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The Pittman 1853 Seated Dollar, PR66 Cameo

1853 $1 Restrike Seated Dollar PR66 Cameo NGC. Ex: Pittman-Kaufman. The amazing cameo contrast of this piece is as strong and bold as any proof Seated dollar we have seen, regardless of the date. Clearly the finest proof 1853 dollar known, the amazing Kaufman specimen is identified as the Pittman coin by two tiny flakes on Liberty's right facing arm near the drapery and an extremely small rim void at star 2. Our Census listing reveals just one other proof with claims to a Gem grade.
In addition to the seven pieces itemized here, there are probably three or four others that exist. In the August 2006 issue of the "Monthly Supplement" for the Coin Dealer Newsletter, Duncan Lee mentioned that "this issue has been surprisingly difficult to find in proof. Based on the combined census, the 1853 rates among the top five rarest issues." David Akers comments that seven to 10 examples survive from a mintage of 15 to 20 coins.

1. PR66
Cameo. The present coin. New Netherlands Coin Co. (7/1944); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1685; Kaufman Collection.

2. PR65.
E.E. Lamb Collection (B. Max Mehl, 2/1947), lot 350; Floyd Starr (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 597.

3. PR63 ANACS.
Superior (10/2000), lot 4394; Heritage (7/2005), lot 10269; Heritage (1/2007), lot 1065.

4. PR62 PCGS.
Butterfield (1/1997), lot 3705. Described with dull grayish-gold toning, but unfortunately, this piece was not illustrated.

5. PR62 NGC.
Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 11/2004), lot 1518; Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1014. Possibly the same as the Butterfield coin, above.

6. Proof.
Amon Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1964), lot 262.

7. Proof.
Ely Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 1/1984), lot 122; Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 271.

Numerous die polish lines in the fields are faint but visible. The obverse has short die file lines down from the base of Liberty, just above the date. Others are visible at certain points along the border. The serif of the 1 is doubled below. Unfinished die work can be seen below Liberty's chin, much like the business strike die. The other die characteristics are mentioned by Bowers for the proofs. The reverse is well made with few die defects.
The 1853 proof Seated dollars are all considered restrikes (technically novodels, as there are no associated original examples), most likely produced in the early 1860s. David Akers explains that an article written by George F. Jones in 1860, appearing in the Coin Collectors Manual of that date, did not mention 1853 proof dollars. It is believed that these pieces were not struck until the 1870s. The reverse border has a diagonal die line over NI of UNITED, the only identifying characteristic.
Full silver mint brilliance is present on both sides of this piece with barely a wisp of champagne toning. The fields have a few faint hairlines with some insignificant slide marks on Liberty's knee. Extraordinary deep mirrors frame the mint frost that covers the devices on both sides. A delectable Premium Gem sure to please the connoisseur. The Kaufman piece is the only 1853 dollar certified as a cameo by NGC (6/07).
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One. (#86996) (NGC ID# 2527, PCGS# 86996)

View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One ]

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Auction Dates
August, 2007
8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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