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1840 25C Drapery PR65 NGC. Briggs 1-A....

2013 August 8 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Rosemont #1188

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Auction Ended On: Aug 9, 2013
Item Activity: 10 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Hyatt Rosemont
6350 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL

1840 Drapery Quarter, PR65
The Eliasberg-Kaufman Coin
Only Three Examples Known
1840 25C Drapery PR65 NGC. Briggs 1-A. Ex: P. Kaufman. Incorrectly identified in the Eliasberg catalog as Briggs 2-B. A remarkable and extremely rare issue, tied with the Pittman coin for the finest of just three known pieces and the only two that are available to collectors.

The modified With Drapery (at Liberty's elbow) hub was used for all 1840 quarters coined at the Philadelphia Mint. New Orleans coined both types, No Drapery and With Drapery. Inexplicably, Breen included an entry for 1840 "No Drapery" quarters in his 1977 Proof Encyclopedia. He also included another entry for 1840 With Drapery quarters. In his 1989 revised and corrected edition, Breen advised deletion of the No Drapery section. However, the reader is not told how to handle the deleted information. In the Eliasberg catalog, Dave Bowers elected to quote Breen's passage about the "No Drapery" quarters when this coin was offered, but failed to acknowledge the additional information provided for the With Drapery coins.

Regardless of who said what and when, the fact remains that the 1840 Seated quarter issue is exceedingly rare, likely Low R.8 with three known specimens, all With Drapery; accounting for the Smithsonian piece makes precisely two coins that are apparently available -- at least theoretically -- in the marketplace.

1840 With Drapery Seated Quarter Roster
1. PR65 NGC. The present coin. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 1422; Phil Kaufman Collection / Milwaukee ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2007), lot 1781, which realized $149,500.
2. PR65 NGC. Allenburger Collection (B. Max Mehl, 3/1948), lot 984; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1300; Superior (1/2004), lot 284.
3. Proof. National Numismatic Collection; Smithsonian Institution.

A faint die crack from the second T in STATES to the top of the eagle's head positively identifies the reverse die. The die crack becomes extremely faint but can be followed through the eagle, shield, right wing, middle arrowhead, and finally to the lower right border.

Every feature that was engraved in the die is fully visible on this sharp proof. The fields have excellent depth of the mirrored finish. Light champagne and gold toning on the obverse is accented by peripheral lilac and blue. Deeper gray toning on the reverse is framed by peripheral blue, green, amber, and gold. Census: 2 in 65, 0 finer (5/13).
From The Greensboro Collection, Part IV. (PCGS# 5529)

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