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30 mm 1858 flying eagle cent in white metal

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Pillar of the Community
United States
1061 Posts
 Posted 11/14/2011  07:52 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Chancellor Sutler to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I bought this cheap...because I thought it was interesting. What I found interesting was that it's correct in every detail, including logotype, but obviously oversized. Even the weak strike of the reverse, which is typical of these cents was duplicated. It's cast white metal, and I am thinking nickel silver since it had a light green film over it. It weighs 1/2 ounce on the PO scale, so not troy ounces, but AV oz.

I briefly tried researching Becker and Novelty coins and was unable to find any information. Anybody know anything about this curuious piece of exonumia?

Chance




Pillar of the Community
United States
1480 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2011  02:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've not seen this copy before. As for its origin, here's some info, copied from a prior thread that I posted:

"Advertised as an 1861 Jefferson Davis Death to Traitors Civil War Token, it possesses a small BECKER counterstamp on the reverse. One just like it sold for $91 only days ago.

Doing a Google search, I learned that these replicas were produced by one Peter Rosa, formerly of the Bronx, NY. He died in 1990 and operated Becker Manufacturing from 1955 until his demise. According to a former employee, he chose the name Becker for his company, given his admiration for an early German maker of that name. The original Becker specialized in reproductions of ancient coins. Rosa made copies of many early American coins and tokens; this, in addition to world, ancient coins. Instead of using the word COPY or REPLICA on his work, he paid tribute of sorts to Herr Becker.

Interestingly, there is presently a genuine 1861 "Death to Traitors" political medalet for sale on eBay. It has a BIN of $249 but sadly is holed for suspension. This political medalet is listed by Sullivan but NOT as a Civil War token (see Fuld). However, it may someday be so listed; this, given the 1861 date and its popularity among CWT collectors. Rosa's first copies of this token were most likely produced in 1961, that being the centennial year of the Civil War; this, at a time when the marketplace for Civil War items was heating up. He may have continued to produce them into 1990. I've seen them at antique malls in various states.

Rosa used lead or pot metal as a base for his copies. Often plated, a simple edge test will reveal the true gray color of those that may not be counterstamped. Rosa's work is outstanding, but it certainly wasn't intended to deceive. He wanted to provide collectors with affordable examples of otherwise scarce coins and tokens. As little has been written about the Becker copies, their well-executed appearances can be both deceiving and costly.

The Becker copies are so well done that they're rightfully an area of collecting that will grow as time passes. The kicker to the eBay scenario is that Rosa's dies are still in existence, so that this token copy and likely others will continue to surface in increasing numbers as long as exhorbitant prices are being paid."

Google searches for "Peter Rosa" and "Becker Productions" should yield additional info.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1061 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2011  05:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Chancellor Sutler to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll check out Peter Rosa. The fact that it's the size of a US Half dollar would definitely make it something not intended to fool anybody into thinking it was a penny.

I may inlay it into a coin cabinet I'm building.

Chance
Pillar of the Community
United States
1480 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2011  12:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't believe that Rosa ever intended to fool anybody with his copies. Most are marked BECKER or else made in such a way as to alert savvy collectors. One piece I have that's not marked is, I suspect, a Becker copy of a Lincoln political medalet in a white metal which was originally issued in brass. I once saw a similar piece that was marked BECKER.

Your FE cent copy could just as soon have been dated 1856. That date would certainly garner more attention than he common 1858 date. Your using the copy as an inlay for a coin cabinet sounds intriguing. Copies of other coins like colonials and early types might also add to the allure of your work. Good luck!
Pillar of the Community
United States
1061 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2011  5:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Chancellor Sutler to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I dug a medalet while metal detecting around an old home here in town. It's got no legends, just a bust of washington on one side and a bust of lincoln on teh other. The work is really high relief. It's not fared all that well in the ground, but I cleaned it up as best I could. In the same field I found a civil war store card from McKains Grocery in Mt Pleasant Pa, which is a Pittsburgh suburb. That field has also coughed up 2 Barber half dollars, 4 Barber dimes, and 7 large cents. The earliest large cent was a letetred edge Liberty Cap, but the most intriguing find turned up this summer. It was a pair of matron head large cents found about 3 feet apart and both dated 1830. They were nearly new when they went into the gound, and I think one of the old german immigrant glass blowers probably lost them at the same time. I am probably the first person to see them and handle them in 180 years.

Chance
Pillar of the Community
United States
731 Posts
 Posted 11/22/2011  5:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CheetahCats to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Exo got it. One of Becker's replicas, indeed.

No reflection on the original poster, but whenever I see a Becker replica, I cringe.
Edited by CheetahCats
11/22/2011 5:21 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
1061 Posts
 Posted 11/23/2011  10:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Chancellor Sutler to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What I think has escaped everybody who has looked at this ... is that a penny the size of a half dollar would hardly fool anybody into thinking it was a penny. I bought it as an inlay...the centerpiece of a grander piece of exonumia. Stay tuned....

Chance
Pillar of the Community
United States
1480 Posts
 Posted 11/23/2011  11:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I did catch that this particular item was ,a larger than a cent and would not fool anyone. I was referring to the more traditional Becker copies that are the same size as original coins and tokens. I mentioned the Lincoln political token replica as but one example. One of Becker's copies, upon which I wrote about in another thread here in the CCF, is that of an 1861 political medalet that pictures Jeff Davis, hanging - "Death to Traitors." It had the BECKER stamp thereon and sold on eBay for around $100 as I recall. That white metal copy apparently did fool some folks. Still, it sold for a fraction of what the original, silvered-brass pieces now fetch.
Pillar of the Community
United States
731 Posts
 Posted 11/23/2011  2:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CheetahCats to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I did catch that this particular item was ,a larger than a cent and would not fool anyone. I was referring to the more traditional Becker copies that are the same size as original coins and tokens. I mentioned the Lincoln political token replica as but one example. One of Becker's copies, upon which I wrote about in another thread here in the CCF, is that of an 1861 political medalet that pictures Jeff Davis, hanging - "Death to Traitors." It had the BECKER stamp thereon and sold on eBay for around $100 as I recall. That white metal copy apparently did fool some folks. Still, it sold for a fraction of what the original, silvered-brass pieces now fetch.


Indeed Exo. And that is just one notorious example of the "Beckers" that I was referring to as well.

At a Civil War show several months ago I came across a dealer who was selling a "Becker" copy of that exact replica you mention. He was asking $500 for it. When I examined it I explained to him it was a BECKER restrike. He didn't believe me, and kept the specimen in his display cabinet anyways.

Despite the OPs specimen being as obviously large as it is, BECKER copies routinely fool less experienced collectors who come along. And that was my point.
Edited by CheetahCats
11/23/2011 2:37 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
1480 Posts
 Posted 11/23/2011  6:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes Cheetah, I've seen similar scenarios unfold with other unusual coins or tokens .... the blind leading the blind, so to speak. Just because someone stands on the dealer side of a table doesn't mean he's all that more credible. My counter to this scenario is then to offer to sell one to the dealer at a faction of what he asks, and I've never had a taker.

There was once a favorable scenario that unfolded when I pointed out to an eBay seller that one of his items was a fantasy, Civil War "dog tag." I provided him with online documentation of a similar piece. He withdrew his item and offered to send the item to me for free. As I already owned a similar piece that I have used to educate coin club members and friends, I declined his offer. I advised him to pass it along to another party who would do as I do and so inform other collectors AND dealers.
New Member
United States
2 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2014  11:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DIGDIG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry to dig up an old post, I have a similar Becker flying eagle and contacted mr Doyle (nephew to Pete Rosa) he is now reproducing coins in his uncles place. At first he denied it until I showed him the marking BECKER, then he said it would be one of his uncles creations. I've Been unable to find any info and seems your in the same boat. I am glad I have it because the replica sparked my interest in the real Flying Eagle cent and I found a good one soon after. My question is if you found any info and do you still own it? If Pete Rosa is gone and the family don't know who would?
Pillar of the Community
United States
1100 Posts
 Posted 02/25/2014  2:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add MeadowviewCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Dig the original poster last posted on the forum in Dec. 2013.

As far as new information, do a Google search as ExoGuy suggested. You may find some new info.

to the Community.

-MV
I'm slowly building my numismatic library--57 works and counting

Latest book purchases: Double Dimes The United States Twenty-cent Piece by Brunner and Frost

With assistance, trying to compile a listing of numismatic reference books & materials available to collectors http://www.coincommunity.com/forum/...IC_ID=174749
New Member
United States
2 Posts
 Posted 02/25/2014  8:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DIGDIG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Google search is what lead me to this forum, it was all I could find on this replica. I knew before I posted that the original poster has not been on in about 2 months but there are sites I've done the same, I thought maybe he would eventually check in and respond.
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