Rare Silver-Plated Copper 1827/3 Quarter
1827 25C Quarter Dollar, Judd-48, Pollock-49, High R.7, PR63
Believed to be Ex: Lyman Low (6/1887)
Design. This rarity pairs the obverse of 1827/3 with a reverse from 1819, Browning-2. The reverse has a square-base 2 in the denomination, which differs from the original 1827 quarters (which have a curl-base 2). Struck in copper and silver-plated with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Little is known about the copper and silver strikings of this issue. A popular theory is that these pieces were struck in the Mint, probably in the late 1850s under James Ross Snowden's tenure as Mint director. Walter Breen speculated that these dies were among the many sets of dies that were sealed in a carton on July 30, 1860 and not opened again until 1867.
The other--and to us, the more convincing--theory about the striking of these coins is that put forward by Saul Teichman and Andy Lustig on USPatterns.com: "These were believed to have been struck along with most of their silver counterparts in the 1870s. The first occurrence for a copper example was in Haseltine's February 1877 sale. This sale also included a copper example of Judd-59 [1836 Gobrecht dollar in copper]. This is probably no accident!" Undoubtedly, these pieces were struck to provide collectors of the day an example of this rare date.
Physical Description. At the time of the Parmelee Sale in 1890 it was stated that "only 3 [were] struck." However, today five examples are known in copper, one impounded in the Connecticut State Library. Another was in the historic 1914 ANS exhibit (owned at that time by William Woodin). All of the copper strikings show evidence on each side of die rust. As an interesting sidenote, two silver examples are known and they show no evidence of die rust, which would indicate they may have been produced in the 1830s to test a close collar or steam press.
The surfaces of this piece display the extensive traces of die rust that one would expect on a restrike 1827/3 quarter. The silver-plating was well done and is still intact over each side, but it has naturally subdued much of the mirrorlike finish in the fields. Slight golden toning is seen on the right reverse. This piece is identifiable as the Lemus Collection example by a lint mark to the left of star 8.
Census. Numismatic researcher David Stone has compiled the following roster of known copper restrike 1827/3 quarters using information supplied by Steve Tompkins and Karl Moulton in Early United States Quarters 1796-1838:
1. Matthew Stickney (before 1894); Stickney Estate (1894-1907); The Matthew Stickney Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1907), lot 448; Virgil Brand (accession number 38987); Joseph C. Mitchelson; The Connecticut State History Museum (inventory number 11563).
Tompkins-Moulton believe that Stickney obtained this coin from the Mint around 1877, based on his earlier dealings with the 1804 dollar, etc. They also think that Mitchelson obtained the coin through the Chicago Coin Company, owned by Brand and T. E. Leon. These speculations are not unlikely, but the supporting evidence is not stated. Since the coin has not appeared in any auction or other public sale in more than 100 years and we determined that it is not the silver-plated example in the present sale, we are safe in assuming that this is the Mitchelson coin.
2. William J. Jenks Collection (Cogan, 4/1877), lot 359; Lorin G. Parmelee Collection (New York Coin and Stamp, 6/1890), lot 22, bought in; Virgil Brand (1899 private sale, accession number 20762); Virgil Brand Part I (Bowers and Merena, 11/1983), lot 476; Auction '90 (Superior, 8/1990), lot 1417; ANA Spring Sale (Heritage, 2/1991), lot 1388; Americana Sale (Stack's, 1/2004), lot 3701. This coin is plated in all its auction appearances and has a small dot in the field near Liberty's throat that makes a reliable pedigree marker.
3. Coin Sale (Haseltine, 2/1887), lot 556; The Woodside Collection of Patterns (New York Coin and Stamp, 4/1892) lot 13; George Hull Collection (J. W. Scott, 11/1895), lot 731, bought in; Virgil Brand (1895 private sale, accession number 14960); Virgil Brand Estate. Tompkins-Moulton pedigree continues from this point, unknown source for their information. Belden E. Roach Collection (B. Max Mehl, 2/1944), lot 2387; Royal Sale (B. Max Mehl, 3/1948), lot 2632; Curtis-Talmadge Sale (Kosoff, 2/1950), lot 1025; King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1711; James P. Randall; Charles Ruby; Clarke E. Gilhousen Part III (Superior, 10/1973), lot 598, Auction '80 (Stack's, 8/1980), lot 1386; 65th Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/2000), lot 692. The lot descriptions in the Roach and Royal sales match, but the plate in the Royal Sale is a stock photo of the wrong coin; no rust at all on the reverse.
4. Peter Gschwend Collection (Elder, 6/1908), lot A in the second addendum; William H. Woodin, featured in the 1914 ANS exhibit and the Adams-Woodin pattern reference. In Stack's sale of 1/1990, the cataloger states that this coin was plate-matched to the silver-plated coin in that sale. The plate in the Adams-Woodin book is a grainy halftone, so it is unknown how this can be verified. These pedigree markers do not show: the bruise under Liberty's eye, the lintmark in the field next to star 8, or the small dot near the dentils at star 8. Tompkins-Moulton have information that Fred Olsen bought this coin, along with many others, in the 1930s. Their pedigree continues from here. Fred E. Olsen Sale (B. Max Mehl, 11/1944), lot 203; John H. Morris, Jr.; 1953 ANA Sale (Numismatic Gallery, 8/1953), lot 854, bought in by Kreisberg; Coin Sale (Kreisberg, 6/1969), lot 456, bought in; Coin Sale (Kreisberg, 1/1970), lot 625; Auction '85 (Superior, 7/1985), lot 678; U.S. Coins (Stack's, 4/1996), lot 1400; Anthony Bongiovanni.
Tompkins-Moulton say that the two Kreisberg appearances are identical.
5. ANA (Superior, 8/1975), lot 1231, silver-plated; ANA (Steve Ivy, 8/1980), lot 682; Stack-Teich Sale (Stack's, 1/1990), lot 1384. The present coin. Tompkins-Moulton believe this coin was plated when it was produced by Henry Linderman and that it was offered as lot 38 in the Lyman Low sale of his collection in June 1887. The lot description is quoted in part: " ... the lack of polish on certain portions of the dies prevented the brilliancy customary with proofs of a more recent date."
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 295X, PCGS# 11171)
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