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1812 Capped Bust Five, BD-1, Fabulous MS65 Example
One of the Finest Known, Ex: Kaufman-Bass

1812 $5 MS65 NGC. Wide 5D, Breen-6466, BD-1, R.3. John Reich's Capped Bust design made its appearance on half eagles in 1807 and continued through 1812. This design type is also known as the Bust Left design, for the direction that Liberty faces. John Dannreuther discusses the problem of nomenclature in his reference on the early gold varieties:

"This type was the result of hiring John Reich as an assistant engraver. His new design with a floppy cap has traditionally been called Capped Bust, but the previous type by Robert Scot also has a capped bust. This design also has drapery, so the nomenclature has been confusing, to say the least. The definitive difference is the direction Miss Liberty is facing. The previous type has her facing right, while this type has her facing left. So, some have referred to the first series (1795-1807) as Capped Bust Right and this series (1807-1834) as Capped Bust Left. To avoid confusion, we have labeled the two designs as Draped Bust and Capped Bust -- no matter what they are called, they are the pinnacles of early American gold coinage."

This example is from the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, and before that from the Nathan M. Kaufman Collection. Dallas businessman Harry Bass spent over three decades collecting coins, primarily gold coins, beginning with the purchase of an 1876 gold dollar that he acquired in 1966. Over the next 32 years, he acquired over 7,000 U.S. gold pieces, along with patterns, remarkable currency, and other desiderata. Kaufman was from Marquette, Michigan, and collected in the earliest part of the 20th century with his last acquisition taking place in 1927. After that time, the collection was displayed in the board room of a Marquette bank.
The Wide Denomination variety is one of two different die marriages coined with the 1812 obverse, and it is somewhat more plentiful than the Close 5D variety. This example is sharply struck with frosty luster and fully brilliant yellow-gold color. A thin scratch in the upper right reverse field, between the eagle's head and the scroll, provides an instant pedigree identifier. Census: 9 in 65, 0 finer (7/11).
Ex: N.M. Kaufman Collection (RARCOA, 8/1978), lot 802; Harry W. Bass, Jr. (Bowers and Merena, 5/2000), lot 312; Bowers and Merena (7/2002), lot 780; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 3525.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 42AM, PCGS# 8112)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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