Counterstamped 1823/2 Cent
I am doing a little research on a 1823/2 large cent that is counterstamped with GGG & GGGG. I bought it in a grouping of 113 large cents almost two years ago and didn't think much of it. I retrieved it this past summer and became curious and went online and immediately went to Greg Brunk's website. Then I went to EBay to investigate if there were others out there and found several pieces.
I am presenting a program on our big round browns in January at the Reno Coin Club. I have given several other talks on large cents over the past 20 years but I think this one may be the most interesting by far. does anyone have information on these and possible other resources I can use.
I believe I recall an article by Dave Bowers on this counterstamp. It may have appeared in a back issue of Coin World. If recollection serves, the GGGG was an advertisement for G___'s Great Goose Grease, a hair product in the mid 19th century. I'll try to locate the article.
Bowers discusses GGG/GGGG extensively in The Token: America's Other Money. It's in the coinage of the America's Conference at the ANS #10 Oct,29 1994. Published by the ANS in 1995. Hope this helps.
Hi Dan ... Below are some notes that I have in my c/s database - (I have five c/s's from this issuer, three of which are on large cent host coins):
GOODWIN'S GRAND GOOSE GREASE AND GOODWIN'S GRAND GREASE JUICE WERE PATENTED AS HAIR TONIC AND BREATH PERFUME, RESPECTIVELY. CHARLES H. GOODWIN,AN APOTHECARY, WAS LOCATED AT 49 WATER STREET IN EXETER, NH.
If you do some Google searches, combining bits and pieces of the above info, you can doubtless turn up more fodder for your presentation.
Charles was an apothecary who advertised in the 1860 New England Business Directory which is available online in a Google Books search. Dave Bowers reported that Charles bought the patents from a relative, M.H. Goodwin; perhaps even, a parent? I can't help but wonder if any of Goodwin's patent bottles may still exist? As the latest dates on host coins appear to be 1856, that may when the majority of these advertising pieces were issued. It appears that the patent by M.H. was granted in 1855, but I have not confirmed this.
The relatively large number of these c/s's suggests that advertising was their primary purpose; this, akin to the "DR G.G. WILKINS" c/s's, also from New Hampshire. Whereas so many of those who were c/s'ing coins during that era simply used names or initials, these Goodwin pieces were a marketing ploy that virtually commanded the host coin's bearer to "Use GGG or GGGG." To me, that simple command makes this particular c/s ever the more intriguing. My guess is that there exist more than 200 coins c/s'd with the GGG and/or GGGG logo. While that's a relatively large number of pieces available in the marketplace, this issue has crossover appeal for collectors of druggist items, patent medicine material and New Hampshire collectibles, in general. As such, increased demand tends to drive the prices for this issue, methinks.