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Lot
5821

1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR55 PCGS....

2012 October 18-21 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas #1175

 
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Auction Ended On: Oct 19, 2012
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Dallas Convention Center
650 S. Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202

Description:

Flowing Hair 1879 Stella, Judd-1635, PR55
A Long-Forgotten Experimental International Coin
Now a Collector Favorite
1879 $4 Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, R.3, PR55 PCGS. Although a contemporary failure in its concept, the four dollar gold piece, or stella, has proven to be a hit with generations of gold collectors, being incorporated into the standard issues of U.S. gold coins decades ago. The 1879 Flowing Hair stella is a curious piece that was proposed by John Kasson as an international coin whose value would be roughly equivalent to that of an Austrian eight florins and various other European equivalents.
The Flowing Hair stellas were originally engraved by Charles Barber in 1879 after a design his father, William, had executed in the previous year. About 415 pieces were struck as patterns (Judd-1635) and another 400 or so backdated restrikes were produced in 1880. These were widely distributed around Washington circles to popularize the proposed new denomination, but were soon forgotten when Congress rejected the international gold coin.
The specimen offered here appears to have been carried as a pocket piece for a year or two (one has to wonder if perhaps by a Cabinet member or influential Senator), but displays pleasing reddish and steel-blue highlights over partially glassy surfaces. With the recent upsurge in prices for higher-grade specimens (two PR64 examples sold a year apart in 2011 and 2012 realized $184,000) so-called mishandled pieces such as this take on an even greater importance for the budget-minded collector.
Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 3484, where it brought $69,000.
From The Gnome at the Shore Collection.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 28AZ, PCGS# 8057)

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