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Obverse of 1787 Connecticut Copper - Miller 4-L     Reverse of 1787 Connecticut Copper - Miller 4-L


1787 CONNECTICUT COPPER - 
MILLER 4-L

Variety nickname: Horned Bust

Rarity: Very Common

Notes:
The "horn" refers to the die defect that develops in the lower left obverse field (see image above).  Early die states are perfect (or nearly so); the latest die states show a well-developed horn and raised "bumps" behind the head.  Numerous intermediate die states exist.

This was the only use of the obverse and reverse dies.

Weights for this variety vary widely (Rothschild reported a range of 84.8 to 147.5 grains over 141 examples).

This variety is not known overstruck on another coin, but at least one 1787 New Jersey "Camel Head" (Maris 56-n) is known to have been struck over one of these "Horned Bust" coins.

Images courtesy of Early American History Auctions, Inc.

Significant examples:
PCGS AU-58.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson II", February 18-19, 2002, Lot 11, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "1787 Connecticut Copper. Horned bust variety, Miller 4-L. PCGS graded AU-58. This is an excellent example of the "horned bust" variety, which refers to the heavy die break which extends upwards from Liberty's bust into the field near her chin. Splendid light brown in color, with smooth surfaces and decent centering on the usual small planchet. While we're not sure of the provenance of this coin, it is not the Garrett coin as that was an early die state. This one is currently the finest graded by PCGS, and alone in this grade category, making the importance of this offering very significant. Believed to have been coined in New Jersey by the Morristown Mint, and engraved and coined by Walter Mould and Benjamin Dudley. Struck on small, thin flans weighing 105-115.5 grains..."

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-62 Brown.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 32, "Miller 4-L, Mailed Bust Left, the Horned Bust, Rarity-1", illustrated, sold for $3,680.00

EF-45.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 33, "Miller 4-L Mailed Bust Left, the Horned Bust, Rarity-1", illustrated, sold for $828.00

"Choice Extremely Fine" (illustrated above).  Ex - Early American History Auctions, Inc.'s Mail Bid Sale, August 25, 2001, Lot 1373, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "1787 CT Copper, Miller 4-L, "Horned Bust," Mailed Bust Left, Choice Extremely Fine.  113.5 grains. Cleaned, retoned, and done with considerable skill. A real "horny" example, meaning the state of the die is rather advanced..."

PCGS VF-35 (illustrated below).  Ex - Early American History Auctions, Inc.'s Mail Bid Sale, August 25, 2001, Lot 1374, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "1787 CT Copper, Miller 4-L, "Horned Bust", Mailed Bust Left, PCGS graded VF-35.  Dark brown, with some light micro-porosity on both sides and some faint, old scratches across the face on the front. This popular variety (actually an advanced die state of a variety) shows a horn-like protrusion extending into the left field from the front of the bust."

SEGS VF-20.  Ex - Early American History Auctions, Inc. Mail Bid Sale, April 20, 2002, Lot 927, 108.7 grains.

"Fine".  Ex - Early American History Auctions, Inc. Mail Bid Sale, December 7, 2002, Lot 930, 132.3 grains.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
[email protected] posting, August 24, 2003

Obverse of 1787 Connecticut Copper - Miller 4-L     Reverse of 1787 Connecticut Copper - Miller 4-L

Images courtesy of Early American History Auctions, Inc.

Obverse of 1787 Connecticut Copper - Miller 4-L

Early die state

Images courtesy of Early American History Auctions, Inc.

Obverse of 1787 Connecticut Copper - Miller 4-L

Late die state

Images courtesy of Early American History Auctions, Inc.