By James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is excited to present a newly discovered example of the 1786 Maris 10 1/2-C New Jersey copper in their upcoming August 2020 Las Vegas Auction.
The Maris 10 1/2-C is a relative newcomer to the corpus of the New Jersey copper series, which now totals 144 distinct varieties. New Jersey State Coppers (2013) authors Siboni, Howes, and Ish suggest that both 8 ½-C and 10 ½-C “may have been struck toward the end of the New Jersey pattern period…” as “stylistically, [the obverses] seem to represent a transition between the patterns and the coins produced for regular circulation.”
Not even the most advanced student of this series had the chance to own these dies before 1992, and the opportunity has arisen since 2001.
The discovery piece was found in early 1992 by a New Jersey dealer in a mixed accumulation and was shortly thereafter confirmed by specialists Don Mituzas and Michael Hodder. It was sold in the Stack’s January 1993 sale and eventually passed through the hands of R.E. Naftzger, Jr. before appearing in our (Stack’s) January 2001 sale of the William O’Donnell Collection. It has most recently been reported in the collection of series specialist A. Buell Ish.
The new specimen in our August auction was unearthed circa 2017 near Plymouth, Massachusetts, but only identified as Maris 10 1/2-C in early 2020 with the help of Don Hartman, Roger Moore, Ray Williams, and Wayne Shelby. It was first published in an article by Hartman in the Spring 2020 C4 Newsletter.
We are thrilled to be offering it publicly for the first time, recognized for the major rarity that it is.
It grades Extremely Fine or so in terms of sharpness, though is obscured by varying degrees of roughness from two centuries spent in the ground. The design elements have been eroded away but are faithfully represented by incuse depressions of plum and sandy-brown shades. The fields are distinguished by a mossy, olive-green patina on both sides.
It is remarkable to note that Maris 10 ½-C was missing from our historic November 2019 sale of the E. Pluribus Unum Collection of New Jersey Coppers. That sale offered a stunning 110 varieties, including an astounding eight examples from the Maris plate. While several Rarity-8 examples were featured, 10 ½-C had proven elusive to even this advanced collector.
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This historic Maris 10 ½-C is featured in lot 2261 of our August 2020 Las Vegas Auction, accompanying highlights from the Sherwood Collection of Civil War Tokens, the ESM Collection of Large Cents, selections from the Anthony J. Taraszka Collection of Early Eagles, selections from the D. Brent Pogue Numismatic Library and many other rarities. The sale is available for bidding and viewing on our website www.StacksBowers.com, or you may contact us to secure a copy of the printed catalog. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.