1724 1/2 P Hibernia, Date Below, BN SP (PCGS# 197)
The March 2013 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 156
View the Original Auction
1724 Pattern Wood's Hibernia Halfpenny. Martin 9.2-Nb.1, W-Unlisted. Rarity-7. Date Below. Specimen-50 (PCGS). 84.87 grains. Nice glossy chocolate brown with excellent eye appeal. Minimal signs of handling are present, including a little nick under X of REX and some other tiny scattered marks here and there, none serious. Some shallow scrapes atop the reverse appear to predate striking, suggesting individual preparation to the planchet, albeit crudely accomplished. A splash of dark toning is present under NI of HIBERNIA, another at 4 of the date. The overall look is very pleasing. Similar to the Garrett coin in sharpness, though that piece is perhaps a bit higher grade. The Ford catalog listed just six known specimens, including two gorgeous specimens in the Ford VII sale, the impounded ANS coin, a heavily circulated piece in the Roper sale, and the lightly worn Garrett and Norweb coins.<br />
This piece is accompanied by a square Hillyer Ryder ticket noting its acquisition from "E.H.A. 2/2/14 No. 25." The Ford sale included several Woods pieces with similar notations, including No. 18 through 28 from the mysterious EHA sale. "E.H.A." undoubtedly refers to Edgar H. Adams, widely considered the most knowledgeable American numismatist in 1914. (The envelope Mr. Craige acquired this piece in matches the envelope of other pieces with Edgar Adams pedigrees we have seen over the years; this coin resided in the same envelope for 99 years!) In March 1914, just a month after handling this coin, Adams assumed editorship of The Numismatist. The "lot numbers" apparently refer to numbers on an invoice from Adams, who was also an active dealer specializing in colonials, patterns, tokens and medals, and territorials. It appears that Ryder acquired a substantial part of the Phillip Nelson collection via Adams at this time, including the present piece. This piece's rarity and exceptional provenance would make it the centerpiece of a cabinet of Wood's coinages.