1811 Patent Nail Manufactory complete gilt proof group of 4 Rarities from the Cokayne Collection


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Bristol 1811, Patent Sheathing Nail Manufactory.  A Gilt Proof token group of 4 pieces, including 2 pennies of different main dies, one halfpenny, and one farthing.  All same type, the fast ship, Mary, sailing left, PATENT SHEATHING NAIL MANUFACTORY BRISTOL around.  Rx, denomination in center, date 1811 below, PAYABLE AT BRISTOL AND/& LONDON around.

Described individually, on the website, but priced and sold as a group, this group of 4 being complete for the known varieties of the Patent Sheathing Nail Manufactory, struck in gilt.

This, Paul and Bente Withers No. 473a., the gilt proof Halfpenny variety listed as such, and the only Patent Sheathing Nail Manufactory halfpenny variety listed by Withers in Gilt Proof, in their 1999 publication, British Copper Tokens 1811-1820, supplanting the Davis treatise of 1904.   Halfpenny Token, 9.41 g., 28 mm, edge center grained left \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\, die axis en medaille.  The \\\\”N\\\\” of TOKEN touching the inner circle.

Very Choice Gilt Proof.  Very rare in gilt.  $9500., the group of 4.

As purchased privately, via Randy Weir, from the Francis Cokayne collection, held in Baldwins basement, since 1934,  and never put to auction.

Withers\\\\’ discussion of the Patent Sheathing Nail Manufactory, p. 85, is interesting.  The following extracted…

All ships, but especially those sailing in tropical waters, had their timbers attacked by marine boring worms; as well as which their bottoms became fouled with weeds and encrusted with barnacles, thereby adding weight and increasing resistance, which slowed the vessel.  Sheathing with an outer layer, a second skin that could be replaced when necessary, meant that the tremendous expense of replacing the ship\\\\’s hull timbers could be avoided.  Sheathing with copper, copper-bottoming, upon which weed did not grow, nor crustaceans settle, gave the ships a much increased speed, meant that they spent less time in dockyards for cleaning and repairs, and could spend much longer at sea between visits to the repair yards.  Efficient sheathing also covered up the effects of poor caulking.  These advantages had a tremendous influence on British naval strategy against the French during the revolutionary and Napoleonic period wars, and against the Americans during the War of Independence.

Category: Irish & World Tokens
Catalogue Number: Withers 473a.
Date: 1811
Denomination: Gilt copper halfpeny
Grade: Very Choice Gilt Proof
Pedigree: ex Francis Cokayne collection
Weight: 9.41 g.; 28 mm.