Show image list »
Prints of a coin minted for America...
Item # 563499
December 1, 1788
GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, London, December, 1788 Perhaps the most interesting item in this issue is the full page plate found within which contains several images, two of which are both the obverse and reverse sides of the Nova Constellatio coin minted exclusively for circulation in the American colonies. The only text concerning it is on the facing page which notes: "Fig. 4, is a new American coin."
The images shown are much like the photos in "A Guide Book of United States Coins" (also known as "the red book"), wherein the description includes:
"The Nova Constellatio pieces were struck supposedly by order of Gouverneur Morris who had been Assistant Financier of the Confederation. The tokens were turned out in fairly large quantities & dated 1783 and 1785. Evidence indicates that they were all struck in Birmingham in 1785 and imported for American circulation as a private business venture by Gouverneur Morris."
Very rare to find images of American coins in this or any periodical. I am aware of only one other in the Gentleman's Magazine.
Other items in this issue include: "Dispassionate Thoughts on Balloons with Hints to Aeronauts", "On the Theory of Comets..." and so much more.
Near the back under news reports headed "America" is mention of: "...the day for appointing electors in the several States which before the said day shall have ratified the said Constitution..." with a bit more (see). The same page has a note that: "...Dr. Rush of Philadelphia, a second phenomenon equal, if not superior to that prodigy in calculation, Jeddia Buxton has appeared in Maryland, in the person of a black slave; this is the more extraordinary as it is somewhere remarked that few of the race of woolley-headed blacks can go farther in the art of enumeration than the number 5..." with more (see).
The other plate called for, a fold-out, is present as well. Complete in 96 pages, full title/contents page, 5 by 8 1/4 inches, great condition.
A very nice magazine from the late 18th century with a wide range of varied content including news of the day, political reports, literary items, and other unusual tidbits. This was the first periodical to use the word "magazine" in its title, having begun in 1731 and lasting until 1907.