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Sale 54

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Lot 128

1795 S-79 R7+ Reeded Edge. PCGS graded VG-10. Plated in Early American Cents, Penny Whimsy, the Noyes book, Breen, Judd, and Wayte Raymonds Standard Catalog of United States Coins. Glossy medium brown. Covered with many small, light nicks, but none of these marks is significant or distracting. The best identifying marks are a dull rim nick under the 7, a tiny rim nick opposite the upper lip, and a very light rim bruise at F in OF. The date and legends are strong and clear, except for OF, which is not as strongly struck as the other details. Struck very slightly off center to K-3, but the beaded border device remains comfortably on the planchet on both sides. The reverse is rotated about 25 degrees CCW from normal head-to-foot orientation. The edge reeding is clear and relatively strong except for the area over S-OF-A, where it is weak or missing. The reason for the reeded edge is a matter of speculation. Walter Breen called the reeding "an experiment which proved to be a needless frill, adding to the cost of manufacture without compensatory advantage." Whatever the actual reason, the S-79 die variety is undoubtedly an official mint product since the reverse die was used to produce 6 different 1796 Draped Bust varieties (Sheldon numbers 106 through 111). The obverse die, however, was used only in this short-lived S-79 marriage. Arguably the most famous and eagerly sought variety in the entire series of US large cents and the undisputed "key" to completing a collection of the numbered Sheldon die varieties of early large cents, 1793-1814. Finest of 7 known with 2 additional examples rumored to exist but highly doubtful. Called VG8 and finest known in both census lists, Noyes photo #21005. Our grade is VG8. The currently accepted condition census for these 7 examples is 8-7-6-5-4-1-X (the Basal State-1 is a heavily corroded piece discovered in 2009 and the "X" represents a holed obverse brockage strike that is confirmed but its current location is unknown). The VG7 in this census is impounded in the ANS Museum, so the next best available to collectors is the corroded and rather ugly G6. The G4 example brought $402,500.00 as lot #1143 in the 11/20/2008 auction conducted by Bowers & Merena in Baltimore, and portions of the legend on that example were missing due to extremely heavy wear. The obverse of the example offered here is plated in Early American Cents, and both sides are illustrated in Penny Whimsy and in the Noyes book. Also plated in the 18th edition of Wayte Raymond's Standard Catalog of United States Coins, the Judd book on U.S. pattern coinage, and in Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins. Weight 153.4 grains. PCGS Population 1; The only one graded at PCGS for the variety. DWH #1748.
Estimated Value $250,000-UP.
Ex Dr. S. T. Millard-B. Max Mehl #34, 3/1915:75-G. Kraft-Robert D. Book 5/1930-George H. Clapp-Howard R. Newcomb, J. C. Morgenthau & Co. #458, 2/45:76-James Kelly FPL #21, Fall 1945 to #23, Spring 1947-Celina Coin Co. #21, 3/47:2037-James Kelly 11/47:927-James Kelly 4/48:1327-Christian M. Petersen-Hollinbeck Coin Co. #166, 10/53:278-Dr. William H. Sheldon 4/19/72-R. E. Naftzger, Jr., 2/23/92-Eric Streiner-Tony Terranova 12/20/93.

Realized $1,265,000

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