Chormann Patterns

The following is supplied courtesy of John Pack with some additions by Saul Teichman.

The following 6 designs were produced by Philadelphia engraver and die sinker, E.G. Chormann. These pieces were produced in 1861 for the United States Government as part of ongoing experiments into how to prevent “abrasion, counterfeiting, and deterioration of the coins of the United States,” in the words of the commissioners appointed to examine the proposal on behalf of the United States. The genesis of this program of experimentation was a joint resolution of Congress, February 26, 1857, “to prevent the counterfeiting of the coins of the United States,” which authorized the formal investigation of the proposals given by one Dr. J.T. Barclay. Appointed as commissioners were Professors Henry Vethake and R.E. Rogers, who reported to Vice President John C. Breckinridge, as President of the Senate. E.G. Chormann was hired as the engraver, while a veteran mechanic of the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, David Gilbert, was hired as the machinist for the project.

Mr. Chormann writes to Mr. James F. Hieskell, May 19, 1860:

“Being conversant with the plans proposed by Dr. J.T. Barclay for the improvement of the coinage, (having been engaged in the recent experiments connected therewith,) I will agree to engrave all the dies (for the facial and peripheral devices) that may be required for the production of a specimen coin, for the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500.) I will guaranty the same to be in accordance with recent experiment, embracing Dr. J.T. Barclay’s method of improving the coinage of the United States.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E.G. Chormann”


These items will appear in a future edition of Judd in appendix C. The numbers the 6 designs will be given are supplied with each design.


JC1861-1
JC1861-1

JC1861-4
JC1861-4

JC1861-9
JC1861-9

JC1861-12
JC1861-12

JC1861-17
JC1861-17

JC1861-21
JC1861-21