Author Topic: Interesting countermarks on large coppers  (Read 2241 times)

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Offline tonyclayton

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Interesting countermarks on large coppers
« on: June 15, 2011, 05:57:24 PM »
I have had a request for information on these two coins that have been countermarked with somewhat official looking stamps.  If anyone can shed light on them I would be interested for myself and would pass the thoughts on to the owner.

Tony

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Interesting countermarks on large coppers
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 07:39:36 PM »
J. Gavin Scott, in British Countermarks on Copper & Bronze coins lists a (Crown)WC countermark on a penny 1797 sold by H. D. Gibbs, sale 1960, lot 456, under catalogue number 123-403 with the following footnote:

See 123.10 above. The piece was attributed to West Coast, Sierra Leone, in the Gibbs sale. There is no documentary evidence to support the official countermarking of copper coins with this mark. Pridmore discusses the West African countermarks in depth in Sink's Numismatic Circular, February 1954, columns 59-64. The piece is either a concoction, or, more likely, a brand mark.

The footnote at 123.10 referred to is as follows: It was common practice in the nineteenth century and earlier ti incorporate a crown in trade and brand marks. This was particularly common in the metal trades, but was not confined to Sheffield, which, from 1773, used a crown as its town mark on silver goods. The Trade Marks act of 1938 prohibited the use ofBritish Royal or Imperial Crowns in trade marks.

A common pitfall is to attribute such countermarked pieces to the West Indies. It should also be noted that copper coin was disliked in this area, the natives preferring silver and billon. Some of these pieces may have been used as shop tickets.


I think the conclusion: "concoction or shop ticket" is warranted. Personally, I have a preference for the first, as I can't see a shop countermarking a coin that has already been countermarked by one of its competitors, but it remains possible that the two brands were connected in a non-competitive way.

Intriguingly, Gavin Scott reports a countermark W. Cox/C (no crown) on a penny 1797. There is no evidence to link this stamp with 123.403, though.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 07:46:14 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline tonyclayton

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Re: Interesting countermarks on large coppers
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 05:47:36 PM »
I have passed Peter's comments back to the owner.  Many thanks.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Interesting countermarks on large coppers
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 02:45:53 PM »
This thread created in June, 2011 really attracted my attention when I noticed the picture of the Crowned WC coin. I purchased the very same example from an American dealer in Saugus, Massachusetts in September, 2011. Could this possibly be the same man who asked for your help in identifying it, Tony?

Interestingly enough, I have  the original 2x2 envelope that was sent along to me with the coin. There's handwriting on the flap that reads..."DP-35 / 3-19-05 / Amnar"  Not sure what any of that means other than the date, but may be a reference to an auction or private collector.  Thoughts anyone?

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Interesting countermarks on large coppers
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2019, 02:52:44 PM »
All countermarks are in exactly the same place. That cannot be a coincidence.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Interesting countermarks on large coppers
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2019, 07:01:35 PM »
You're right , Peter, It's definitely the same coin. The long scratch in front of the King's portrait shows in both photos, as does the  shallow dig next to the "C" of the initials.

I also confirmed that the seller still has both coins listed in his archive, so he must have the man who made the inquiry.

Bruce
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