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Saloon Counterstamp On An 1858-O Seated Half

 
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Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 07/23/2021  3:19 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Coins bearing informative counterstamps are among the most desirable pieces for collectors of this genre. The below pictured half dollar is stamped BEN F. WYANT / MAY FLOWER / SALOON / NO. 137 MAIN ST / MEMPHIS, TENN. Saloon-stamped coins tend to be among the more popular occupations. And, with this being a scarce southern state issue, there's added appeal.



There are about a half dozen of Ben Wyant's stamped coins known. He's listed at the 137 Main Street address in 1860-61 Memphis directories. He later moved to another local address(es), so it appears that he was stamping coins just prior to the Civil War. This O-mint half apparently wound its way up the Mississippi to Ben's saloon around that time. Stack's auctioned off another specimen, on a higher grade 1858-O half, for over $1,000 in 2010 (N.B. - The circulated coin's value was enhanced ten-fold, thanks to this historic c/s!).

At the outset of the war, Ben took on a partner, one J.D. Hibbitt. However, the partnership was short-lived, as the below notice of dissolution appeared in The Memphis Daily Avalanche on February 27, 1862. Ben was the principal and retained ownership for many years thereon ....



Ben appears to have been successful with his saloon. He later began managing the Beal Street Soup House, sharing his good fortune with the poor; this, as illustrated in an 1873 notice, placed in The Daily Memphis Avalanche in November of that year ....



Doubtless, Ben's philanthropy precipitated his popularity among the Memphis wharf folks. The Public Ledger announced his endorsement for wharf master in January of 1876 ....



Ben's interest in the May Flower Saloon had terminated by 1880; this, as indicated by notice of a trustee auction of the business ....

Edited by ExoGuy
07/23/2021 3:22 pm
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 Posted 07/23/2021  3:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fantastic information and great story. Thank you for sharing!
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 Posted 07/23/2021  3:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dave700x to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A lot of history behind that dime! Excellent post!!!
1883-O Nut
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 Posted 07/23/2021  4:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kenwright396 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting history. Thanks!
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 Posted 07/23/2021  4:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for that!
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 Posted 07/23/2021  4:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Blind Squirrel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great history lesson.

I always look for the history and back story as it relates to my collections.

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 Posted 07/23/2021  4:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, guys .... Your enthusiastic replies are encouraging!
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 Posted 07/23/2021  5:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jimbucks to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. OP, can you post a pic of the reverse?
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 Posted 07/23/2021  6:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Interesting. OP, can you post a pic of the reverse?


I could, but it'd take some doing. I don't have a pic of all the coin reverses, a good many hundreds of them, in my collection. Having owned this coin for many years, it's one that I never got around to snapping both sides. The reverse of this coin is identifiable, and the O mint mark is clearly there. Given this fairly extensive stamping, all the wording, the reverse wasn't pretty. Beyond the flattening damage, just what might there be to see?

My focus as a collector is generally more on the counterstamp, the history of the artifact that's beyond the coin, itself. My general practice in the earlier years was to take pics of the meaty parts and trim the fat, so to speak. My photography has improved over time, so I now tend to grab the non-stamped side, even if it is heavily damaged. From my standpoint, working on this collection, the attributions, the pics and the extensive database, the work boils down to convenience and experience.

My main goal now is to simply share as much knowledge of this aspect of numismatics as possible so as to encourage others to appreciate same. Pics of simply damaged reverses take a back seat.
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 Posted 07/23/2021  9:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add halfamind to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks. I always enjoy reading your well-researched histories.
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