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Lot 15006

Estimate: -   |   Starting price: 1 USD Price realized: 36'000 USD
1792 CENT Washington Pattern Cent, Plain Edge, Baker-21A, Breen-1230, Musante GW-31 (E), High R.7 -- Obverse Scratched -- NGC Details. XF. The 1792 Washington President, Large Eagle patterns are attributed to Newburyport, Massachusetts, engraver and inventor Jacob Perkins. Perkins is believed to have struck a small number of patterns in 1792, in copper, silver, and gold, in an effort to secure a coinage contract from the newly formed United States government. The obverse design displayed a left-facing portrait of George Washington with WASHINGTON PRESIDENT around and the date below. On the reverse, a large eagle held in its beak a ribbon inscribed UNUM E PLURIBUS, and above the eagle's head arced a row of 12 stars with a 13th star underneath. Today, only 18 coins are known for all compositions, including the unique copper piece from the first obverse die that shows the T in PRESIDENT below the bust, nearer the date than on the regular die. There are 11 known copper pieces that were struck from the regular obverse die, five silver pieces, and a lone gold coin, which recently made numismatic history when it sold in the ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2018), lot 5010, for $1.74 million. Copper pieces appeared at auction with regularity in the 1860s, '70s, and '80s, but it is believed that those listings represent multiple offerings of the same few coins. In 1875, Sylvester S. Crosby knew only of pieces in the collections of messieurs Appleton, Bushnell, Cohen, Parmelee, and himself. William S. Baker expressed a similar sentiment regarding the rarity of the copper pieces in his 1885 seminal work on Washington coins and medals, calling them "excessively rare." Moreover, the majority of the coins are heavily worn or otherwise impaired. Four of the copper pieces have a plain edge, distinguishing them from the majority of the 1792 Washington President patterns. One Plain Edge piece is in the Massachusetts Historical Society, where it has been since it was donated in June 1905 by the estate of William Sumner Appleton. Another Plain Edge coin is traced to 19th century collector W.J. Jenks. Its first auction appearance was in the Bispham Collection (S.H. and H. Chapman, 2/1880), but it is more famously associated with its later appearances in the Allison Jackman Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1918), and the Lewis Gehring sale (Elder, 8/1921). It has not been seen publicly since 1961, when John J. Ford, Jr. offered it to Eric P. Newman. Newman declined the purchase, having already owned the piece offered here. Newman's coin is not traced to a 19th century origin due to a lack photographic plates for copper pieces in the early catalogs. The fourth Plain Edge coin showed up in the Robison Collection sale (Stack's, 1/1982), and it later appeared in the Gilbert Steinberg sale (Stack's, 10/1989). Coincidentally, the Steinberg sale was the last time a Plain Edge copper example of the 1792 Washington President pattern appeared at public auction. That fact alone should instill in the reader the rarity and importance of this once-in-a-lifetime offering. The Newman coin has smooth chocolate-brown surfaces with minor wear. Corrosion is entirely absent. Dull rim bumps at 1 and 3 o'clock on the obverse serve as pedigree markers, as do several old, horizontal scratches on Washington's cheek, which prevent a numeric grade from NGC. A small dimple in the horizontal crossbars of the shield identifies this piece on the reverse. This is one of only three Plain Edge copper pieces in private hands, and it is the first to appear at public auction in nearly three decades. A slightly finer copper example from the Norweb collection, with a lettered edge, sold in 2006 for $253,000. Both this coin and its silver counterpart are of monumental importance and rarity. Roster of Plain Edge Copper 1792 Washington President Patterns Musante GW-31 (E), Breen-1230, Baker-21A (Copper, Second Obverse, Plain Edge) 1. Robison Collection (Stack's, 1/1982), lot 246; Gilbert Steinberg (Stack's, 10/1989), lot 191. 2. W.J. Jenks; Bispham Collection (S.H. and H. Chapman, 2/1880), lot 835, which realized $30, to Clark; Public Auction Sale (S.H. and H. Chapman, 11/1880), lot 602, which realized $33; Allison W. Jackman (Henry Chapman, 6/1918), lot 236, which realized $57.50; Lewis C. Gehring (Elder, 8/1921), lot 708, which realized $75.50; Hillyer Ryder; F.C.C. Boyd; offered to Eric P. Newman by John J. Ford but declined (11/1961). 3. Eric P. Newman. 175.9 grains. The Breen Plate Coin. 4. William Sumner Appleton (possibly included in the Crosby 1875 census) Massachusetts Historical Society. 175.4 grains. Partial puncture on obverse. Light silver wash. Additional Musante GW-31 (E), Breen-1230, Baker-21A Appearances A. Henry W. Holland (W.E. Woodward, 11/1878), lot 848, which realized $30. B. Bushnell Collection (included in the Crosby 1875 census) (S.H. & H. Chapman 6/1882), lot 1249, which realized $37, to S.H. and H. Chapman. C. Isaac F. Wood (Edouard Frossard, 2/1884), lot 260, which realized $85. D. Lorin G. Parmelee (included in the Crosby 1875 census) (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 620, which realized $42, to S.H. & H. Chapman. "Smaller planchet." E. Isaac F. Wood (S.H. & H. Chapman, 7/1894), lot 198, which realized $52, to "Hudson" (likely S.H. & H. Chapman). Additional Musante GW-31 Copper Appearances (Edge Type Unidentified) A. Dr. Augustine Shurtleff Collection list, Boston Evening Transcript (2/10/1859), to W.E. Woodward prior to 1863. B. Benjamin Haines (Bangs, Merwin & Co., 1/1863), lot 906, which realized $45, to McCoy. C. Jeremiah Colburn (W.E. Woodward, 10/1863), lot 2865, which realized $110, to "Harris," a pseudonym of Bushnell. (Although one catalog states the purchaser as Lightbody.) D. John F. McCoy (W.E. Woodward, 5/1864), lot 2457, which realized $100, to Appleton. (Probably the same as B, above. Likely the same as either Baker-21 number 3 or Baker-21A number 4.) E. George F. Seavey (W.H. Strobridge, 6/1864), lot 682, which realized $45; Jewett Collection (Edward Cogan, 1/1876), lot 2388, which realized $16, to "Haz" (possibly Haseltine). F. Bache Collection (W.E. Woodward, 3/1865), lot 3280, which realized $85, to McCoy. G. Colin Lightbody (Edward Cogan, 12/1866), lot 719, which realized $35, to Hinman. H. Joseph Mickley (W.E. Woodward, 10/1867), lot 2989, which realized $67.50, to Cohen; Col. M.I. Cohen (included in the Crosby 1875 census) (Edward Cogan, 10/1875), lot 1489, which realized $25. I. Henry S. Adams (Edward Cogan, 10/1876), lot 465, which realized $33. J. Public Auction Sale (Edward Cogan, 6/1877), lot 408, which realized $6. K. Henry S. Barclay (Charles Steigerwalt, 4/1885), lot 908, which realized $30 (possibly bought in); Henry S. Barclay (Charles Steigerwalt, 6/1885), lot 359, which realized $28. Plugged above head. L. A.W. Matthews (W.E. Woodward, 12/1885), lot 1775, which realized $13.50. M. Vicksburg Collection (W.E. Woodward, 5/1888), lot 1169, which realized $40.50. N. 99th Sale (W.E. Woodward, 9/1888), lot 810, which realized $26. (Described as a "Half dollar," composition not recorded - assumed to be copper due to the low hammer price.) O. Charles Steigerwalt Fixed Price List (10/1890), page 20; Relisted in his Fixed Price Lists (12/1890, 2/1891, and 10/1892). "Marred a little by several nicks on obverse." P. Bierl, et al Collections (S.H. Chapman, 3/1917), lot 149, which realized $20. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.HID05401242017

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