Oak Tree shilling by James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
The Noe-13 1652 Oak Tree shilling is among the scarcest varieties from the Massachusetts silver series. It is typically found in heavily worn condition and often with surfaces problems. We are delighted to feature one of the very finest known Noe-13 Oak Tree shillings in our November 2019 Baltimore Auction. Graded PCGS AU-50, it offers a remarkable provenance stretching back over 130 years.
It’s earliest known appearance was as lot 25 in the Chapman brothers’ sale of the Ferguson Haines Collection in October 1888. It was described as the finest of just three known and brought $12, which was the highest price for any Massachusetts silver coin in the sale besides the NE shilling.
It was next plated in the 1966 Stearns sale and described as “easily equal to the finest N-13 in existence” and even “sharper than the N-13 pictured in Noe.”
We (Stack’s) first handled this piece in our September 1988 sale of the Oechsner Collection, noting that “all obverse and reverse features [are] sharp and clear.”
Shortly thereafter, it was selected to represent the Noe-13 variety in the May 1991 exhibition of Massachusetts silver coinage at the American Numismatic Society (ANS). It was plated and described as coin number 52 by curator John Kleeberg in his article on the exhibit published in Money in Pre-Federal America (1992).
We next offered this piece in our (Stack’s) January 2002 sale of the Hain Family Collection. Cataloger Michael Hodder called it “the finest seen…exceeding all others.” This statement remains true, even when considering the Jewett-Ryder-Boyd specimen that has been recently offered with a grade of AU-58 (PCGS).
This piece is attractively toned in deep slate-gray and is pleasantly glossy. It is readily identified by a straight clip at the right obverse edge, though the flan is otherwise nicely rounded. Uniformly sharp and evenly worn, the tree is impressively bold and haloed by subtle traces of luster.
It is finer than the Noe and Wurtzbach plate coins that were both included the Ford Collection and are now graded EF-45 (PCGS). It is numerically tied with the Norweb coin but is clearly the more desirable of the two. A hugely significant opportunity for specialists offering strong eye appeal, technical quality, and a remarkable provenance.
This AU-50 (PCGS) Noe-13 Oak Tree shilling will be among numerous Colonial and Early American rarities featured in our Official Auction of the 2019 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo available for viewing and bidding on our website www.StacksBowers.com. You may also contact our offices to secure a printed catalog. To feature your collection in one of our auctions, speak with a numismatic representative today at 800-566-2580 or email [email protected]. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.