My thanks to David Gladfelter for his contribution to the information pool on Bashlow and his sets. Having someone with the original papers that go with the set is important. I would love to have a scan of that paperwork to add to my library.
That paperwork seems to confirm that the sets were pre-release promo's to the individual pieces and intended to be a limited offering. Given Bashlow's penchant for marketing it fits that he would seek to offer to the market something to which scarcity would attach.
Thousands of individual coins but merely a relative few "official" sets. The exact number contemplated or released seems to remain a mystery. Perhaps we will never know for sure how many "sets" were originally sold. In today's market the sets remain at least scarce if not rare.
Bashlow had a mindset towards exactness and originality to the original device, though not the original coins. Bashlow's "second restrikes" were not to the original Lovett cent but rather to Haseltine's restrikes.
Haseltine differentiated his restrikes from Lovett's original by alloy and die alignment. Bashlow differentiated his from both Lovett and Haseltine. Differentiating from Lovett by alloy, die alignment and thickness, whereas from Haseltine by alloy and planchet thickness in coin alignment.
Bashlow, unlike Lovett and Haseltine, did not have the luxury to employ the original dies due to their degraded state. However, transfer dies made from the original Lovett dies fit the model for exactness and became his hallmark or signature.
Jonathan Brecher is quoted as saying that Tom Jankovsky is one of the current authorities in the context of the six coin Bashlow set yet there is no reference to what Mr. Jankovsky has said or contributed to our knowledge of the sets. I am intrigued by this reference since the only known association Mr. Jankovsky has to the Bashlow phenomenon is his advocacy of the single thickness gold Bashlow like piece, a coin of which little is known and is of unknown origins.
What is known of this coin is that it was not struck from the dies August Frank made for Bashlow using the transfer process from Lovett's original dies. From Bashlow's known associates and contemporaries we know that Bashlow had absolutely nothing to do with these pieces. Those of us who have studied Bashlow and his work have concluded the he would be both embarrassed and possibly insulted to have his name attached to a coin that is inexact and somewhat crudely struck. Hence, it is a Bashlow "like" piece, but certainly not a Bashlow original "second restrike".
Wayne, keep up the good work here as we all gain by the open forum debates in The E-Sylum.
Thanks for the background. David Gladfelter sent me his Bashlow documentation, and I scanned it for George. Thanks!