Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 48

Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction

Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 1184
1869 Transcontinental Railway Commemorative Medal. Bronze, 45.6mm, from the "Medal Series of the US Mint", signed W. Barber. Obverse: head of President Grant right, inscription below "The Oceans United By Railway May 10, 1869"; Reverse: Mountain railroad scene. Very Fine.
Estimated Value $50 - 100.
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Lot 1185
A rare and important artifact possibly of the U. S. Mint at Philadelphia. This cased ensemble, presented to Union Civil War General William Starke Rosecrans, appears to be a patent model, or pattern so to speak, for a proposed five denomination gold coin ejector pocket purse.
The case, 9 3/4" wide by 6 7/8" high, covered in floral embossed dark burgundy leather, contains two level compartments for the various components of the manufacturing process of the gold coin holder. Embedded in the top of the case is a silver shell strike of the "obverse" of the device, while inside the top lid of the case is a silver oval shell strike of the Liberty Bell with the inscription "Declaration Independence 1776 1876", this aprox. 2 1/4" by 1 1/2".
The contents consist of the following items:
1) a complete finished model of the device, struck in embossed silver, with gilt brass shell inserts and slots for insertion and removal of any gold coins held therein (no actual coins included). There are two applied and engraved gilt silver panels on either side reading "Pattern U.S. Mint" and "To Gen. Wm. S. Rosecrans".
2) a silver ingot in the size and shape of the coin holder, the obverse with the device's top design and the reverse with the Liberty Bell motif previously used within the case lid. The ingot is impressed on the reverse "Presented To Major General William S. Rosecrans from Augustus St. Gaudens" Aspet", Aspet being the name St. Gaudens gave to his Cornish, NH estate. Around the edge of the ingot is the impressed inscription "Pattern .999 Fine Silver. Dagett Ingot".
3-4) two heavy die trail strikes of the obverse of the holder, in lead and bronze.
5) a brass trail strike of the reverse of the holder.
6-10) five steel dies for the five gold coins held in the device, being the obverse of a One Dollar gold coin, and reverses of the $2.5, $5, $10 and $20 gold coins.
11-15) a lead die trail for each of the five dies listed above.
16-29) fourteen assorted brass impressions of the various die denominations.
30-32) three enigmatic mint sport die impressions, consisting of the One Dollar die on a Mexican Cap & Rays silver Peso 1898 Mo A.M., this cupped Fine-Very Fine or so; a brass Ten Dollar impression attached to a cupped US Philippine Peso, post 1903 vintage silver Peso; and a Twenty Dollar brass impression attached to a partially cupped 1881 Morgan Dollar, the latter two Fine and obviously later strikes from the dies made by persons and for purposes unknown.
33) the key to the case lock which is in working condition, though the case itself is well worn and in need of reinforcement at the joints.
Accompanying the above listed items are several export documents, vintage late 1950s with Cuban Tax Stamps affixed, relating in disjointed english, a convoluted and confusing series of events leading to the items being relocated to Cuba. It seems from this account that the Rosecrans family gave the cased set of items to Cuba's first President, Tomas Estrade Palma. From there they went into the possession of Sr. Dr. J.G. Kohly, then to the Matanzas public library system, then seizure by the then Cuban President Zayas about 1925, and from there it gets even fuzzier. We will leave it to the buyer to complete the fascinating and mysterious chronology of the journey of this very rare ensemble of U.S. Mint related historical items.

William Starke Rosecrans (1819-1898), born Kingston Township, Ohio, was an engineering graduate of West Point in 1842, being 5th in a class of 56. Resigning from the Army in 1854, he became successful in several occupations including mining and inventing. With the advent of the Civil War he became volunteer Aide-de-Camp to General McClellan, rising to Brigadier General by May 1861. His efforts proved successful in the Western Virginia Campaigns and he was granted command of that Depertment. During subsequent commands and campaigns, Rosecrans' indecision and hesitancy to engage the enemy found disfavor with his superiors including General Grant, though he remained popular within his own command structure. In 1865 he was promoted to Major General for his earlier successes, resigning from the Army in 1867. He was Minister to Mexico 1868-69 and after some years in the private sector was elected Congressman from California during 1881-85 as well as Registrar of the Treasury from 1885-1893. He most certainly made his US Mint contacts during this Washington experience, and as an inventor he may have had direct involvement with the production of the gold coin holder device. He died in 1898 at Redondo Beach, California. A well known Los Angeles street, Rosecrans Boulevard, is named in his honor as is the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
Estimated Value $5,000 - 10,000.
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Lot 1186
1893 Christopher Columbus Bronze Medal. NGC graded Medal MS-64 Brown. IL E-55 Bronze 50mm. Housed in an oversized NGC slab.
Estimated Value $100 - 150.
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