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1797 G. Britain Penny Bronzed Pattern P-1100





Coin Details

Item Description: PENNY 1797 G.britain P-1100 BRONZED PATTERN
Full Grade: NGC PROOF Details
Owner: coinsandmedals

Owner Comments:

I had the opportunity to pick this example up for what I think was an extremely reasonable price, which is likely due to the “Bent” designation assigned by NGC. The seller noted that the “bend” was very subtle and almost undetectable. I did not put much stock into their explanation, but once I had the coin in hand, I indeed was unable to detect any curvature whatsoever. I assume the only way to detect it would be to remove it from the holder and place it on a flat surface. Peck notes that this piece is a late Soho Strike and is extremely rare. I am delighted that I was able to locate an affordable example of this variety for my collection.

Obverse: This example portrays a type 3 bust, which according to Peck (1964), depicts a large undraped bust facing right. This bust is a notable deviation from the bust depicted on the business strikes; however, a wreath of 10 leaves and five berries is still contained within the hair and is tied behind the neck with two ribands. The hair falls on both sides of the shoulder as well as below the bust. The curls are much longer than those on the business strikes, and the general appearance of curvature of the bust is much more pronounced. There is also a distinct hook-like hair curl that extends beyond the larger curls behind the neck. This obverse design almost seems to depict a younger king and the upper parts of the hair, and the lowest curl of hair nearly touches the broad rims. A large “K” followed by three dots in a triangular shape is on the lowest portion of the truncation. This particular coin is a late Soho strike, which is evident by the numerous rust spots throughout the fields and the primary devices. These are most notable on the face, neck, and rim. The broad raised rims contain the legend “GEORGIUS III ● D:G ● REX.” The top and bottom portions of the “D” are stopped up as well as the lower portion of the “G” in D:G is stopped up. The letters in the legend are substantially larger than those typically encountered on the business strikes. This particular example has a very appealing blue tone in the fields and around the primary devices. I am particularly fond of this type of toning, and I find this to be an extremely attractive piece.

Reverse: Peck (1964) classifies this as a Type B reverse, which depicts a helmeted Britannia facing left seated on a globe. This is a notable difference from the design employed on the business strikes, and in my opinion, is a significant improvement. Britannia is depicted wearing a plumed helmet with a striated fin. She is seated on a globe amongst waves facing left wearing drapery that clings close to her body. Her left breast is uncovered by the drapery and is exposed. Her right arm is extended, holding a trident. Her left arm rests on an oval shield with the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew (heraldically colored) on her left side. A large “K.” occurs just below the left bottom half of the shield. Her hand clasps an olive branch of 16 leaves and no berries. This particular example shows re-punching of the berries. A 3 masted warship appears in the sea in front of her about halfway down her leg, and another almost obliterated ship occurs in the sea behind her. The date “1797” occurs in exergue below the main bust. All of this is contained within a broad raised rim, which is adorned by several floral decorations. The incuse legend “BRITANNIA.” occurs at the top between two small floral designs. Opposite of the legend, two olive branches tied by a riband are depicted. Peck (1964) notes that the mintmark SOHO occurs incuse within the loop of the two ribands. Much like the obverse, the reverse has a beautiful blue patina that cumulates in the fields and washes against the primary devices.

Edge: Plain

Notes: This is an example of an extremely rare pattern piece that would have been very difficult to acquire under normal circumstances. The neon blue toning that occurs on both sides makes this a very appealing coin in my opinion and matches nicely with similarly toned coins in my collection. In so far as I can tell, this is the only example at either NGC or PCGS. Usually I would avoid a “details” coin, but in this case, the damage is not apparent, and the rarity and the relative price was just right to make this purchase too good to pass up. I enjoy the obverse and reverse designs of this variety, and I hope that I can add others to my collection as they become available.

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