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Numismatic Items

The Brasher Doubloon (1947)

The Brasher Doubloon (1947)

“Just think what I could do with five million dollars.”

– The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR)

From time to time, we will feature a post here regarding other fictional detectives, such as Gregory Hood or Max Carrados. Today, we will focus on the 1947 film The Brasher Doubloon, which is based on the Raymond Chandler novel The High Window. This novel featured Chandler’s famous detective, Phillip Marlowe.

There are seven known 1787 Brasher Doubloons: one unique coin with the designer’s “EB” punchmark on the eagle’s breast, and six others with the punchmark on the eagle’s wing on the left side of the coin. The “Monaco” specimen with the punchmark on the wing contains 26.4 grams of .890 fine gold and is graded Mint State 63 by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. This coin is insured for $10 million.

The obverse design of the Brasher Doubloon shows an eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in another to symbolize that the United States wanted peace but was ready for war.  Thirteen stars surround the eagle’s head (representing the original 13 colonies), with the E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of Many, One”) above.

The reverse design depicts the sun rising over a mountain in front of a sea, a symbolic of a new beginning.  Around the design is another Latin legend, NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR.  Columbia was a nickname for the United States, where as “Nova Eboraca” translates to New York and “Excelsior” is Latin for “ever higher.”

In addition to his punchmarked initials on the obverse, Brasher’s full last name is on the reverse. Brasher served in various political and government offices in New York and later was a neighbor of George Washington on Cherry Street in lower Manhattan.

In a 1922 auction catalog description of this coin, B. Max Mehl stated: “For historical interest and numismatic rarity, this great coin is second to none. It is rightfully recognized as one of the greatest numismatic rarities of the world.”

First edition of The High Window – Photo by Heritage Auctions

The Brasher Doubloon was the subject of a 1942 Raymond Chandler novel, “The High Window,” and a subsequent 1947 movie, “The Brasher Doubloon,” based on Chandler’s story fictional detective Philip Marlowe.

On a personal note for your editor, he was lucky enough to be able to hold one of the Brasher Doubloons at the 2015 American Numismatic Association’s National Money Show in Portland, Oregon. Check out the photo below!

Three ACD Collection Coins Auctioned in January 2014

Three ACD Collection Coins Auctioned in January 2014

“Here was a case of ancient coins.” – The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR) One of our group’s earliest goals was to attempt to track down coins from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s personal coin collection. We were able to locate a price list that Manfra, Tordella & Brookes produced in 1968 of Doyle’s ancient… Continue Reading

Altamont’s Agents of Albany’s Lapel Pin

Altamont’s Agents of Albany’s Lapel Pin

“I grudge Altamont nothing.” – His Last Bow (LAST)       On October 23, 1978, the group Altamont’s Agents was formed in Albany, New York, meeting at a pub that was named Holmes and Watson, Ltd. This group would go on to be recognized as a scion of the Baker Street Irregulars. In 1989,… Continue Reading

The 1935 Sherlock Bones Hobo Nickel

The 1935 Sherlock Bones Hobo Nickel

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!’” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN)       Back in 1992, the Original Hobo Nickel Society was formed to promote the collecting of engraved buffalo nickels that had been produced prior to 1980. Most of these “original” nickels were engraved with nails, knifes, files and perhaps some punches.… Continue Reading

The Master Bird Watcher Badge from Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers

The Master Bird Watcher Badge from Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers

“You are an early bird …” – The Valley of Fear (VALL) In 1982, two professors at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Fred Saules and Frank Vacante — organized a group of 18 Sherlockians to form a new BSI scion, Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers. The group takes its name from the final Sherlock Holmes novel, The… Continue Reading

Doyle Featured on Fantasy 2017 Scottish Ten Pound Note

Doyle Featured on Fantasy 2017 Scottish Ten Pound Note

“… one who had been a whaler.” – The Adventure of Black Peteri (BLAC) Earlier this month, listings for a fantasy 10 pound Scottish banknote featuring Arthur Conan Doyle began appearing on some of the major online auction services. The front of the note features a left-facing portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the background, appears… Continue Reading

Welcome IHOSE Episode #128 Listeners

Welcome IHOSE Episode #128 Listeners

“… difficulties caused by his own aversion to publicity.” – The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot (DEVI) We would like to take this opportunity to welcome those of you may have heard about us on Episode 128 of the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcast. Your friendly editor was interviewed by Scott Monty and Burt Wolder… Continue Reading