Rare Gem Proof Deep Cameo 1863 Eagle
1863 $10 PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. Strong contrast between
the mirrored fields and thoroughly frosted devices is the strong
suit of this admirable coin, among the finest survivors of the
recorded proof mintage of 30 pieces. The color is bright
canary-gold throughout. As expected for the grade, the surfaces are
extremely attractive, with minimal hairlines and virtually no signs
of handling. The only identifying lint mark is a tiny one right of
the Y in LIBERTY near the edge of the coronet, and a trivial speck
appears tucked between the upper inside points of the third
Sole Finest at PCGS
This lovely proof eagle would make a welcome addition to any collection. Minute, interesting die diagnostics appear on this issue: A few small raised lumps from die rust appear on the bust truncation, with another on the jaw near the earlobe. A small piece of lint somehow adhered to the hub when the die was engraved, on Liberty's cheek below her eye, producing a raised line on the die. The coiner noted this raised line and carefully wire-brushed most of it off, but telltale faint swirling lines appear on the cheek, and portions of the hubbed lintmark are still present on proofs made from this die.
On the reverse, the last vertical shield line extends up to the third horizontal stripe. These tiny diagnostics are unique to the obverse and reverse die and would appear on each coin struck from these dies unless the dies were further lapped or altered by the Mint employees. This is the single finest PCGS-certified 1863 eagle from this rare proof issue, a coin that would form the centerpiece of any proof gold collection.
The following roster is expanded and adjusted from the listing published in our 2008 FUN catalog and contains all 1863 proof Liberty eagles known to us. Most experts estimate the surviving population of this issue at 10-12 examples, which coincides well with our findings:
1. PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. Appears on the NGC Census, but not otherwise known to us.
2. PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. Grand Central Sale (Paramount, 11/1978), lot 624; Auction '79 (Paramount, 7/1979), lot 334; Ed Trompeter Collection (Superior, 3/1992), lot 203, sale not held; Heritage Auction Galleries, privately; unknown private collection; FUN Signature Auction (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3268, realized $138,000.
3. PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. Hollinbeck Coin Company; purchased privately by the Honorable R. Henry Norweb (6/1953); Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/1988), lot 2187; Bowers and Merena (11/1989), lot 555; Dennis Mendelson Collection (Superior, 2/1991), lot 2860; Chicago Sale (Superior, 8/1991), lot 778; Heritage (7/2005), lot 10383, realized $103,500; Heritage (1/2007), lot 3658; the present coin.
4. PR64 Deep Cameo. Smithsonian Institution.
5. PR64 Cameo NGC. John Colvin Randall (4/1897); Clapp Collection (1942); Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate; United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 718; Hugh Sconyers; Bowers and Merena (9/1989), lot 544; Auction '90 (RARCOA, 8/1990), lot 964; Dennis Mendelson Collection (Superior, 2/1991), lot 2861.
6. PR64 PCGS. Samuel Wolfson (Stack's, 10/1962), lot 685; Mail Bid Sale (Quality Sales, 6/1970), lot 1856; Auction Sale (Quality Sales,11/1970), lot 1846; Harry W. Bass, Jr. (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1490; Heritage (5/2000), lot 7795.
7. PR64 PCGS. Heritage (9/2005), lot 4872.
8. PR63 PCGS. Heman Ely; W. Elliot Woodward; purchased by T. Harrison Garrett as part of a deal involving nine complete gold proof sets from Ely's collection(10/25/1883); Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 405; Long Beach I Sale (New England, 6/1981), lot 1111; Bowers and Merena (9/2001), lot 295 (sale was delayed by the 9/11 attack, this coin was not offered when the auction was rescheduled in 11/2001).
9. Proof. Amon Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 764. Possibly ex Frederick Geiss (B. Max Mehl, 2/1947), lot 1890, per Walter Breen.
10. Proof. American Numismatic Society. Ex: Brock, Morgan, exhibited by the Society in 1914.
A. PR63 PCGS. Kingswood II (Kingswood Coin Auctions, 6/1997), lot 184. Catalog not available for comparison.
B. Superb Brilliant Proof. Thomas Melish Collection(Abe Kosoff, 4/1956), lot 2451; A.M. Kagin. Possibly ex: Menjou Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 6/1950), lot 1604, per Walter Breen. Not illustrated.
C. Proof. F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1946), lot 668; Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 561. Not illustrated in either catalog, possibly the same as number 6 above, per Walter Breen.
D. XF. Davis-Graves (Stack's, 4/1954), lot 943, per Walter Breen. Not illustrated. The catalog description states: "Can be called Extremely fine. Has some of the proof luster. A rare date." This catalog description tells us little, not even if it is a proof. This listing should probably be discounted.
E. Brilliant Proof. King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), part of lot 200.
F. Perfect Brilliant Proof. William Cutler Atwater Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1946), lot 1441, not illustrated.
G. Brilliant Proof. J.F. Bell Collection (Stack's, 12/1944), lot 627, not illustrated.
H. Brilliant Proof. George Seavey, part of a complete gold proof set, probably purchased directly from the Mint in 1863; Seavey Illustrated Catalog (William Strobridge, 6/1873), lot 825, not sold as the collection was purchased intact by Lorin G. Parmelee before the auction took place; Lorin G. Parmelee Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 1328; William H. Woodin Collection (Thomas Elder, 3/1911), lot 1227.
I. Brilliant Proof. John F. McCoy Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 5/1864), lot 1992, part of a five piece gold proof set, probably purchased from the Mint as the coins were only struck the year before, realized $72.50 to William Lilliendahl.
J. Brilliant Proof. Thomas Cleneay Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 12/1890), lot 412, part of a six piece gold proof set.
K. Brilliant Proof. David S. Wilson Collection (S.H. Chapman, 3/1907), lot 323, part of a six piece gold proof set, realized $200.
L. Brilliant Proof. George Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2264, part of a six piece gold proof set.
M. Brilliant Proof. Major William B. Wetmore Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 6/1906), lot 148, part of a six piece gold proof set.
N. Gem Proof. Dr. Jasper Robertson Collection (Mid-American, 5/1985), lot 1562, possibly an earlier appearance of number 1 above.
From The Oliver Collection.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 28EZ, PCGS# 98799)
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