[ COINS ] Massachusetts Silver Coins 1652 Willow Tree Coins Willow Tree Threepence Noe 1-A Willow Tree Threepence. Crosby Unlisted 1652 Massachusetts Bay Colony. Willow Tree Threepence. Noe 1-A Cr. unlisted W. 7. R-8. 17.1 gns. Very Fine. The Noe Census Coin #2. The Noe Plate Coin. The Wurtzbach Plate Coin. The obverse and reverse of this piece are pale silver gray in color. There are traces of iridescent rose and blue on both sides with some light russet showing particularly on the back. On the obverse the tree is completely the central guide dot is bold the root structure is visible and the inner beaded border is complete. The letters in the legend around this side are mostly complete and struck up and all can be read save for N in IN at the upper left. On the back the date is full the denomination is a little jumbled but can still be seen nearly complete and the peripheral legend around the side is also complete save for N DOM (if those letters were ever on the die in the first place). For some inexplicable reason there is a countermark at the upper right edge on the reverse which some may consider an attempted puncture but probably was not. Its purpose and meaning is obscure but its presence is essentially irrelevant given the importance of the piece. Any stray marks the coin may have picked up in its long life are also insignificant and need not be mentioned here. Exceptionally rare: one of just three known and the only one ever available for purchase by a collector. The other two examples known are the specimen in the ANS collection and the one stolen from Yale University and still not recovered. The last time a Willow Threepence was offered for public sale was in the 1926 French Collection (Sotheby's London) and before that in the 1935 Lincoln Sale (Spink London). The last time one was sold publicly in the USA was in the 1890 Parmelee auction. Mabel Garvan bought the piece out of the French sale and it went from her to Yale. Wurtzbach bought the one from the Lincoln sale and it went from him to T. James Clarke and then to Boyd. The Parmelee coin was bought by Brand and on his death it went from his estate to Armin Brand B.G. Johnson and finally to the ANS in 1944 for a handsome $750. That was the last time one of these was sold in any way public or private. There were three known in 1935 when the Lincoln collection was sold and that number has not increased since. Described by Breen as ''Threepence. (W-7). Only three known; one of them (the finest) is in Yale Univ and the coin here offered is the finer of the two in collector's hands in spite of an attempted puncture at the D (before N of NEW). V.Fine for this poorly struck coin. Ex Wurtzbach 1938 B.G. Johnson W.S. Lincoln Coll. 149 (Spink March 1935). Ill. in the Guidebook the Spink catalogue and Noe's Plate XIV.'' Like the larger Sixpence the letters in the legends on each side are decently sized shaped and spaced. The inner and outer beaded borders were well done. The centers show problems. The tree is a hodge podge of lines and loops none of which really resemble leaves and in sum do not come very close to looking much like a tree either. The date and denominational numerals are a jumbled mix of different sizes each of which seems to slant in a different direction. Since the tree and numerals were the highest parts of the rocker dies perhaps necessity is more to account for the poor execution of those elements than lack of skill. Otherwise it might be necessary to posit two hands on these dies which seems uneconomical of a solid Puritan businessman like Hull. Provenance as stated above.