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Description

1841 No Drapery Dime, PR67+
The Finer of Only Two Known
Important Intermediate Design

1841 10C No Drapery PR67+ NGC. CAC. Fortin-101. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. Eric P. Newman identified this piece as an "1841 U.S. Pattern Dime" and wrote on his envelope: "Seated figure of Liberty entirely different from that on any other coin. Draping not showing for entire length of arm." Others have suggested that the dies were zealously polished, removing the drapery and diminishing other details. Walter Breen and Kam Ahwash were among those who believed that this variety was created through die lapping.

In his Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Dimes 1837-1891, Ahwash wrote:

"This variety was struck from the regular hub and not a revision to the previous hub used. This came about by vigorously lapping the working die in which the excessive polishing removed not only the extra drapery at the elbow, but many other areas of drapery, as well as making the stars appear smaller."


A single glance at this glittering Superb Gem proof from the Eric P. Newman Collection proves that it is not a polished die. The drapery is absent at the elbow, and for the full length of Liberty's upper arm inside the pole. John McCloskey studied an enlarged image of this same specimen from the Newman collection, and published the results of his examination in Issue #80 of the Gobrecht Journal. Today, his comments are conveniently available at Gerry Fortin's website, Seateddimevarieties.com. McCloskey wrote in part:

"The design shown on the 1841 No Drapery dime does not appear on any other coins in the dime series. I believe that mint officials studied impressions made from this design and decided that some modifications would be required before the new design could be used in the Seated dime series. I believe that the master hub for this was modified or that a new master die was prepared from the existing hub for this design."

The 1841 No Drapery dime is a transitional issue from an obverse die entirely unlike the earlier Without Drapery type. The 1838 to 1840 Without Drapery design has the shield tilted to the left, with the word LIBERTY starting well below the nearby thumb. Three fingers are visible in that hand. Although there is no drapery at the elbow, there is drapery covering her entire upper arm near the pole. Her gaze is slightly above horizontal. Four fingers grasp the pole and all are closely spaced.

This obverse is also unlike the With Drapery design that began in 1840. The differences are especially noticed at the upper torso. The drapery between Liberty's torso and arms on both sides shows an entirely different treatment. The drapery coming over her upper arms toward the shoulders is clearly absent on the 1841 No Drapery dime, and that feature alone proves that it is more than merely a lapped die. We are unable to see the difference in star size that Ahwash noted.

Eric P. Newman describes the 1841 No Drapery dime as a pattern, and it should be included in pattern collections as well as Seated Liberty dime collections, much like the 1859 transitional dime. There are only two known examples, and the other piece, probably from the F.C.C. Boyd Collection, is graded AU53 NGC. The Newman specimen is likely the coin that was described in the December 1943 issue of the Numismatic Review, where it was described as part of an 1841 proof set that was owned by "Col." E.H.R. Green.

This Superb Gem proof has extraordinary eye appeal with delicate cobalt-blue and pale reddish-gold toning over fully mirrored and flawless fields. The design motifs are boldly and completely defined.
Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $250.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. (NGC ID# 23BV, PCGS# 4728)

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Auction Dates
November, 2013
15th-16th
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