Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 39

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Lot 2195

1908 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded Proof 66. A nice example of this first year type. In 1908, the Sand Blast Proofs (official terminology, sometimes referred to as Matte Proof today) were not collectors' favorites. Many preferred the "brilliant" or mirror style look of olden days. Proof quarter eagles of this year were sold both singly and in sets, which accounts for the 236 pieces listed in mint records. This delightful gem Proof 66 example is a lovely specimen, virtual perfection, and one of the sharpest 1908 quarter eagles ever offered. The sandblast finish has the color slightly lighter than 1911 but similar to it in the sparkling diamond-like facets that comprise its smooth surface.

The obverse of the 1908-29 Indian design portrays Brule Lakota Chief Hollow Horn Bear, who had taken part in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade, March 4, 1905. The Chief died March 15, 1913, age 54, at Providence Hospital, according to the notice in the April 1913 Numismatist, which misidentified him as the model for the 1899 $5 Silver Certificates. His true identity as Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt's model for the 1908 Quarter Eagles and half eagles first came to light only in 1988. The raised flat fields of the new design meant that Proofs would have to be in one of the French matte finishes. Proofs (1908-15) were unfamiliar to collectors, especially because they were darker and duller than Proof strikes prior to 1907; many were mistakenly spent, others melted in 1916 as unsold. Only 236 pieces struck in Matte Proof in 1908. Pop 45; 22 in 67. (PCGS # 7957) .
Estimated Value $20,000 - 22,000.

Realized $23,288

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