Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 28

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Lot 816

1802 Draped Bust Cent. . Sheldon-235. PCGS graded MS-66 Red & Brown. Known as the Draped Bust Liberty design, this style of cent has long been a favorite of collectors. In fact, the famous numismatist Howard R. Newcomb authored an entire book on just the Draped Bust Cents of 1801, 1802 and 1803! Famed American painter Gilbert Stuart (whose portrait of George Washington is found on the one-dollar bill) is credited with this bust of Liberty, though the actual modeling in relief was performed by the U.S. Mint's John Eckstein. It was then copied by skilled Chief Engraver Robert Scot. Debuting on the silver dollar in the fall of 1795, it was ultimately translated to all of the lesser denominations. The first cents of this type appeared in July of 1796.

Of all the coins produced by the U.S. Mint in its early years, cents were the ones most likely to remain in circulation and be used by a variety of Americans. This most democratic of coins was rarely preserved in mint state intentionally, and those which survive unworn are relatively few in number. Of course, such rarity only increases with the quality of surviving examples. In William Noye's book on large cents, this superb gem is the finest known of its variety (S-235). It's also a strong contender for finest known of its date and type.

The Mint was threatened with closure during the early 1800's, and it was particularly careful to be thrifty in its use of dies. As a consequence, 1802 cents were not paricularly well made, yet this lovely specimen is quite superior to its typical contemporaries. Though its obverse die broke over the letters RTY of LIBERTY, this fine example is still well struck and richly lustrous. A liberal amount of its mint red color is still evident, a very rare condition for cents of this vintage. This specimen is pedigreed to the collections of Howard Newcomb and Dr. Sheldon, and it also served as the plate coins in Noye's fine book on this series. Population 1 with 1 in 67RB by PCGS as finest graded by date not variety (PCGS # 1471) .
Estimated Value $25,000 - 35,000.
Ex-Gil Clark Collection.

Realized $37,375

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