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Lot
1785

1870 $1 Dollar, Judd-1021, Pollock-1156, R.8, PR67 Cameo NGC....

2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121

 
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Auction Ended On: Jan 7, 2009
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
1,496 page views
Location:

Orange County Convention Center
North/South Building
9400 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819

Description:
Spectacular 1870 Silver Dollar Pattern in Aluminum
The Finest Known
Judd-1021,
R.8, PR67 Cameo
1870 $1 Dollar, Judd-1021, Pollock-1156, R.8, PR67 Cameo NGC.
Design.
Both obverse and reverse dies are the designs used for regular-issue coinage of silver dollars in 1870. Struck in aluminum with a reeded edge.

Commentary.
The standard pattern references traditionally list Judd-1021 as a die trials issue, but USPatterns.com states the coins were minted as part of the Mint's marketing program. In support of this view, the present coin was offered as part of an eight-coin 1870 aluminum proof set when it first surfaced in the 1970s. The rarity of the sets was discussed when it was advertised in several issues of the Rare Coin Review: "The number of 1870 aluminum proof sets struck is nowhere recorded. We would estimate the number as being in the range of 5 to 10 sets, nearly all of which have been broken up in the intervening years." Neither did the set offered in the review survive intact, as this coin was offered individually in the Fairfield Collection in October 1977.

If the auction appearance record of Judd-1021 is any indication, the estimate of five to 10 sets struck may be too high. The issue was missing in all the great pattern collections of the 19th century. With all their resources and connections, great collectors such as Edward Maris, Henry Linderman, R.C. Davis, Lorin Parmelee, and George Woodside all failed to secure an example of Judd-1021 for their collections. The illustrious collectors of the 20th century fared no better: This piece was missing in the collections of William Woodin, Fred Olsen, Maj. Lenox Lohr, John Work Garrett, Louis Eliasberg, and Harry W. Bass, Jr.

A diligent search of auction records has yielded a grand total of five auction appearances, representing two--or at most three--different coins. The last auction offering of a specimen of Judd-1021 was 18 years ago; this piece also marks the first time Heritage has had the privilege of presenting an example. Clearly, this attractive pattern is among the most elusive of all numismatic treasures.

The coin offered here is the finer of the two specimens seen in recent times. This Superb Gem Cameo proof will be a focal point of any advanced pattern collection. This piece has been off the market for 21 years, and it may be decades before another example becomes available. The astute collector will take notice and bid accordingly.

Physical Description.
The present coin features a spectacular strike, with crisp detail on all design elements. The fully frosted devices contrast vividly with the deeply mirrored fields to create the dramatic cameo effect. Brilliant, untoned surfaces add to the fantastic eye appeal. An unimprovable specimen of this extremely rare pattern. This piece is, unsurprisingly, the only certified example at NGC, while PCGS has graded one PR65 piece (11/08).

Census.
We believe that only two or three examples of Judd-1021 survive today:
1. Rare Coin Review Nos. 21-26 (Bowers and Ruddy, 1974-1976); Fairfield Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1977), lot 51; Ruder Collection (Stack's, 9/1987), lot 1528. The present coin.
2. Champa Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 5/1972), lot 1082; Public Auction Sale (Superior, 10/1990), lot 1893.
Other Appearances. The following citation may be an earlier appearance of one of the coins above, but no verifiable connection can be established.
A. Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1838.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (PCGS# 61269)

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