Undated sixpence - modern copy
Obverse: SOMMER . ILANDS [four pellets] / VI
Reverse: [no text]
Weight: 101.3 g (6.56 grams) Diameter: 25..03 mm
Comments: This is a modern copy of the Sommer Islands sixpence. The original coins were made of a brassy copper and finished with a thin silver wash; this reproduction is made of lead. The obverse legend of the originals has crosses in place of the stop and pellets. Like the originals, this reproduction has four pellets at ground level between the pig's front and back legs. The reverse imitates the "small porthole" variety, but is weakly struck. Like the originals this reproduction contains pellets on the bottom strip of the hull. On the best preserved of the originals the center strip of the hull contains a series of four portholes. Another variety has a larger central strip containing four larger portholes, hence the two varieties are called the small and large porthole varieties.
Provenance: Loaned for inclusion on this web cite by an anonymous collector.
Undated Shilling - Dickeson copy
Obverse: SOMMER [star] ISLANDS [star] / XII
Reverse: [no text]
Weight: 244.2 g (15.82 grams) Diameter: 32.2 mm Reverse die alignment: 350°
Comments: This is a copper proof copy of the Sommer Islands shilling produced by Montroville Wilson Dickeson of Philadelphia in the 1850's. Examples were produced in copper, brass, nickel and white metal. The images on the obverse and reverse are quite similar to the originals but do not exactly match every detail. This copy is listed in Kenney on p. 12 under Dickeson, no. 1.
The original coins were made of a brassy copper and finished with a thin silver wash. The obverse legend of the originals has stops in place of stars and the first S in ISLANDS is very weak. It is thought the letter was cut backwards and then recut correctly producing a weak strike. Also, originals have a pellet at ground level between the pig's front and back legs. The reverse of the Dickeson copy imitates the "small sail" shilling variety. On originals the ship displays a series of portholes, which Dickeson replaced with canon, one of which has just been fired. Also, in addition to several small changes in the ship's rigging, in originals the pellets below the ship do not appear on extant examples of the small sail shilling; however there are pellets on the large sail shilling, but they appear to be in different groupings than on the copy (originals, which are poorly preserved seem to have a triangle of three pellets followed by a row of three with one beneath and a final row of three or four pellets).
Provenance: Purchased through the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment from the EANA auction of January 13, 1996, lot 687.
|Lord Baltimore coinage
For questions or comments contact Special Collections by: