Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 54

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Lot 1864

1854 Quarter Dollar Round Defiant Eagle. Breen and Gillio-220. Rarity 7. PCGS graded MS-63. A gorgeous example of this exceedingly rare variety. Both sides exhibit mesmerizing golden tones. An example of this variety was last offered in Bowers and Merena's 2003 Jay Roe sale of California Fractional Gold coins (Lot 34), the coin was described as:

"Attributed to M. Jordan of San Francisco, 'Watchmaker and Jeweler, 'located at 130-1/2 Montgomery Street in that city, based mainly on the appearance of a remarkably similar eagle motif in his ads on page 157 of Baggett, Joseph Co.'s San Francisco Business Directory for the Year Commencing January 1, 1856." Breen-Gillio refers to this issue "The heaviest of the Period I quarters, containing close to full value of native California gold."

A truly spectacular issue within the series, a coin that is incredibly distinctive in that it is one of the few designs in the series that do not incorporate Liberty or Indian head styles. Along with the slightly more available State Arms issue, the Defiant Eagle quarter dollar of 1854 remains one of the most exciting and desirable of any of the California Small Denomination issues."

Ten specimens are mentioned in the second edition of Breen-Gillio. One, number 10, is apparently a duplicate. Another, number 8, was stolen years ago and has not been seen since. A third, number 4, is impounded in the Smithsonian Institution. Four others -- numbers 3, 5, and 9 -- were last seen when sold at auction in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Only this specimen, the O'Connor piece (number 7), and an MS64 offered about a decade ago are positively known to be collectible. This popular piece truly warrants spirited bidding. Pop 1; none finer at PCGS. The second finest known BG-220 (PCGS # 10405) .
Estimated Value $50,000 - 55,000.
The Tom Kelly Collection.

Realized $59,800

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