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1872 PR64 Deep Cameo Ten Dollar
Ex: H.R. Lee/J.F. Bell Collections
Probably No More Than 12 Pieces Extant

1872 $10 PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS. Ex: J.F. Bell. Plate coin in the Breen Proof Encyclopedia. This supremely preserved two-toned specimen combines dramatic eye appeal with irrefutable rarity. Struck with the pinpoint sharpness expected of a proof, the sparkling yellow-gold surfaces were obviously carefully preserved by generations of collectors, in spite of financial panics, world wars, and even a great depression. Future identification of this particular representative is made easy
by a nearly straight lint mark to the left of Liberty's chin and a curlicue lintmark on the nose. Of course, these minor disturbances have no effect on the coin's technical merits and are mentioned primarily for reasons of pedigree.
In determining the importance of the proof 1872 ten dollar, the normal demand associated with a particular date and denomination is compounded due to the extreme rarity of business strikes, a coin that is at least as challenging as its paltry mintage of 1,620 pieces would suggest. Only a handful of Mint State pieces have been certified by both leading grading services combined, one of the
finest of which we had the privilege of selling twice, an MS62 PCGS from the Floyd Starr Collection tracing back to legendary dealer Henry Chapman. Since no Choice to Gem examples were available, even a century ago, major early collections (most notably Garrett and Eliasberg) concentrated on the acquisition of high-quality proofs.
In the recent write-up for the most recent sale of this coin, Q. David Bowers explained the background of this piece's pedigree:

"If you are a devotee of numismatic literature, then you know details of the pedigree. If not, H.R. Lee was the name given to our sale of duplicate coins consigned by Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. when he was consolidating his collection in 1947. At that time he had extra examples, including in the choice and gem categories, of many rarities. The buyer in the sale was Jacob Shapiro, a Chicago financier, who used a bell as the symbol of his finance company, and adopted it as a pseudonym in numismatic circles, otherwise known as Shapiro to his friends. His son, David Shapiro, developed an interest in numismatics, and years later was president of the Professional Numismatists Guild. Jake Bell was very prominent in numismatic circles in the 1940s and 1950s ... ."

Ex: Possibly the coin in lot 1450 of the William Cutler Atwater Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1946), not plated but described as "A very light, hardly noticeable, irregular hair-line in the left obverse field. It appears as though it is a die defect, as there are no other imperfections of any kind on the coin. Wire edge."; H.R. Lee Collection ( Stack's, 10/1947), lot 1527; Jacob Shapiro (also known as J.F. Bell); Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 571; J.F. Bell Collection, Part II (RARCOA, 4/1963), lot 384; Charles Jay Collection (Stack's, 10/1967), lot 320; George F. Scanlon Collection (Stack's, 10/1973), lot 2495; Auction '86 (Paramount, 7/1986), lot 1942; Buddy Ebsen Collection (5/1987), lot 2704; Baltimore Auction (Stack's Bowers, 11/2011), lot 9707.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28FA, PCGS# 98812)

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Auction Dates
May-Jun, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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