Author Topic: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp  (Read 21839 times)

Offline spgordon

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1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« on: February 02, 2012, 04:20:22 PM »
SO I wonder if any of y'all have any thoughts about this item:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNIQUE-Nice-J-J-HENRY-BOULTON-Ctsp-1814-Large-Cent-Reknown-Flintlock-Gunsmith-/260943379981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc16ffe0d

I wrote to the seller about the claim that he "bought straight from a branch of the family," and he replied:

"We've had it for a couple of years now; it was an off-the-street purchase. Someone showed-up with it, saying that 'it had been in the family for generations'. Everyone says that, but it had its original skin (meaning no collectors had had their hands on it), and they were quite familiar with the Henry family history. There is no circulation wear on it per se. This is a slight variant of the usual punch, in that the space between the J2 period and the H is narrow, and not gapped as is usually seen."

Any thoughts?
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 08:35:21 PM »
Well my thoughts, for what they're worth, are:

(1)  hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
     [this is a direct response to the price]

(2)  hahahahahahahahahahahaha
     [still thinking about the price]

(3)  Why?  I mean, it's weird.  Why stamp a penny?  Practice?  A piece of scrap had no value, a penny certainly had value.

(4)  hahahahaha
     [took a look at the price again]

(5)  The stamping itself looks *awfully* crisp, even the edges of the stamped letters, especially given the wear evident on the remainder of the penny.  I can't help but be EXTREMELY doubtful.

(6)  I have a good number of these old pennies.  I now have been witness to the ultimate answer for the question I ask myself on an hourly basis:  "I have all these old pennies, and I have large numbers of stamps which I have made for various reasons throughout my many years of gunmaking.  How on earth could I combine the two in a profitable manner?  Hmmmmm.  Peanut butter in the chocolate, or chocolate in the peanut butter?"

(7)  hahahahahahahahahaha
     [ok, that was because one of the dogs licked my foot and tickled me...)
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline Mark Tyler

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 11:05:04 PM »
Counterstamps on large cents are common. The coin has no numismatic value. Value to a collector of counterstamps is $50 +/-.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 06:44:10 AM by Mark Tyler »

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 11:39:52 PM »
My thoughts were similar to Eric's, though my laugh isn't quite as hearty as his, I think!

These objects with "counterstamps," which I knew nothing about, are it turns out very collectible:

      http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n39a22.html

The seller insists that "the counterstamp is Genuine, of that there is no doubt. I've handled enough of them to know."

I would think any authentication would need to find a "J. J. Henry/Boulton" stamp on a rifle or pistol that matched the "punch" on the coin.

Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline oakridge

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 02:52:15 AM »
I'm somewhat familiar with counterstamped coins. They are a highly collectable field of numismatics. And, I've seen coins with a gunsmith's stamp. This one looks right to me, but, I don't necessarily buy the story with it, and the price is in fantasyland.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 03:52:59 AM »
So can someone fill me in on the reasoning behind these counterstamped coins?  Again I have to ask myself, "Why?"  Was it cheap advertising?  Rampant fun filled Fridays with hammer and stamp?  An underground 'Death to the Penny!' movement 200 years early?  I am very interested.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 03:54:59 AM »
It was a cheap way to advertise. Google "counterstamped coins" and you can see lots.
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana

Dogshirt

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 04:45:58 AM »
Unless it was stamped by Red Cloud or Crazy Horse, or MAYBE  jesus, it ain't worth $0.10.
YAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Curt J

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 02:39:00 AM »
Yes, counterstamped coins from various gunsmiths are fairly common.  I know of such coins by several very local (to me) Illinois gunsmiths. The ones I have seen were filed smooth on the stamped side, then stamped with the same stamp the gunsmith used on his barrels.  These are not limited to gunsmiths, but were done by many other types of tradesmen as well.  They might be expected to bring $40 or $50, but certainly not the price of this one.

Sean

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 04:02:43 AM »
It's missing something.  I'm surprised no one has responded to his add with, "Pat, I'd like to buy a vowel..."

Sean

RifleBarrelGun

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2012, 01:54:56 PM »

(5)  The stamping itself looks *awfully* crisp, even the edges of the stamped letters, especially given the wear evident on the remainder of the penny.  I can't help but be EXTREMELY doubtful.

Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but why assume a coin would be newly minted when it was so marked? 

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 04:05:17 PM »
No assumption being made, but why stamp it unless it was still in circulation and therefore exposed to ongoing wear?  Not stating it's a fake - I have no idea and only have pictures to go by - but I personally harbor doubt based upon what I see in the photo.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2012, 04:33:39 PM »
Boulton "opened" in 1814 (or so), so one possibility is that the coin was used to advertise the new gunworks in its earliest years. Just speculation, of course.

But in the early years of Boulton J. J. Henry was partnered with his brother, W. Henry. There are locks that read "J. and W. Henry," though such locks could also date from the period that J. J. Henry was partnered with his father (William Henry II). Perhaps one could date this stamp to the years after 1822 when J. J. Henry was running Boulton himself?

I wonder how long it--generally--it would take for a coin to display the sort of wear that 1814 coin shows? It does seem, as Eric suggested, that the stamp was applied after the coin was already worn. Would it have displayed such wear in 8 years (if it was stamped in 1822)?

« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 05:10:34 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

mkeen

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 09:18:44 PM »
An observation or maybe its just my eyes! The coin looks like it was highly dented in the process of stamping the J.J. Henry. The opposite side also looks like it has a lot of wear on the high portion that resulted from the stamping. Was the stamping done while the coin was on some wood? A side view would have been nice.

Martin Keen

Bill

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 09:44:40 PM »
Counterstamping of pennies with a fraternal organization's insignia are also fairly common to hand out at meetings or give to new members

Offline oakridge

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2012, 01:43:01 AM »
Counterstamps were just an advertising medium used over many years. They are similar to merchant tokens, except obviously cheaper to produce. Most of the stamps I've seen were put on already well circulated coins. That way they could be given out in change or as a premium.

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 03:58:35 AM »
I've been reading the discussion on here, so to set the record straight: Large Cents (and many, many other types of coins) were used by Iron mongers, machinists, etc. as test subjects for the counterstamping device(s) before pressed into production. Counterstamps for Advertising purposes is not the usual intention; those types of marks are quite the minority of known Counterstamps-thousands and thousands exist with just random letters, numbers and names. Lots of Counterstamped coins have sold for well-over $1000, and a several for much more than that. Gunsmith marks are especially prized, but this one is The BIG One, unless a Colt surfaces... FWIW: this J.J. Henry marked coin will be listed in the updated Counterstamped Coin reference as a Genuine J.J. Henry/Boulton Counterstamped 1814 Large Cent, presently Unique.

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 04:06:47 AM »
Also: bent coins wear in circulation differently than do normal coins. The force of the hammer on an Iron punch into Copper will make the Copper coin scyphate-become somewhat "cupped" in appearance. Doesn't matter if it was done on a wooden or metal tabletop. Also, the punch was hit with such force that it skidded across the coin, thus obliterating the "Y" of HENRY when struck. Simple Physics...

Offline Mark Tyler

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Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 05:27:11 AM »
That example noted above either couldn't be verified, or judging by its meager 32 visits was in the improper category (which it was). Probably though, it couldn't be verified

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2012, 06:37:52 PM »
It would be interesting to know how this coin was "verified."

Was the counterstamp compared to other J.J. Henry/Boulton stamps? If so, did it resemble stamps from a particular period?

I write this not to dispute the verification but to ask the evidence for considering the counterstamp authentic. I would think that whoever verified it would be able--indeed, eager--to supply an explanation.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 06:40:56 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2012, 08:37:35 PM »
A couple of things, as I see it (fwiw):

"Also, the punch was hit with such force that it skidded across the coin, thus obliterating the "Y" of HENRY when struck. Simple Physics..."

I am not clear on how this is simple, because (1) a copper coin is a lot softer than a gun barrel, and (2) there are extant examples of non-obliterated JJ Henry stampings which certainly would have mandated a greater degree of force on iron as opposed to soft copper and yet retain their "Y."  Iron, in fact, usually requires multiple strikes to effect a proper stamp, so seemingly would be more prone to skidding and/or mis-strikes.

Also:  like Professor Gordon, I would likewise be very interested in learning how this particular piece can be verified because it seems to me that this particular field would be quite ripe for fraud.  I can guarantee you that there are numerous individuals currently working within the gunsmithing trade who could very easily pull off a copy of this and I also guarantee that it could quite easily be "aged" to fool anyone.  This would be child's play comparative to the aging of an entire rifle.

It seems to me that verification most likely will simply consist of publication (after all, if it is published, it must be authentic...) and a few words by a recognized authority in an appropriate field.  Following this, all it needs to do is change hands for a considerable sum one time, and there you have it.  If someone will purchase it for xxx dollars, then someone else will desire it and probably be willing to pay yyy dollars.  And they're off!

I don't necessarily intend this to come off as sarcastic, because while it probably does (a habit predicated by many years of working with 'fakes..'), I am genuinely interested in more information.  
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 08:41:22 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2012, 09:36:43 PM »
I am genuinely interested in more information.  

I feel exactly as Eric does. I doubt this is a fake--who would fake a J. J. Henry/Boulton stamp, of all the gunsmith stamps one would choose (or am I naive about this?)?--but I am interested in how such a thing gets "verified." My suspicion is that Eric has that exactly right:

It seems to me that verification most likely will simply consist of publication (after all, if it is published, it must be authentic...) and a few words by a recognized authority in an appropriate field.  Following this, all it needs to do is change hands for a considerable sum one time, and there you have it.  If someone will purchase it for xxx dollars, then someone else will desire it and probably be willing to pay yyy dollars.  And they're off!  

But if there is a more respectable method that has been used, I'm eager to hear and especially eager to know which J. J. Henry/Boulton stamps or punches were used for comparison.

Scott
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 09:38:12 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Curt J

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2012, 06:18:14 AM »
I know of counterstamped coins by several Illinois gunsmiths, some close to home, although I don't own any.  Speaking as someone who just retired from 47 years as a jewelry tool & die maker, this field is indeed ripe for fakery.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2012, 04:29:56 PM »
"...who would fake a J. J. Henry/Boulton stamp, of all the gunsmith stamps one would choose.."

Aaaaah, but therein lies the genius!!!!!!

Imagine how much more debate would be involved in, say, a Dickert counterstamping, or a Rupp, or a ....

I honestly have no idea how one would verify the authenticity of something like this.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!