Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 98

Lot 1224

Eckfeldt Collection, First Family of the U.S. Mint, Including Likely-Unique Mint Medals, an 1803 $10 MS61, and Mint-related Presidential Documents. The collection encompasses historic gold medals and documents that belonged to the Eckfeldt family, whose history with the U.S. Mint goes back to the 1790s, when John Jacob Eckfeldt was a contractor to both the Mint of North America and the first U.S. Mint. The Eckfeldts were involved in creating coinage for the colonies, even before they won their independence. Highlights of the collection include:

1. An 1839 gold medal presented to Adam Eckfeldt upon the occasion of his retirement from the U.S. Mint. The solid gold (likely 900 fine) medal depicts Adam Eckfeldt as Chief Coiner of the Mint from 1814-1839. It is 50mm in diameter and weighs 104.1 grams. This gold striking is believed to be unique. It is graded PF62 by NGC.

2. The 1925 gold medal presented to Jacob B. Eckfeldt upon his 60th anniversary as an employee of the Mint. This medal is gold (likely 900 fine), 50 mm and weighs 76.19 grams. Graded PF66 by NGC and likely unique.

3. The 1930 U.S. Mint medal given to Jacob B. Eckfeldt upon his retirement in 1930. Engraved on the obverse is: "Assayer-U.S. Mint 1881-1930" and on the reverse: "From your associates in the U.S. Mint in sincere appreciation of long and distinguished service. Assayer Dept. April 15 1865 Dec 31 1929." The medal is 55 mm in length, 40 mm in width, and weighs 91.16. Also likely unique.

4. The 1803 $10 gold eagle, graded MS61 by NGC, was obtained by a family member in 1807. It is accompanied by the original envelope and letters documenting its provenance from that time.

5. Zachary Taylor (1784-1850 died in office) Letter signed as President dated February 28, 1850 to Jacob R. Eckfeldt, US Mint, Philadelphia, regarding Eckfeldt's work "coins and bullion", the manufacturing etc. which includes original free frank envelope. Fine

6, Three original presidential appointments, including:

(A) Document signed by James Madison as President and by James Monroe as Secretary of State, appointing Adam Eckfeldt as Chief Coiner of the U.S. Mint, Feb. 15, 1814.
(B) Document signed by Andrew Jackson as President and Edward Livingston as Secretary of State, appointing Jacob R. Eckfeldt Assayer of the U.S. Mint, April 30, 1832.
(C.) Document signed by Chester A. Arthur as President and Frederick T. Frelinghuysen as Acting Secretary of State, Dec. 21, 1881.

John Adam Eckfeldt (1769-1852, known as Adam) served as the second chief coiner of the Mint, from 1814 until 1839. His father, John Jacob Eckfeldt, was a German immigrant who owned a large smithy and was involved in early attempts at American coinage; he made dies for Robert Morris's coinage in 1783. Adam Eckfeldt built early presses for the Mint, engraved some of its early dies, and was responsible for the designs of early American copper coinage, as well as the 1792 half disme, which some authorities consider the first United States coin. He was appointed assistant coiner of the Mint in 1796, and became chief coiner on his predecessor's death in 1814. When Adam Eckfeldt retired in 1839, after 47 years, the other officers of the Mint had a gold coin struck as a token of their respect for him. Bronze copies were struck for the other officers and two were struck in silver and were given to the President and the Secretary of the Treasury.

Jacob R. Eckfeldt (1803-1872), Adam's son, was appointed Assayer of the Mint in 1821 and served in that capacity for 40 years. His son, Jacob B. Eckfeldt (1846-1938) served in the Mint from 1865 to 1929, 48 of these 64 years as Chief Assayer of the U.S. Mint. With the resignation of Jacob B., the Eckfeldt family ended 137 years of service to the U.S. Mint.

Also included are two impoortant handwritten pieces each dated August, 1797; one an inventory of coining machines, presses, cutting tools and dies and the other acknowledging Eckfeldt's contributions to the development of the screw coin press. Collection also includes numerous historical letters related to the Eckfeldt family and the U.S. Mint, as well as some personal letters and photographs. The Eckfeldt dynasty was one of the dominate families that navigated the exhuasting politics from the highest levels of government and maintened their grip on the Philadelphia Mint itself for generations. The family's stewardship of this beloved institution places them at the pinnacle of decisions for the Mint. An absolute treasure trove of information, historical documents and historic coinage.
We strongly recommend previewing this historic collection in person to be fully appreciated. (PCGS # 1056) Estimate Value $100,000 - UP

Realized $270,250

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