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1795 B-5, BB-27 Silver Dollar, MS64
Flowing Hair, Three Leaves
Bowers-Borckardt Plate Coin

1795 $1 Flowing Hair, Three Leaves, B-5, BB-27, R.1 MS64 PCGS. This is the BB-27 plate coin in the Bowers-Borckardt reference. A diagonal bar in the left obverse field instantly identifies the variety. Both sides of this piece show faint clash marks, on the obverse before the nose and at the lower curls, and through the bow on the reverse. A bold "crack" or die line connects the left stem end to the border. The reverse has a faint die crack through the second T in STATES to the terminal leaves and the right (facing) wing. Another crack joins the tops of RICA.
Approximately equal to Bowers-Borckardt Die State IV, noted as "Not seen by the author" in that reference, which seems surprising since this is the plate coin. However, it is important to understand that the authors had limited access to physical coins when that reference was compiled, and die state descriptions were created through the study of photographs. Coins that were handled as recently as a year earlier (as in this case) were no longer available for study. While the clash marks and die cracks are clearly visible on this 1795 dollar, they are not visible in the photograph of this coin that was published in the BB reference, or in the 1991 auction catalog.
Although the 1795 B-5 is the most plentiful variety among all Flowing Hair silver dollars, the die marriage makes infrequent market appearances in Mint State grades. In fact, we have only offered one similar piece, the Eliasberg specimen that is certified MS64 NGC, since the beginning of our auction archives in January 1993. The present specimen is clearly equal to the Eliasberg coin that we sold in 2007, perhaps finer, and is the finest example of the variety that we have ever offered.
Although much has changed since the Bowers-Borckardt reference was published 20 years ago, the elusiveness of high grade 1795 B-5 dollars remains the same. The Notable Specimens section of that reference, while not an official condition census, was compiled from an extensive review of auction catalogs over published during the previous 50 years. Two examples of the B-5 held the top place in that listing, both graded MS64. The present specimen, identified as the Matlock Specimen, is one of those two.
This spectacular and fully lustrous example has brilliant silver surfaces with completely unbroken cartwheel radiance on both sides. Minor obverse adjustment marks are confined to the peripheries from 5 o'clock to 9 o'clock. Those obverse adjustment marks, none that are disfiguring, have weakened the opposing reverse rim that shows few dentils from 9 o'clock to 12 o'clock. That is the nature of adjustment marks that minutely reduce the thickness of the planchet, resulting in localized weakness. All other design elements on the obverse and reverse are boldly defined. This wonderful dollar is destined for an impressive cabinet of early silver coins.
Ex: Marvin P. Matlock, M.D. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/1991), lot 460, which realized $44,000, a strong price at the time.
From The Liberty Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24WZ, PCGS# 6852)

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Auction Dates
August, 2012
2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,551

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