Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 67

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Lot 30

1795 Washington Bust Right "Liberty and Security" Penny. "ASYLUM" edge. . Breen-1258, Baker-2. PCGS graded MS-64 Brown. A gorgeous glossy iridescent brown example of the extremely rare large head variety. Less than 10 known in all grades. This apparently is the only example that has been graded by either service. Pop 1; none finer. This is the Breen Plate Coin.

The Liberty and Security design was created at the foundry of Peter Kempson and Son of Birmingham, England in the hopes of obtaining a contract from the United States government to provide coinage. A quantity of his penny size coppers were exported to America where they were put into circulation. However, the United States government never responded to the request by offering a contract. According to one researcher, apparently Kempson did not realize President Washington had rejected Hancock's 1791 Eagle Cents and Getz's 1792 pattern because he felt it was too monarchical for a coin to carry his portrait. As it was, the United States mint had been established in 1792 and there was no need to contract out the coinage to a foreign firm.

There are two basic types in this series. The first, designed by the diecutter Thomas Wyon is an undated copper penny size (33mm) token minted by Peter Kempson and Son of Birmingham.

The second type in the series is considered to be later than the Kempson copper. It was designed by three diecutters named Arnold, Dixon and Mainwaring and minted by William Lutwyche in Birmingham. This coin is somewhat smaller (29mm) than the undated "penny" sized copper and is frequently referred to as a "halfpenny." The obverse of this copper token includes the legend "GEORGE WASHINGTON" and adapted the right facing bust of Washington found on Kempson's 1795 "Grate" halfpenny token (made for the Clark and Harris Company of London, merchants of fire grates and stoves).

The reverse copied the Kempson coin described above, except there was a longer olive branch in the eagle's talon and most significantly, the date 1795 was added under the shield. This token comes in four varieties: with an edge legend reading either, "PAYABLE AT LONDON LIVERPOOL OR BRISTOL" or "BIRMINGHAM REDRUTH & SWANSEA" or "AN ASYLUM FOR THE OPPRESS'D OF ALL NATIONS" as well as with a plain edge. The plain edge variety was struck on slightly smaller planchets and therefore weigh less that the other varieties. There are also two mules using the 1795 "LIBERTY AND SECURITY". Finally, there is this very rare larger version (33mm) of the "halfpenny" token usually referred to as a "penny", of which about ten examples exist with the "ASYLUM" edge (Baker 32), and one example with a plain edge (Baker 32A) (PCGS # 764) .
Estimated Value $60,000-UP.

Realized $49,450

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