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Description

Semiprooflike 1795 13 Leaves Eagle, BD-1, MS62
Advanced Obverse Die State

1795 $10 13 Leaves MS62 PCGS. Breen-6830, Taraszka-1, BD-1, R.3. Bass-Dannreuther Obverse Die State c (late) / Reverse Die State a. Star 11 is extremely close to the Y in LIBERTY, and star 1 virtually touches the lowest hair curl. The flag of the 5 in the date overlaps the bust drapery. On the reverse a leaf tip brushes the lower left corner of the U in UNITED.
The Draped Bust, Small Eagle type ten dollar pieces were made only from 1795 to 1797, when the reverse design was superseded by the Large Eagle or Heraldic Eagle reverse. Of the estimated 13,000-15,000 tens produced of the Small Eagle type, the 1795 Small Eagle is the most widely seen date.
There are five known die marriages of 1795 eagles, created from three obverse and three reverse dies--two of them 13 Leaves, one 9 Leaves. The obverse of the BD-1 saw its single use in that pairing, while the reverse is shared with BD-2. The BD-2 obverse was paired with the 9 Leaves Reverse for BD-3, and with a different 13 Leaves Reverse for BD-5. Finally, the latter 13 Leaves Reverse was paired with a different obverse to create the BD-4.
Of the four 13 Leaves marriages, the BD-1 is the most available. Bass-Dannreuther estimate that from one-half to two-thirds of all surviving 1795 eagles are of the BD-1 pairing. Remembering that the BD-1 obverse is unique to this variety while the reverse was also used on the BD-2, it is not as surprising as it might be at first blush to note that the obverse die state of the present example seems considerably more advanced than that of the reverse. The obverse die appears not far from failure, and as such represents the terminal die state, or nearly so, quite a bit more advanced than the Bass specimen that was described as Obverse State c but appears more like State b. The obverse crack from star 9 runs all the way through star 1 and down into the field below the digits. Another crack connects the 9 and 5; yet another connects the forward bust tip with the right-side stars, and there appears to be advanced crumbling of the die at the rim above TY.
On the reverse, however, none of the die cracks mentioned in Bass-Dannreuther appear, and it looks as if the die was fairly fresh when this coin was struck. This is a simply marvelous example of this important first-year gold coin issue, with lots of semiprooflike flash radiating from the fields. The even green-gold coloration is consistent on both sides. The obverse shows crosshatched major adjustment marks in the center. A tiny planchet void appears under a loupe to the right of the 5, but this is quibbling. Any contact marks or other impairments are trivial compared to the broad appeal this piece presents to all viewers. Population: 16 in 62, 18 finer (11/09).(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ZT, PCGS# 8551)

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
6th-10th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 13
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