Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

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Category Archives: Coins – Circulating

Coins in Circulation or Pocket Change

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

ICYMI – The Red-Headed League

ICYMI – The Red-Headed League

“I would not have missed it for worlds.” – The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor (NOBL) Our story for this month is The Red-Headed League and we have already published our monthly features on this story – From Watson’s Tin Box, highlighting items from their collection of evidence boxes; Brad Keefauver’s The 17 Steps; and Frank Mentzel’s Data! Data!… Continue Reading

Inspector Thorne: The Nickel and Dimes Murder Case (September 6, 1951)

Inspector Thorne: The Nickel and Dimes Murder Case (September 6, 1951)

“What is all this mystery?” – The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (BLAN) From time to time, we will feature a post here regarding other fictional detectives, most recently Eugène Valmont. In the summer of 1951, the National Broadcasting Company broadcast 11 episodes of Inspector Thorne. The eighth episode, which aired September 6, was The Nickel and Dimes Murder… Continue Reading

A Second Gold Sovereign Awarded Presented by the BSI

A Second Gold Sovereign Awarded Presented by the BSI

“… the highest of honours …” – A Study in Scarleti (STUD) Peter E. Blau, right, presents the Gold Sovereign Award to Michael F. Whelan at the 2017 BSI Dinner – Photo by Will Walsh Minutes before the conclusion of this year’s Bakers Street Irregulars annual dinner on January 6, 2017, Peter E. Blau, the 13th… Continue Reading

The Numismatic Sigmund Freud

The Numismatic Sigmund Freud

“… this purely mental analysis …” – The Adventure of the Three Gables (3GAB) Alan Arkin, as Sigmund Freud, attempting to hypnotize Nicol Williamson’s Sherlock Holmes character in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution Nicholas Meyer’s 1974 novel, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and the subsequent film in 1976 helped spark a Sherlock Holmes “renaissance” in the mid 1970s. For your editor, if flipping through television… Continue Reading

Julian Wolff, A Silver Dollar and A Gold Sovereign

Julian Wolff, A Silver Dollar and A Gold Sovereign

“Do you know anything of the commissionaire?” – The Adventure of The Naval Treaty (NAVA) Julian Wolff, M.D. – BSI Commissionaire 1961 – 1986 There are several members of our group that had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Julian Wolff, the Commissionaire of the Baker Street Irregulars from 1961 until he stepped down in 1986. There… Continue Reading

B. Max Mehl Offers a Brief Review of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Other Works

B. Max Mehl Offers a Brief Review of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Other Works

“My collection of M’s is a fine one.” – The Adventure of the Empty House (EMPT) Noted coin dealer B. Max Mehl published the following in the March 1918 of his house organ Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly: The Black Prince, What Coins Did He Strike? “An American boy” asks: “Are there any British coins of the Black Prince, and… Continue Reading