IN an earlier work, The New England and Willow Tree Coinages of Massachusetts, * a study was presented of the NE coinage of Massachusetts, along with the so-called "Willow Tree" group which succeeded. It was shown that the name "Willow Tree" for this group did not come into use until about 1866, when a distinction between these and the Oak Tree type was made. We need have little doubt that the Pine Tree pieces were so designated from the time of their striking because of the resemblance of their type to the appearance of a pine tree. The Oak Tree pieces may have been so called from their first appearance or shortly thereafter if we may credit the story which is so well-known as hardly to need repeating. As Crosby gives it, Sir Thomas Temple in 1662 "showed … some of this money … informing the King, in answer to a direct inquiry, that it (the tree on the coin) was a royal oak which had preserved his majesty's life."
Crosby† discusses the story at some length and is unable to find any good reason for doubting it. As with the study of the Willow Tree coinage, there is little to add to Crosby's excellent recording of the data. His residence in Boston and his access to the records kept there gave him a tremendous advantage over anyone who does not live at the "hub of the universe." But, although we have no new varieties to add to Crosby's list, we offer one advance not undertaken by him, an attempt at a chronological arrangement made possible by applying numismatic methods of which Crosby apparently did not know. Any judgment of the value of this must be left to the reader.
One further introductory word is necessary. This monograph would have been much less attractive if the excellent collection of these coins belonging to Mr. T. James Clarke of Jamestown, New York, had not been available to me. This collection was loaned to the American Numismatic Society for its Exhibition of the Coins of the Americas held in 1942 and permission to photograph and study them at that time was given by their owner. I avail myself of this opportunity to express my warm appreciation for this courtesy. Many of the pieces illustrated are from his collection. When such is not the case, the present ownership of the coin shown is stated. To those who have permitted the photographing of their coins and their inclusion herein, I extend my thanks.Sydney P. Noe
|*||Numismatic Notes & Monographs No. 102.|
|†||S. S. Crosby, Early Coins of America, p. 73.|
IT is reasonable to suppose that Crosby's arrangement for the Oak Tree coinage is chronological, according to his best judgment, but he does not state this directly. His arrangement of the obverses in a numerical sequence supports such an implication. However, his reverse dies, instead of coupling a with his obverse No. 1, start with a reverse d, and then progress in the order c, a, e, b, f, g, h, i. It might therefore be argued with just as much plausibility that he did not intend such an ordering of these dies. It is necessary to make this point clear because his arrangement must be disregarded in our attempt to place the dies in chronological sequence.
There are at least three criteria to be observed in making this attempt:
LET us look at the order indicated by Crosby* to see what we may learn from it. Methods of comparison not perfected in Crosby's day may enable us to make deductions which had escaped him.
The shilling whose obverse is Crosby's No. 1 is coupled with a reverse (d) which is also combined with two other obverses (2 and 3), Plate II. Obverse 1 has two states distinguished by Crosby (1a and 1b). Reverse d therefore had a period of usefulness that equalled that of the obverse dies 1 to 3. This would have resulted if the single reverse die suffered less stress than any of the three obverse dies. If either upper or lower die had received extra support, such as having been set in an anvil, it would have been the reverse d. Furthermore, if we are able to discover progressive stages of wear in coins struck from this die d, or to watch the growth and development of die-flaws, we may conclude that the strikings from the die with no flaws must have preceded strikings in which these flaws are to be observed.
Fortunately for our purposes there are die-flaws which show such a development as we are seeking. They show conclusively that the order must have been 3-d, 2-d and 1-d rather than the other way around (as Crosby has them). This will be clear if the reverse of his No. 1 (see Plate II, f, g, h) is examined, for there is a flaw visible between the letters A and N in the position corresponding to four o'clock. Another die-break is to be seen running through the letter D just above (this is a linear break), straight and almost perpendicular to the horizontal diameter of the flan. In 2-d (Plate II, c, d, e), both of these breaks are less developed, while in 3-d (Plate II, a, b) they would escape notice if one were not looking for them. If, therefore, we are desirous of making a comparison of the trees on these three dies with those of the Willow Tree series, we must use for our comparing the earliest, i.e., 3-d.
Before we conclude that Crosby intended to place the Reverse d Group with its three mulings at the beginning of the Oak Tree issues, we shall do well to see whether there may have been reasons or conditions other than those we have been considering which interfere with such a deduction. Examination of the Oak Tree shillings as a whole will be necessary for this purpose, and the plates on which they are illustrated will have to be consulted.
One peculiarity stands out immediately. There is shown on Plate I a second group of three mulings (Crosby's 9-h, 9-1 and 9-g—our numbers 1, 2 and 3). In this instance, the obverse die has outlived the three reverses and the best-preserved state of this obverse is found in No. 1 (Crosby 9-H), while the one with the die-flaws most developed is No. 3 (Crosby 9-g). For confirmation compare the obverse letters HV (at three o'clock). Other less striking flaws occur in the fourth stroke of the letter M and in the third stroke of the letter N. The sequential order then is 9-h, 9-i, 9g.
But what strikes one as most important in looking at this obverse die is the position of the initial letter M of the inscription. It is at a point corresponding to eleven on the clock. This is the position for this initial M on all the Willow Tree dies. Moreover, this is the only Oak Tree die on which the inscription begins at eleven o'clock. All the others start the inscription between seven and eight o'clock. Does it not follow, then, that this die (Crosby 9), because it follows predecessors of the Willow Tree type in beginning its inscription at this point, when all the other Oak Tree obverses begin elsewhere, must therefore have been the first of the Oak Tree issues?
A further observation, taken by itself, would have little significance, but, when combined with the other conditions we have been considering, comes as striking confirmation. Alone of the Oak Tree shillings, the one which we have placed at the beginning has its reverse die inverted. The other coins have their reverses in such a position that when the piece is turned on its vertical axis, the reverse is in the same upright position as the obverse; both read normally.
A close examination of Plate I will show why we are justified in placing Nos. 4–7 immediately after Nos. 1–3. The style of the letters and numerals is uniform and the flans are large and well-formed, whereas on the pieces which follow, Nos. 8–14, the letters and numerals differ radically and the flans are constricted. Some day we may find the obverse of Nos. 1–3 combined with an early state of the reverse of Nos. 4–7, and this would be incontrovertible evidence. In the absence of such a combination, it is possible that an interval separated 3 and 4. Our knowledge of where Hull and Sanderson obtained their supply of silver is scanty. It may have been obtained in the Jamaica market where bullion captured by privateers and pirated was occasionally available. If the silver was obtained there the supply was probably not steady, but intermittent. There is little indication to be found on the coins that the output of the "mint" was regular. The more reasonable conclusion would be that there was no such uniformity. Certainly there seems a wider interval between Nos. 7 and 8 than between 3 and 4. Numerically the surviving specimens of our Nos. 1–7 far exceed the remaining pieces of the Oak Tree form.
There is, moreover, one other condition which supports the arrangement submitted. We have seen that the obverse of Nos. 1–3 outlived three reverse dies and have concluded from this that this obverse die may have been given the support which would come from having been set in an anvil. A like condition prevails with Nos. 4–7 save that now the reverse die is the one which would have had the support of the anvil. Does it not seem that the experience gained with Nos. 1–3 had been applied immediately for Nos. 4–7 as soon as the flaw whose growth is demonstrated on Plate II had been discovered?
In comparing the Willow with the Oak Tree shillings, we have noted that the coins of the later series are larger and apparently better prepared. Double-striking or triple-striking is a prime characteristic of the Willow Tree coins, and both the inner and outer borders are seldom complete. As a result of the repeated strikings, the coins have a tortured or harried effect which detracts greatly from their appearance. Even in the Parmalee specimen (No. 21 of Monograph 102), which is about as nearly perfect as any Willow Tree shilling, there is a sense of crampedness hard to overlook. In contrast, the Oak Tree shillings strike one immediately as being well-designed and appreciably an improvement over the Willow Tree coins, whether because we have better-preserved specimens to study or, which is more likely, because of their better workmanship.
In the earlier study of the Willow Tree issues, the reader was asked to decide a question of probabilities. A "coining engine" is mentioned in the sale of the effects of John Coney, a silversmith of the generation after that of Hull. Could it be that this had been used by John Hull? Could it be that the obtaining of this "coining engine" by Hull accounts for the improvement to be seen in the Oak Tree shillings?
Putting aside for the moment the question of this "coining engine" and whether it was a screw press, let us look closely at the shilling illustrated on Plate I, 3. It came to the Society's collection along with other Oak and Pine Tree issues as a gift of Mr. William B. Osgood Field in 1946. Like other surviving specimens of this pair of dies (Crosby 9-G, our No. 3), it is not perfectly struck. Because of this, it possesses evidence lacking elsewhere. The outline of the obverse die is clearly to be seen. This shows at the left as a straight line. A similar line, at right angles, shows below the T of the inscription. Instead of a sharp joining of the two, a third and nearly straight line indicates that the die may have been octagonal or nearly so.
There is no room for doubt that these lines show the edge of the die. Other specimens from this die show small portions of the die's edge; but no other pieces show the die at the top or at the right. The reverse of this piece does show the effect of the off-center striking. Part of the W in NEW is missing, and this missing top is as though sheared off. Further, and this is as it should be, the line of this shearing is no other than that of the edge of the obverse die.
By now, in the light of the foregoing, we may feel safe in concluding that the shape of our die was that of a prism rather than a cylinder. Our next step is to look at the Willow Tree dies. With fewer pieces and multiple strikings, we may be baffled. Fortunately, the specimens at our Museum do provide unmistakable traces to show that the Willow Tree dies were cylindri- cal. Here, then, is the reason for the improvement in the Oak Tree coinage, and an adequate reason. Whether or not Hull obtained a screw press, and used these dies in such a press, the flattened edges of the dies for the Oak Tree pieces made it possible to hold them firmly in the anvil without rotating; and the impossibility of such a firm hold on cylindrical dies accounts for the double and triple striking which mars the preceding Willow Tree issues. As a consequence of all these conditions, it seems that a new beginning must have been made with the Oak Tree issues, and that it will be vain to look for repetitions of peculiarities in letter forms which mark the earlier series. One might even question whether the making of the dies for the Oak Tree pieces had been entrusted to another engraver.
Since we may now place Crosby's 9-H, 9-1 and 9-G (our Nos. 1–3) as the earliest of the Oak Tree group, we may proceed to further comparisons. If the obverse differs from all other Oak Tree types in the beginning point for its inscription, so, too, do all three of the reverses which are muled with it. Elsewhere throughout the Oak Tree shillings, the N of NEW ENGLAND is uniformly placed at eight o'clock (as is the beginning for the obverse inscription). In No. 3 (9-G) the beginning is about one o'clock; for 9-H and 9-1 (Nos. 1 and 2), the beginning is at eleven-thirty. Although the engraver follows precedent for the point of beginning of the obverse inscription (M at eleven o'clock), his reverse inscription does not begin at the same point as on the Willow Tree coins.
Another condition worthy of notice is that the use of large letters for the inscription (large in comparison with those of the Willow Trees) has betrayed the engraver into permitting himself too great freedom. As a result, the second variety (No. 2, 9-1) shows that he left insufficient space for the final M in the abbreviation DOM. A rather shamefaced rosette attempts to conceal the omission. With the third attempt (No. 3, 9-G), there is a crowding of the letters of NEW ENGLAND, with a dilemma as the result; the engraver seems not to know whether to repeat or to repair the error in the preceding die. The undue spreading of the AN DO is the result. It is just such a difficulty as this which may have resulted in establishing the ruling for beginning at a fixed point which we have observed as marking the dies for the rest of the Oak Tree series.
Of Crosby's nine obverses, we have now accounted for four in our first six varieties.
To justify the order submitted on the plates, attention should now be turned to Nos. 13 and 14 (Crosby's 8-F and 7-b). In a notebook of the late Edgar H. Adams, which came into the possession of the American Numismatic Society after his death, there is a note that Dr. Hall had called attention to the identity of the obverse dies of Nos. 13 and 14. I have been unable to determine whether this statement was published, but its correctness will be apparent after examination of the illustrations on Plate III, despite the radical changes made by the engraver's alterations.
Crosby's die No. 8 (our No. 13) must therefore precede die No. 7 (our No. 14), but this does not explain why No. 14 is placed at the end of the Oak Tree series. To understand this, we must turn to the group of sixpences.
In his table of the Pine Tree sixpences, Crosby* records that the reverse for the variety that he numbers 2 is identical with that used for the Oak Tree issue, 1-d. This die, therefore, is a valuable connection between the Oak and Pine Tree groups and must have come at the end of the Oak Tree series and near the beginning of the Pine Tree issues.
The Pine Tree variety has been shown on Plate V for comparison and will repay examination. One is struck immediately by the spininess of the branches, a peculiarity in strong contrast with what we have been observing in the Oak Tree coinage, except for our No. 14, where the alterations of the earlier stage of this die exhibit this same spiney treatment. Because this spininess is common to the Pine Tree series and has not been found among the Oak Tree pieces until No. 14 was reached, No. 14 must be placed as the last issue of the Oak Tree shillings. We shall consider the date for this change in examining the twopence which we know was authorized in 1662, the date it bears.
Since Nos. 10–12 comprise varying stages for both obverse and reverse dies, and because of their closer similarity to Nos. 13 and 14 in the use of "shrubs" on either side of the tree trunk, they are placed here. Nos. 8 and 9 fall into place preceding them because of the absence of these "shrubs."
|*||Crosby's order may be seen in his "Tables of Varieties of Oak Tree Coins' (Early Coins of America, pp. 50–51), which are here reproduced on Plates IX–X.|
|*||Early Coins of America, p. 56.|
WE have seen that the sixpences provide a link between the Oak and Pine Tree groups. If we needed further evidence that Crosby did not consider his numbering chronological, this variety would provide it, since there would be scant reason for numbering the last of the Oak Tree sixpences 1-d.
The criteria which were helpful with the shillings offer scanty aid with the sixpences. The obverse inscriptions begin at practically the same point, eight of the clock. The reverses are not uniform. No. 22, the latest of them, begins at eight o'clock also, and so do Nos. 16 and 19, but the others begin at two and three o'clock. I am unable to trace any development in the trees on the obverse. In fact, for Nos. 17 and 19 the treatment is so at variance with what we look for as an Oak Tree as to bring doubts of the genuineness of these varieties. No. 15 is unique; it is struck on a flan of shilling weight, but the die is larger than for any other sixpence. It follows the shillings faithfully as to inscription and for that reason may claim the position at the head of the group. Nos. 17 and 18 have identical inscriptions, but the flans for these are properly smaller. No. 16 omits the word IN from the obverse. No. 19 shows IN for both obverse and reverse and omits DOM. No. 20 omits DOM as well as IN. The use of ANO for ANNO on No. 19 would provide reason for doubting its genuineness were it not that the same spelling occurs on No. 20 and elsewhere. The form of the tree is unusual, especially in the treatment of the roots, and on the reverse the W is unlike any other W's in the coinage. The piece is very questionable. No actual specimen is known to me.
No. 17, whose tree form is also very bad, shows a die defect at eight o'clock on the reverse which occurs on more than one specimen and which must represent an injury to the die.
In view of all these conditions, the order submitted here must be tentative. It may serve as an identifying arrangement until it can be replaced.
CROSBY distinguishes six obverse and three reverse dies for this denomination, with one of the reverses recut. The small scale and the nondescript form of the trees offer little in the way of progressiveness in their development. The obverse uniformly reads MASATHVSETS and the reverse NEW ENGLAND. The rosettes are badly executed in several instances and the beaded circles are not quite true. The smallness of the scale seems to have hampered the engraver. The workmanship on the lettering, too, leaves room for improvement. A similar condition prevails with the twopence.
BECAUSE the single die for the twopence is dated 1662, the only exception to the 1652 on all other coins in the Willow, Oak and Pine Tree series, its importance is out of all proportion to its size.
Crosby distinguishes two states of the reverse die, but the enlargements on Plates VI–VIII will show that there is more of a problem than such a division would imply. We have had to resort to enlargements to make the progression clear. The last stage of the die shows the date with large digits for the 1 and for the 2, and these must have replaced smaller figures in the first state. Furthermore, the A and N have serifs in the last stage, while in the first they are very badly formed and are without serifs.
Between the A and the N, a break extends inwards from the outer row of beads in the stage numbered 3. This has involved the letter A and reaches almost to the second 6 of the date. In addition, the horizontal stroke of the 2 has developed a break which connects it with the inner row of beads. The fourth stage shows what the engraver did to meet this situation. We have already noted the enlargement of the first and last digits of the date and the recutting of the A and N with great improvement due to the added serifs. The other letters have all been made heavier. This is also true of the beaded circles but less noticeable. In the last of the enlargements, a fine line crosses the first three digits of the date and extends into the inscription at the left. This seems to be no other than the extension of the break noted at the rim in the earliest enlargement. Note also the flaw within the loop of the second 6. It extends diagonally upwards to the right. This can be traced back through the earlier enlargements and is even to be seen faintly in the first one. It convincingly supports the order that is here submitted.
Alterations such as these were simpler for a small die than for a large one; the letters were never very deeply cut. In this twopence it would seem that the break within the smaller beaded circle had been filed down until the flaw was eliminated. The first three digits were then recut over the old outlines and were somewhat enlarged in the process. The last figure, the 2, has been completely obliterated and was cut in a size that more nearly matched the other three figures. After retempering, the die was again ready for use.
Did the recutting of this twopence die take place in 1662 or was there an interval? Who shall say? There are no Pine Tree twopences. Certainly the date would not be an impediment to the later use of the dies, if we may judge from the other denominations. Perhaps we shall some day have another hoard which will answer this query, one like the Roxbury Find which we hope to consider with the Pine Tree issues.
1. (Crosby 9-h). MASATHVSETS: IN: As on all the Willow Tree dies, the M is at the eleven o'clock position. The letters are well formed and well spaced. The tree fills the field; the trunk is indicated only as far as the lowest branches and is hatched. There are crosshatchings downward to the right for the roots. On either side of the trunk are small shrubs or shoots. The guideline for describing the inner circle of beads is plainly visible below the M and the faint central point may be seen on most specimens. In contrast to the Willow Tree type, the tree has branches, and their relation to the trunk and to each other is shown.
Rev. NEWENGLAND: AN · DOM · Within inner circle 1652 / XII. The initial N is at the same beginning point as on the obverse, although it does not follow the Willow Tree type in this regard. The 5 has been cut so that it obliterates the focal point, thereby showing that the two beaded circles may have preceded the other elements of the design. The letters of the inscription are well-formed—the W is perhaps unduly wide. A die-break joining the N and D of ENGLAND is visible on some specimens. Of fifteen pieces examined, two had been clipped. The numerals of the date are excellent in form and spacing.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 20).* 4.70 grams, 72.6 grains.
2. (Crosby 9-1). Die of No. 1.
Rev. NEWENGLAND. ANDO (rosette). The rosette and its position at eleven o'clock distinguish this die. The central point is plainly visible* The only period in the inscription is high. The W is very broad. The circles of beads are not quite regular.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 21). 4.51 grams, 69.6 grains.
3. (Crosby 9-g). Die of Nos. 1 and 2.
Rev. NEW ENGLAND. AN DO. The beginning of the inscription is at 1:3ο o'clock. No other Oak Tree shilling begins at this point, but some of the Willow Tree pieces begin at two and three o'clock. The W (seldom clear) is badly formed, and so too are the numerals of the date, especially the 2, which, because of its heavy horizontal stroke, is crude. The flans seem to have been prepared carelessly; of eight specimens examined, four had cleft flans and one had irregular edges. The obverse die seems to have given way at three o'clock, resulting in the reverse inscription not being struck up (at eleven o'clock). The central point is faintly indicated. The linear guide for the inner circle of beads is visible at the top and bottom; the pellets run together at times.
The American Numismatic Society (Gift of W. B. Osgood Field). 4.67 grams, 72.1 grains.
4. (Crosby 3-D). The first period of the inscription is centered, the second one, normal. The center point is clearly visible. The inner circle of beads is irregular; at the top it is almost continuous. The crude exergual line (with hatchings beneath it) ends at the shrub to the right of the trunk. The S's of the inscription vary; the lower part is uniformly the smaller. The second period precedes the M rather than following the N. The shearing away of the die at the top, well above the outer circle of beads, shows in some specimens. The V is disproportionately large.
Rev. NEWENGLAND ·AN.· DOM · The center point is visible but faint. The beaded circles are irregularly spaced and not quite perfect in shape. The 6 of the date and the X below it are very large. The periods are centered, but the one between AN and DOM is faint, possibly unintentionally. A flaw shows at the center of the O. Another flaw connects the first period with the A, while a third is visible on some specimens above this same A.
Massachusetts Historical Society. 4.61 grams, 71.2 grains.
5. (Crosby 2-D). The tree has two gracefully curved lower limbs and a sturdy trunk. The central point is faint. The inner circle of small beads forms a nearly perfect circle; the outer one is even fainter than the inner (compare both with the reverse forms). The V is large, the first T short. The die seems to have broken at the edge near the top—but see remarks on p. 6 relative to shape of the die, which offer a more probable explanation.
Rev. Die of No. 4. The weakness at the top is apparently due to the obverse condition already noted. The A and N of AN DOM show flaws.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 10a). 4.60 grams, 71.0 grains.
6. (Crosby 1a-d). Crosby reads the inscription as without any periods. There seems to be a large but faint one following the N. It is almost invisible because of the die mutilation, due, it is believed, to the dies having been struck without a coin flan between them. Note the center point and discontinuity of inner circle of beads. The serifs of the first T and the H are distinctive, as are also thick strokes in the V, and the tiny irregularity at the middle of the second stroke.
Rev. Die of Nos. 4 and 5. The flaws already noted show further development, especially the one below the AN, which now projects into the field. The first D has its top portion nearly filled in and other letters (the O, N and L) are defective.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 8). 4.47 grams, 69.0 grains.
7. (Crosby 1b-d). The die of No. 6 with the lower portion recut. The trunk of the tree shows cross-hatching. No center point is visible. The exergual line, at two levels, shows hatchings downward to the right beneath. The letters N.MA have been recut. The inner circle of beads is regularly spaced; it is not possible to compare the outer circle because only one of the specimens available shows a small segment.
Rev. Die of Nos. 4, 5 and 6. The die-flaws already noticed show further enlargement. A small flaw appears at the extremity of the horizontal stroke of the 2. In later stages of the die, this flaw gradually has grown until it has spread to the second digit of the XII, joining the break below the AN.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 9). 4.63 grams, 71.5 grains.
On Plate II, the gradual break-up of this reverse die (d) is illustrated in specimens listed below:
8. (Crosby 5-a). MASATHVSETS · IN · The tree is without the side shrubs and its trunk is without hatchings. Beneath the ground line the hatchings are crossed. No center point is visible. The M, the first A, and the first T are distinctive.
Rev. Crosby reads the inscription as without periods. What appears to be a faint period follows the D of ENGLAND on the T. James Clarke specimen, and there seems to be an indication of one following the M. Both the date and the XII are small. The letters of the inscription are short and squat.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 13). 4.62 grams, 71.3 grains.
9. (Crosby 4-c). Inscription punctuated as in No. 8. The tree has an exceptionally wide trunk. The exergue is filled with cross-hatching. The letters of the inscription are so nearly identical (after allowance has been made for their having been deepened in the die) that there seems some ground for believing that this may be a re-use of the obverse of No. 8. Comparing the letters separately almost strengthens this into conviction, when the evidences of recutting have been noted. The tree must have been entirely recut.
Rev. NEWENGLAND. AN. DOM. This die shows a doubled center point. The enclosing circles are wedge-shaped strokes rather than pellets or beads, and the guiding linear circle is plainly visible on some specimens. These merge at the upper right of the inner circle. The letter forms follow closely those of No. 8 in shape, size and position.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 12). 4.68 grams, 72.2 grains.
10. Crosby describes two stages of this die and two for the reverse that goes with it (6a –e 1, 6b–e 2).* There seem to me to be three distinguish- able for each die. These have been numbered 10, 11 and 12. In the earliest stage, the tree is weakly cut. Some of the letters are without serifs—compare the second T and the H with later dies.
Rev. The beaded borders are well formed throughout, but the letters of NEW are weak. Note the poor form of the W and its contrast with the other letters.
The American Antiquarian Society. 4.73 grams, 73.0 grains.
11. The tree is radically recut—apparently erased and done over. The horizontal elements of the E are enlarged and broadened.
Rev. The changed form of the W and of the other letters which follow seem to indicate recutting. Note the double cutting of the second digit of the date.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 16). 4.47 grams, 69.0 grains.
12. The die-flaw in the right field was barely visible in No. 11. The inscription has lost its sharpness, a loss due to wear on the die rather than on the coin.
Rev. The center point has almost disappeared. As with the obverse, the die shows wear, especially in the inscription.
The specimens available (three of No. 10, six of No. 11 and four of No. 12) are seldom well preserved, and should better specimens become known, the conclusions submitted may have to be revised. Damon G. Douglas Coll. 4.49 grams, 69.3 grains.
13. (Crosby 8-F). The center point for describing the beaded circles is incompletely covered by the thin trunk of the tree. For this die the trunk is solid. The ground line is short and the hatchings downward to the left are long. The inner circle of beads is light and dainty; the outer one has a defect at the top over the letters HV. The inscription letters are also light and thin. The second T has a slight defect above it. The third S intercepts the inner circle of beads.
Rev. The center point is visible. The inscription reads AN DOM with the period before the A centered and that following the M in normal position. The inner circle of beads is very light and is faint at the top. The outer circle is also light. The first E is very small. Serifs are often lacking.
T. James Clarke Coll. 4.66 grams, 71.9 grains.
14. (Crosby 7-b). A note by Mr. Edgar H. Adams calls attention to Dr. Hall's statement that these two obverse dies (that is, of Nos. 13 and 14) are identical. Comparison of the letters will show that this is true, although many of them have been deepened by recutting. The defect in the outer row of beads at the top of the die is noteworthy. The tree has been recut and given an appearance which contrasts sharply with the earlier form. The ground line has been strengthened and the entire appearance of the tree changed by the tiny hatchings which modify each of the limbs. A die defect in the right field is pronounced in No. 14 and barely seen in No. 13.
Rev. Die of No. 13 with serifs added to some of the letters of the inscription. The 5 of the date is changed in form. Serifs have been added to the XII and the X has been modified by deepening. The beads of the enclosing circles have been strengthened so that they are now nearer the customary size.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 17). 4.60 grams, 71.0 grains.
|*||Reference is made here, and following, to the photographic plates of Carl Würtzbach's portfolio, "An Index of Complete Set of Massachusetts Colonial Silver Money…," issued at Lee, Mass., in 1937.|
|*||The numbers are incorrectly designated as 1a–E and 1b-E2 in the "Obverses" section of Crosby's table of Oak Tree Varieties; they are correctly designated in the "Reverses" section.|
15. (Crosby 5-a). (The Stickney specimen.) Possibly the first American pattern. This piece was overstruck on an old shilling. The die is nearly as large as those for the shilling. The treeshows the shrubs on either side of the trunk, which grows from a mound-like base. The trunk displays diagonal hatchings downward to the left. The period preceding IN is centered. The rosette following is composed of seven pellets. The center point is visible and the light inner circle shows the guiding line used in its formations. The outer border is also light.
Rev. Inscription NEWENGLAND · AN DOM · The beads of both borders are light. The center point is visible at the lower tip of the 5. The letters LA show die-flaws. The beginning point of the inscription is that of our No. 3.
Bushnell Sale, No. 152.
16. (Crosby 6-F). The word IN is omitted on the obverse. An eightbeaded rosette provides the punctuation. The center point is conspicuous but both beaded circles are light. The tree fills the field well although the side shrubs and the root indications are weak. A nearly horizontal die-flaw extends from the top of the first stroke of the V to the base of the third stroke of the H and downward into the field. The letter E is distinctive. The obverse is in contrast with the excellence of the reverse.
Rev. IN NEWENGLAND · ANO Note form of rosette. Both circles are composed of regular, well-formed beads. The central point is visible between the 6 and 5. The date is low on the field.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 27a). 2.45 grams, 37.8 grains.
17. (Crosby 4-c). The tree has an unusually broad trunk and nondescript branches and roots which are unlike any others in the coinage. There is no central point and the borders are formed of tiny timorous beads which run together; there seems to have been a false start of which indications are visible in the field to the left. As punctuation, there are colons preceding and following the word IN; the first has diamond-shaped periods, the second round ones. The V is unusually broad. Traces of a re-used flan are visible in the best-preserved specimen (in the section of the V).
Rev. NEWENGLAND: AN: DOM · A central point is visible as well as a second inner circle. This circle is made of cross-hatchings rather than of beads. The date is high in the field. Although the letters of the inscription are well formed they differ from others on the Oak Tree sixpences. The die relations for obverse and reverse are different from all other sixpences.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 26). 2.33 grams, 35.9 grains.
18. (Crosby 2-B). All specimens examined are poorly preserved. The tree shows a broad trunk and double base line but otherwise is unlike No. 17 or any other Oak Tree sixpence. The treatment of the branches suggests that of No. 14 but the letters of the inscription are entirely different.
Rev. As punctuation, a centered period precedes the word AN and a colon follows the DOM. The die is notable for the distinctive 2 of the date which is closed so as to look like a zero. The date is high on the flan and the VI correspondingly large. The inner beaded circle is very irregular. No central point is visible.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 25). 2.33 grams, 35.9 grains.
19. (Crosby 3-e). MASATHVSETS IN (without punctuation). The tree has root indications, which resemble a coiled serpent, and two tiny twigs to the right. The branches are thicker than usual. No outer circle is visible in the specimen engraved by Crosby, the whereabouts of which is unknown.
Rev. IN NEWENGLAND: ANO: The W has the second and third stroke crossed and resembles two interlaced V's. No outer circle visible in the specimen engraved by Crosby.
Crosby, Early Coins of America, p. 48, illus. No. 9.
20. (Crosby 1a-d). Inscription as usual with centered periods on either side of IN. The center point visible; both circles are true; the beads are regular in size and uniformly placed—those at the top of the inner circle run together. The ground line for the tree is nearly horizontal. There are the customary shrubs on either side of the trunk, which is narrow and in good proportion. The S's are poorly formed and the first one is weakly cut; it does not touch the inner circle. The N is reversed and the second stroke is disproportionately heavy.
Rev. NEWENGLAND · ANO · This die shares with Nos. 16 and 19 the use of the abbreviation ANO. The date is large and the initial digit is short and heavy. Note the W and the out-of-scale L. The center point is to be discerned at the lower end of the 5.
The American Numismatic Society. 2.21 grams, 34.1 grains.
21. (Crosby 1c-d). A recutting of No. 20 with the first S mistakenly reversed; it now touches the ring of beads.
Rev. Same as No. 20.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 24). 2.23 grams, 34.4 grains.
22. (Crosby 1b-d). The first S is now in its proper form but the recutting has caused an interruption of the inner circle. The M and the A now are joined by their serifs and the form of the M differs slightly from that of No. 21.
Rev. Same as Nos. 20 and 21. This die is also used for one of the two Pine Tree sixpence dies (Crosby 2).
The American Numismatic Society. 2.08 grams, 32.1 grains.
23. (Crosby 1-a 1). The inscription has the three S's reversed and has a centered period preceding the IN and a six-beaded rosette following it. The center point is faint and coincides with the line of the trunk (or branch). The beads of both circles are light and small but fairly regular. The tree fills the field completely; the base line is mound-shaped. Rev. NEWENGLAND A six-beaded rosette precedes the N of NEWENGLAND. Note form of the W, which is like that in No. 19. Both E's have unusually long top strokes. The date and denomination figures are well formed. The center point is visible. The linear guide for the outer circle is plainly to be seen.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 28). 0.94 grams, 14.56 grains.
24. Crosby (2-a 1). The first S of the inscription is reversed and only the second and third strokes of the N are visible, the I and the first stroke having been eliminated by the rosette. No center point to be seen, but the linear guide for both inner and outer circles is visible. The tree is asymmetrical, the trunk being to the left of the center and the branches rather crude. The whole die is timidly cut.
Rev. Same as No. 23.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 29). 1.07 grams, 16.5 grains.
25. (Crosby 3-a 2). The first S of the inscription is now normal but the rosette is large and rather untidy. A faint center point is visible but the beads of both circles are uneven in size. There is more than the usual space between the E and the T of the inscription. The tree is even more sketchy and nondescript than in No. 24.
Rev. A recutting of No. 24 as indicated by Crosby. Note that a diebreak now connects the upper stroke of the E with the W. A recutting of the letters N and G is indicated by double lines and these are visible in some of the other letters. The last two digits of the dates have been modified, as has also the III.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 30). 1.05 grams, 16.2 grains.
26. (Crosby 4-a 2). This is possibly a recutting of No. 25, although the preservation of the specimens available for study did not permit cer- tainty. The letters show strong resemblances, but the tree is completely different.
Rev. Die of No. 25.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 31). 1.01 grams, 15.6 grains.
27. (Crosby 5-b). No center point visible but beads are uniform in size and regularly spaced. The rosette is a jumble of ten beads. The tree has a horizontal base line and two shrubs. There is also the wide spacing between the E and the T which we had noticed in No. 25.
Rev. Note the form of the W. The rosette has six beads. There is strong resemblance to No. 26 in the placing of the letters. No center point is visible and both circles are irregular.
T. James Clarke Coll. 1.05 grams, 16.2 grains.
28. (Crosby 6-c).The tree has a horizontal base line. In form, it resembles that of No 21. The beginning point of the inscription is in contrast with all others of the threepence, but like that of the sixpences, twopences and most of the shillings. The rosette has seven beads.
Rev. The center point is visible. The beads of both circles are uneven in size and irregularly placed. The rosette is a jumble with a large center point. The 2 of the date resembles that of the twopence. The inscription begins at the same point as that of the obverse, which is the same as was used for the twopence.
T. James Clarke Coll. (Würtzbach No. 33). 1.10 grams, 16.9 grains.
29–34. (Crosby 1-a 1, a 2, a 3).* MASATHVSETS · IN: A formless tree with "shrubs" on either side of the trunk, and a double base line. Both beaded borders are regular and the central point for describing them is visible. The first S of the inscription is distinctive and the engraving for the die is excellent throughout.
Rev. NEW ENGLAND An eight-bead rosette separates the initial N and the final D. The borders have beads of unequal size; the central point falls between the two sixes of the date. For a discussion of the alterations to this die see p. 11.
The provenance and weights of Nos. 29–34 are as follows:
|*||Nos. 29–30=Crosby 1-a 2, 31 = 1-a 3, and 32–34= 1-a 1.|
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