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The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 19, May 13, 2019, Article 28

THE COUNTERSTAMPS OF DR. E. OSGOOD

The March/April 2018 issue of the TAMS Journal (the official publication of the Token and Medal Society) includes a nice article by Craig Blackstone on the counterstamps of Dr. E. Osgood. The image of the counterstamp on a British George III silver 18 pence bank token really jumped out at me - that's a very unusual host piece for a U.S. merchant counterstamp. With permission, here is an excerpt with images of two of the Osgood pieces. -Editor

Dr. E. Osgood counterstamp on 1812 silver bank token

Countermarked coins can provide unique insights into eras long ago, particularly the mid- to-late 1800's when this advertising practice was most prevalent. These pieces do not need to be common, even rare pieces can provide a clear window to the past. For instance, two very different coins are known with the countermark of a Dr. E. Osgood (Brunk O-134). The countermark DR. E. OSGOOD. / BANGOR ME. is on the reverse of a British George III silver 18 pence bank token of 1812; it was sold in Presidential Coin and Antique Co. Auction 82 (as lot 35) in June 2012.

Dr. E. Osgood counterstamp on 1854 dime

There is also a single 1854 United States seated dime (arrows at date) known with just the DR. E. OSGOOD. countermark on the obverse. This latter piece was sold in an eBay auction in July 2017. The British 18 pence token is a highly unusual host for an advertising countermark. In the later part of the reign of George III the price of silver was high, and there was a shortage of silver coins available for circulation. The Bank of England sought to alleviate this problem by issuing tokens of both three shillings and 18 pence in 1811, and for subsequent years until 1816. The initial design of the 18 pence token featured a draped bust of George III in Roman armor on the obverse, but this was changed in 1812 to a design featuring a laureate head and truncated neck. Some changes were made to the reverse also. The token countermarked by Dr. Osgood is this second type.

The article has a great deal of interesting information about the life, work and inventions of issuer Enoch Osgood. TAMS members can read the full article in their TAMS Journal issue. Also, over 50 years of earlier issues and be found on the Newman Numismatic Portal.

Thanks to Editor Eric Schena for forwarding the files. -Editor

For more information on the Token and Medal Society, see:
http://www.tokenandmedal.org/

To read TAMS Journals from 1961 through 2015 on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/515304



Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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