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Is anyone familiar with the J.S. Twining collection?

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I was researching some tokens, and ran across this catalogue of the sale of the Twining collection in 1886. It appears that Mr. Twining had quite a collection of Colonials, coins, tokens, medals, etc. Just a few of the listings are:




282 1799 Six stars facing ; very fine.


283 1799 Six stars facing; die broken across the reverse j


very fine, polished surface.

281 1800 Uncirculated. A very fine dollar ; scarce.

281a 1800 Very fin"e, barely circulated.

♦285 1801 Very fine; barely circulated.


286 1802 Plain date. Veiy fine ; hair slightly rubbed, but


hardly at all blemished





335 1794 Barely circulated, with a single exception the best


I have ever seen, always rare, and in this condition

of great rarity.


336 1794 Fine, very rare.


337 1795 Randall 12 ; blemished by the commencement of


a perforation, otherwise very good.





640 1851 Orleans mint ; uncirculated, scarce.


641 1851 Phila. mint ; uncirculated.


642 1852 Uncirculated.


643 1853 Brilliant, uncirculated.





942 1796 With stars. With possibly a single exception, I


know of none finer than this. Slight drift marks

show in the planchet, but it is a si)lendid piece ; in

})roof condition, the rarest of the quarter eagles and

one of the very rarest of the gold series.




A link to the full catalogue is here

The descriptions are quite interesting.

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I just perused the catalogue and its an impressive collection to be sure. It has a lot of coins that most collectors today would not have capacity to buy because they cost so much. This includes the territorial gold, colonials and the run of 19th century proof sets. Rarities include the 1796 half cent and 1802 half dime, two US coins that ACTUALLY ARE RARE as opposed to the material which is CLAIMED TO BE RARE but in actuality is NOT.


There are only a few older collections that I have heard of and to my knowledge, they are all world class such as the more modern ones we know today: Pittman, Norweb, Garrett, Eliasberg. But compared to this type of collection, its a second or third tier which is one reason why it is obscure. It reminds me of an article I read on another website about the 1878 sale of the Jules Fohnrobert collection. Almost nobody has ever heard of him except possibly in conjunction with world medal reference numbers. (His collection would still be world class for the specialty in which chose.)


One of the things I find interesting is the grading descriptions. I have no idea how the catalog grades would compare to modern standards.


Additionally, I would also like to know what the availability of these coins was back then. My supicion is that most of them were available in greater numbers for the given grade, but the absense of some known rarities is presumably an indication that they were always scarce. An example being that I do not see the 1878-S half dollar.

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