Saint Patrick Coinage From
The Sydney F. Martin Collection Part I
The enigmatic St. Patrick coinage has long been included in the canon of American colonial coins, and the coins of New Jersey in particular. They were brought from Ireland to the New World by Mark Newby in 1681 and granted legal tender status by the Assembly of West Jersey in 1682. Collectors should be reminded that the New Jersey copper series does not start with Maris 3-C — Maris 1-A and 2-B are the St. Patrick halfpenny and farthing! The St. Patricks were near and dear to Syd’s heart. He was no doubt drawn to their mysterious history and charming iconography, but most of all to the enormous complexity of die varieties and the largely uncharted territory the series represented in that regard. Through the acquisition of as many specimens as he could find, including the purchase of the extensive Jim LaSarre collection en bloc, and countless hours spent in careful research, communication with other collectors, and travelling to view museum holdings, Syd brought order to chaos in an unprecedented way, authoring the definitive Saint Patrick Coinage (For Ireland and New Jersey) in 2018.
The Syd Martin collection of St. Patrick coins, in its totality, is no doubt the largest assemblage of the coinage in one place since Mark Newby landed in New Jersey with his load in 1681. The 29 lots to follow present select examples of the major varieties and types within the series. These include many significant rarities and choice high grade examples representing the best of the best from Syd’s vast collection. A complete set of the nine halfpenny die varieties is present, all in choice condition. The farthings include all four Red Book varieties (excluding the unique gold piece) and examples of all the major die groups as laid out in Syd’s book, obverse groups 1-9 and reverse groups A-G, in various combinations. Similar to a New Jersey copper plated in Maris, or a Connecticut from the Miller sale, the provenance of these coins to the Syd Martin collection, and the status of many as plate coins in Syd’s book, adds significantly to their desirability.