1739 Higley Broad Ax, BN MS (PCGS# 219)

2008 May Long Beach, CA Signature Auction #1108

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1739 COPPER Higley Copper, Broad Axe VF20 PCGS. Crosby, Pl. VIII, 26. Breen-244, Freidus 3.2-D. The present piece appeared as lot 4004 in the 6/2004 Stack's auction of the Henry Da Costa Gomez Collection, Part Two. Stack's described the piece as: "28 x 28.4 mm. 1.5 to 1.9 mm thick. 135.4 gns. Very Fine. Assumed to aligned coin turn, with the axe head pointing downwards. Dark chestnut brown, with glossy rose and blue highlights, the subtle remains of an ancient cleaning. Surfaces are generally quite smooth, with microscopic porosity visible under magnification [and] a concentrated area of porosity or old marks clearly visible behind [the] deer's neck and head. "On the obverse, [the] deer is complete, and only VAL and ME in the legends are missing or indistinct; on the reverse, J CUT M is indistinct or missing, while the date is very faintly visible, probably made weak by the present of a flipover double strike (or perhaps an overstrike?), as there is a clear five-pointed star, as appears on the obverses of Higleys, visible at around the 9 o'clock position of the reverse. There is also some unintelligible undercoin below the weakened 1739 date. The strike is very strong on the right sides and weak at the left sides of both obverse and reverse, probably the result of axial misalignment between the dies. This misalignment resulted in a failure to obliterate the undertype and inherent planchet roughness at the left sides. Faintly shift double struck as well, with some letters doubled and two intersecting die edges visible at the right side of the reverse, where an unprecedented amount of denticulation is also visible. "This specimen, a newly discovered addition to Freidus' census of five pieces for the variety, is finer than Garrett:1307 and Norweb:1240, and is just a hair inferior to Oechsner:972 called VF or better. As such, it is probably the second finest known in private hands, the other two being permanently impounded in the Connecticut State Library and Eric P. Ne
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