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Description

1793 S-15, B-22 Cent, VG10
'The Aristocrat'
Fifth Finest Known

1793 1C Liberty Cap VG10 NGC. S-15, B-22, High R.6. Our EAC Grade VG-7. Ex: Mervis Collection. The sharpness is five points finer than our EAC grade with delicate to coarse hairline scratches on Liberty's portrait and elsewhere on the obverse. The mahogany, chestnut, and blue-steel surfaces show old corrosion with a few lamination defects on the reverse. The date is bold with a small obverse rim bruise at 5 o'clock.

Breen Die State I. All known examples are in the same die state, although this piece is a later die stage with advanced reverse swelling.

Commentary. Although this variety was discovered before 1869 when it appeared on the Levick plate, few have been discovered since then. Only recently, the S-15 fell out of the lofty Rarity-7 rating, as a 13th example was discovered in the summer of 2013.

A remarkably well-researched and comprehensive history of the Sheldon-15 cent was compiled by Jim Neiswinter. The Aristocrat: the Story of the 1793 Sheldon 15, was published by the author in the Spring of 2013. It is a remarkable study, one of few book-length projects that focuses on a single pair of dies.

Regarding this specimen, Neiswinter writes:

"Charles Williams was the Cincinnati collector that Dr. Sheldon wrote about in Early American Cents in 1949. At that time, Sheldon believed this cent and the French cent were two different coins. By 1958, Sheldon had realized his mistake, and he did not mention the Cincinnati collector's S15 in Penny Whimsy."


Market Notes. Bland identifies this piece as the fourth finest known, while Noyes grades it Good 6 and sixth finest known. Neiswinter lists it as the fifth finest known example. The present offering is the 30th auction appearance of any example of the 1793 S-15 cent, and the sixth appearance of the present specimen. A period of several years usually goes by between offerings.

Provenance. W.B. Guy (Henry Chapman, 11/1911), lot 350; Dr. George P. French (B. Max Mehl, 1929 FPL), lot 17; Charles M. Williams (privately, via Abe Kosoff); Floyd T. Starr (Stack's, 6/1984), lot 23; Jack Robinson (Superior, 1/1989), lot 20; Dan Holmes (Goldberg Coins, 9/2009), lot 26.
From The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection. (Variety PCGS# 35495, Base PCGS# 1359)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2014
10th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 994

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Rasmussen Special Edition Catalog
This hard bound volume contains the magnificent Wes Rasmussen Large Cent Collection, formed by a former President of the Early American Coppers society which was auctioned at the 2005 Florida United Numismatic Auction. Reserve your copy of this remarkable volume for just $75 today.
Rasmussen Signed Limited Edition Catalog
A hard bound limited library edition of the Wes Rasmussen Collection Catalog, signed by Wes Rasmussen, Mark Borckardt, Greg Rohan, and Denis Loring, is available while supplies last. Only 100 produced. Reserve your copy of this remarkable limited edition signed volume for just $150 today.

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