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Lot
5480

1860 P$5 Five Dollar, Judd-271, Pollock-319, R.8, PR62 Cameo PCGS....

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 3, 2012
Item Activity: 10 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Description:

1860 Five Dollar on a Ten Dollar Planchet, PR62 Cameo
Judd-271, R.8, Dr. Barclay Experimental Striking
The Only Example Available in Gold
1860 P$5 Five Dollar, Judd-271, Pollock-319, R.8, PR62 Cameo PCGS. The obverse is attributed to James Longacre and features a finely executed head of Liberty, facing right. The date is below with 13 stars surrounding most of the obverse rim. The reverse has a spread-wing eagle with E PLURIBUS UNUM on a wreath above, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and FIVE DOLLARS around the margin. The eagle and lettering on the reverse are suggestive of work done by Anthony Paquet, and Tom DeLorey has asserted as much. Struck in gold on a ten dollar planchet with a reeded edge. Only two pieces are known in gold. There are more than a dozen copper examples known, several of which have been gilt, according to USPatterns.com. One interesting aspect mentioned by almost everyone who has cataloged this pattern is the use of an upside-down A for a V in FIVE on the reverse.
This pattern was struck as an anti-counterfeiting measure. The complete story is told in David Akers' United States Gold Patterns, published in 1975. The problem this pattern was to solve was one of sawing apart genuine gold coins and substituting the core with the (then) lesser-valued platinum, a metal of similar weight. Akers relates extensive background for these two pieces and the subsequent 1878 thin planchet gold coins in his 1975 reference:

"Dr. J.T. Barclay, who had been at the Mint in 1856-7, had recommended that coins be made thinner and more concave to prevent such counterfeiting, but at the time of his recommendations, a committee of two, appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to investigate Dr. Barclay's process, reported that to 'make a single such piece, blending that perfection of artistic design and mechanical execution which would commend it for acceptance with he protective features which Dr. Barclay desires to incorporate, would require the construction of machinery on a scale and at a cost inadequate for regular minting business.' "


The suggestions of Dr. Barclay were finally followed in 1860 with the striking of this pattern. The experiment ceased when the Civil War started, but was resumed again in 1878. For years it was believed three examples were known of the Judd-271; allegedly Mint Director Henry Linderman owned three. However, one of the pieces, which was held in the Byron Reed Collection in Omaha, turned out to be a copper gilt Judd-272. The first auction appearance of the Judd-271 was in the Haseltine Addenda to his Sixty-Fifth Sale, where it was glowingly described as "This piece is conceded to be the most beautiful and chaste specimen in design and execution ever struck in the United States Mint."

The pedigrees of the two gold strikings are:

1. Robert Coulton Davis; Woodside Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 4/1892), lot 111; M.A. Brown Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 4/1897), lot 52; Virgil Brand (Journal id #17020); Horace Brand; Abe Kosoff, early 1940s, to Dr. Hewitt Judd for $4,200; Dr. Wilkison; to Paramount International Coin Corporation (1973); A-Mark; Trompeter Collection; Southern Collection; Bob Simpson Collection. PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC.

2. Sixty-Fifth Sale, Addenda (Haseltine, 3/1883), lot 11; unknown intermediaries; F.C.C. Boyd; Abe Kosoff to Dr. Wilkison; to Paramount International Coin Corporation (1973); A-Mark; Kagin; 2009 ANA Auction (Bowers and Merena, 8/2009); Boston Rarities Auction (Bowers and Merena, 8/2010), lot 1385. PR62 Cameo PCGS.


Each side is nicely reflective with moderate mint frost over the devices, the combination of which gives the coin a cameo appearance. Moderate hairlining can be seen, but each side of this orange-gold pattern is surprisingly free from contact marks. This is the only gold striking of this pattern available, and it is very likely to remain the only one available for the foreseeable future as there is not a whisper of the core Bob Simpson collection of patterns ever coming back on the market. (PCGS# 12076)

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