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An 1802 Elephant Nose S-239 Cent Hosting Historic Silversmith Hallmarks

 
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 Posted 05/15/2021  09:54 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently spotted this coin on eBay, recalling that the seller has their own website. Sure enough, the coin was listed thereon; this, at a reduced price and minus sales tax.

Having long collected coppers, especially the unusual die varieties, the S-239 was THE one I found to be most appealing. The three tiny silversmith hallmarks were even more enticing. So, I quickly ordered the coin and then saw it instantaneously disappear from eBay.

Thanks to the American Silversmiths website, I was quickly able to attribute the tiny hallmarks to Ebenezer Austin of Charlestown, Massachusetts. The coin's hallmarks are an exact match to one pictured on the website .... http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~silv...hs/14504.htm

The icing on the cake was learning that Ebenezer had been a lieutenant in the Continental Army, serving directly under George Washington and family as a steward. Although the silversmith website states Ebenezer died in 1800, another source cites that he was listed in an 1802 census and may have lived to 1818.



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 Posted 05/15/2021  10:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great story and congrats!
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 Posted 05/15/2021  10:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is a pretty cool pick-up @exoguy! Any thoughts on what is on Liberty's face, extending from the tip of her nose?
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 Posted 05/15/2021  1:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ Coinfrog .... Thanks. This c/s was unknown to Brunk & Rulau, who literally wrote the books on American c/s's for the past forty years. What I find exciting about collecting c/s's is that there are many thousands that await discovery and attribution. It's a constant hunt that I find challenging.

One of the interesting tidbits I learned about Ebenezer was that he kept a diary of his service to Washington and the "family." That diary was long ago published in book form and gives the reader a good glimpse into colonial life.


Quote:
Any thoughts on what is on Liberty's face, extending from the tip of her nose?


@ Spence .... I don't recall what I've read about this diebreak. Conder may well chime in on the cause of this anomaly. This is by no means a rare variety, but it sure is eye-catching - or, dare I say "nose-catching!"
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 Posted 05/16/2021  09:25 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cipster to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Any thoughts on what is on Liberty's face, extending from the tip of her nose?

I love die cracks and this is a cool one. I checked my Penny Whimsy and see that it sometimes extends to the rim. It's listed as upper range R3 rarity.
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 Posted 05/19/2021  04:53 am  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Super cool and an interesting back story. Thanks for sharing ExoGuy!
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 Posted 05/19/2021  06:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I continue to enjoy discovering and learning of what counterstamped coins tell us about times past. Whether beautiful or ugly, rare or common, coins as a whole have much to tell us about the history of mankind. Yet comparatively few coins speak as loudly as do those bearing counterstamps.
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 Posted 05/28/2021  06:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I thought I'd update this post with some more info I just found; this, with consideration for future collectors and researchers.

Most silversmith sources point to 1800 as Ebenezer Austin's final year of working and/or living. If that were the case it would have been someone, other than him, using his hallmark, who stamped this 1802 large cent. I just found a specific source for Ebenezer's life, spanning 1733 into 1818, when he was collecting a pension for his Revolutionary War service. It's a page contained in Early Silver of Connecticut and Its Makers. Here's a snippet of the page ....


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 Posted 05/28/2021  10:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I love how you can connect a single coin to a specific individual with these counterstamps, something that's virtually impossible with any other coin (except perhaps pedigreed collections).
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 Posted 05/28/2021  10:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I love how you can connect a single coin to a specific individual with these counterstamps ...


Same here, Zurie. It's oftentimes more than an individual. In a larger sense, they tell of places, things, events, etc. Many c/s's are connected to patents, masonic orders, political happenings, wars, the westward movement, the economy, you name it. Counterstamps add a whole new dimension to numismatics.
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