While poking around in my safety deposit box the other day, I paused to look at one of my favorite coins. I bought this in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction at the Whitman Coin Expo in March 2012, where it was described as follows:
Superb EF Noe-1 Pine Tree Shilling
1652 Massachusetts Bay Colony Pine Tree Shilling. Large Planchet. Noe-1, Crosby 12-I, W-690. Rarity-2. Pellets At Trunk. EF-45 (PCGS). A choice example of the iconic Pine Tree shilling variety, Noe-1. Ideal deep gray enlivens under a glass with pale blue and gold, with just enough dirt around the devices to reassert superb originality. The planchet shows a natural split from its time through the press at 6 o’clock and is a bit short at 12 o’clock, but the planchet is broad, and the legends are complete. Indeed, about half of the peripheral beading is present, making for an especially well-framed appearance. There is a single, very thin, very old hairline that runs vertically on the lower right of the tree, otherwise, the ancient fields are immaculate. Dies clashed, visible at base of tree. This was one of the signal highlights of Jim’s colonials, acquired from the 2010 ANA auction after years of looking for the perfect Noe-1 for him. The planchet crudity appealed to him and made for a useful tool to teach the minting technique (either roller die or rocker die, depending on the expert consulted) and the handcrafted nature of the large planchet coins of Hull and Sanderson. Coins like this are a classic inclusion in any kind of collection, and if you were to own just one colonial, this would be a nice choice. As noted above, this single variety is a classic. Louis Eliasberg considered his Noe-1 Pine Tree shilling to be a special attraction and featured it widely, including in the 1952 spread in Life magazine. A few years ago, Ken Bressett and I, both of us owning an example of Noe-1, were discussing American colonials, and we decided that if a single piece were selected for exhibit, this would be ideal. The Noe-1 is not the first Pine Tree variety minted, although it is the first in Sydney P. Noe’s listing, but it is certainly one of the most attractive. The presently offered coin is especially choice.
From the Collection of Jim Jones. Earlier from Heritage’s sale of August 2010, lot 3750.
The price was $12,650.00
This reminds me to say that the second edition of the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins is in preparation. For the past several months, I have been working with Julia Casey (editorial outreach) and Jeff Garrett (pricing) to bring many changes to this popular book of a decade ago, long out of print.
Keep your eye on the Whitman website for an announcement of availability, which should be early next year. Then get set for a week filled with evenings of enjoyable reading!