A rare example of 17th century Bermuda “Hogge Money” is expected to attract heavy bidding when it is auctioned in California.
Minted in England following the permanent settlement of Bermuda by the Virginia Company in 1612, the “Hogge Money” coins were issued in four denominations: shilling, sixpence, threepence, and twopence.
The threepence is the rarest and most valuable of the denominations, with only eight examples known – including the one being sold next week by Heritage Auctions.
The coin is going under the hammer at Heritage’s September 4-8 Long Beach Signature Auction.
“Hogge Money” featured a hog on the obverse and a sailing ship under full sail on the reverse.
The pigs commemorated the wild hogs discovered here by early English settlers. The animals had either swum ashore from wrecked Spanish and Portuguese ships prior to Bermuda’s settlement or were intentionally left here by mariners during the Age of Discovery to stock Bermuda as a mid-Atlantic replenishment spot
Struck in brass with a thin coating of silver, “Hogge Money” was the earliest currency in the English-speaking New World colonies. The coins, bearing Bermuda’s alternate name “Sommers Islands”, were only issued until 1624.
In a statement Heritage Auctions, which specialises in numismatics and collectibles, said the “Hogge Money” piece it was selling had “recently surfaced in Bermuda.”
The auction house continued: “Like all examples seen, the steel-brown/silver-gray surfaces show some light corrosion, but significant amounts of the silver plating remain intact. The design elements are unusually well-detailed, with fine interior detail still evident on the hogs fur ….
“With only four examples in private hands and two of those sold relatively recently and now in strong hands, it may be many years before a comparable example becomes available. The discerning collector will bid accordingly.”
Another “Hogge Money” threepenny piece auctioned by Heritage in 2014 fetched $205,625.00, including buyer’s premium.