Diameter: 42.5 mm; Height: 17.2 mm; Inside Diameter: 30.4 mm. A truly fascinating item, unlike any we recall having seen in the past related to Templeton Reid or any other private coiner, for that matter. The lathe-turned box is clearly handmade, with a nicely fitted lid. The interior is roughly lined with coarse, old padding both in the box and lid. The top of the lid has been hand engraved T. REID / GEORGIA / ASSAYER around, with 1830 at center, in a style similar to that seen on the famous and exceedingly rare coins produced by this Georgia assayer. Fissures visible in the top of the lid are natural to the aging process of the wood, and the box seems to have seen a good bit of use. The size of the box seems appropriate to contain a Templeton Reid $10, allowing for some shrinkage of the wood over time, and every detail points to this box having been produced for just this purpose. The edge of the box has a small, slightly raised square that features a finely scratched "10." While Reid was a known silversmith and gunsmith in addition to a coiner, it seems unlikely that such a box with these markings would have been made for any purpose other than that suggested. However, there is no evidence for or against it actually having been made in Reid's shop, though the box seems to have considerable age. According to our consignor, this piece was found in the bottom of a box of antique tools in Savannah, Georgia. The lid was cracked, and carefully repaired with wood glue. As the coins of Templeton Reid are all great rarities, and command six-figure sums when they do appear for sale, this box would serve as a wonderful representative of this early private coinage in even an advanced collection of Pioneer Gold.
Reid was the earliest of the known assayers to strike his own coins, but did so during a brief window in 1830, and produced only about 1,600 coins. Most are long since lost, and just six examples are known of the $10 denomination. Perhaps another lurks in the holdings of a Georgia family, once associated with this box, or perhaps the half dozen known are all that will ever come to light. Either way, many collectors will never even see an example of any of the coins, let alone have the chance to own one. This little box is a most exiting artifact relating to these rare issues, and one that is likely to be well-loved by the collector who secures it in the present sale.