, since we just sold one of those coins last week)
  • A study of the location and style of counterstamps on the 1767-A French Colonies Copper Sous
  • Some recently dug colonial era coins from both Virginia and New Jersey, along with other artifacts from those same sites (stone axe blades, anyone?)
  • A unique New Jersey copper variety that came out of a famous collection years ago
  • A study of PDV (painted die varieties) on Connecticut coppers
  • Wampum!
  • A really neat set of St. Patrick’s coinage, with a nice, original and very well matched Farthing, Halfpenny and Shilling
  • What was believed to be Hillyer Ryder’s personal copy of the 1912 John G. Mill’s catalog, with his own handwritten notes in the margins

All presented in a light and entertaining manner, with many of the items then passed around so all the attendees could take a closer look.  I always enjoy that part, and I am pleased to report that I did not drop any of them (which is a recurring nightmare I have about such settings).

Which was followed by the fantastic catered dinner at pool-side in perfect weather, an intensive discussion of counterfeit 2 Reales by a sub-group which included our own Dave Wnuck, and all sorts of other side conversations on just about every facet of colonial numismatics.

And then we hit the road for the long drive back home, with you author finally arriving at about 1:30 AM and then waking up just in time to start writing this blog.

Thank you again to our host, and we sure look forward to next year’s event.