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Very Rare Specimen 65 Low-119, HT-265
1837 Feuchtwanger Three Cent
Ex: Herbert Oechsner

1837 3C Feuchtwanger Three Cent, Eagle SP65 PCGS. CAC. Low-119, HT-265A, High R.7. 24.2 mm. German Silver. Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger struck two different die varieties of his 1837 eagle obverse three cent piece. Low-118 is the usually seen marriage. It is very scarce, and the variety listed on page 400 of the 2013 Guide Book. Low-119 is less known and very rare. The date is larger, the denomination is expressed twice, an oak wreath replaces a laurel wreath, and the eagle's rock has a flat base.
The most interesting difference between Low-118 and the present variety is the quality of engraving on the eagle. The Low-118 eagle has exceptionally fine style, but the Low-119 eagle is somewhat awkward and exhibits a nearly comical expression. It is possible that Dr. Feuchtwanger commissioned Low-119 first, then decided to replace it with the more aesthetic Low-118.
Russell Rulau (2004) separates Low-119 into two varieties: HT-265 with commercial surfaces and HT-265A in proof format. Hard Times specialists believe that the very rare Low-119 was never intended for circulation, and is known only with prooflike surfaces.
The Stack's July 2008 catalog of the Dice & Hicks Hard Times token collection has a different example (lot 3145) and states that only six examples are known of Low-119. The pedigrees of the other five pieces are listed as Ford:215, Ford:216, Oechsner:540 (the present specimen); Litman:86; and Steinberg.
The present Gem is virtually as made. The glassy fields display delicate honey-gold and ice-blue tints. The strike is crisp, though slightly incomplete at the center of the eagle, where the relief is at its height. Imperfections are limited to a brief lint mark above the ribbon and a slender diagonal linear depression between the G in FEUCHTWANGER to the space between the bases of the RE in THREE. Although inaccurately described as a "scratch" in the Oechsner auction, it is certain that this line was on the planchet prior to the strike. It is barely perceptible except near the R in THREE, where it is opposite the highest relief of the eagle and thus was not effaced by the strike.
Ex: Tom Elder; 45th Sale (New Netherland's, 4/1955), lot 716; Herbert M. Oechsner Estate (Stack's, 9/1988), lot 540. (PCGS# 20004)

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Nov-Dec, 2012
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