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1845 25C PR66 NGC. Briggs 5-E....

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

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Auction Ended On: Aug 9, 2013
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Hyatt Rosemont
6350 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL

1845 Quarter, PR66
Finest Known of Perhaps Six Survivors
1845 25C PR66 NGC. Briggs 5-E. Ex: Pittman-Kaufman. This 1845 proof quarter once resided in John Jay Pittman's proof set sold intact by David Akers in May 1998 as lot 1711. Akers writes that the coins were in an original wood presentation case bound in burgundy-colored Morocco leather. He notes that the set was not original, since Pittman purchased most of the coins individually, but: "... the gold coins undoubtedly constitute an original set and it would also seem that the Half Dime, Dime and Quarter came from the same original set. Therefore, I have decided to offer the set intact rather than break it up and sell the individual pieces."

Akers estimated that five or six 1845 proof quarters survived when cataloging the Pittman coin. Larry Briggs wrote in his series reference that about six proofs are known. Walter Breen gave a similar total in his Complete Encyclopedia. NGC and PCGS combined have graded 13 submissions (up from nine a few years ago; we suspect many duplications), of which this PR66 NGC example is clearly the finest.

1845 Proof Seated Quarter Roster
1. PR66 NGC.
The present specimen. Menjou Collection (Numismatic Gallery, June 1950), lot 715; John J. Pittman (David Akers, May 1998), lot 1711, as part of a complete 1845 proof set; Phil Kaufman Collection / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3030, which realized $195,500; Scott Rudolph Collection / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 3765, which brought $149,500.

2. PR65 NGC.
William Dickinson Collection (Chapman Brothers, March 1894); J.M. Clapp; Clapp Estate (1942); Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 1437; Phil Kaufman; Bowers and Merena (1/1999), lot 1112.

3. PR63.
Earle Collection; Ryder Collection; New Netherlands (49th Sale, 6/1957), lot 1152.

4. Proof.
Smithsonian Institution.

Additional Appearances
A. PR64.
Harmer Rooke (10/1989). This piece is either the same as number 3 or it is a fifth example.

The Briggs Obverse 5 is described as a proof die with the date recut, the extra digits left of the final figures. Briggs gave no details about Reverse E, but stated that it is also a proof die. All 12 vertical stripes on the reverse shield appear to pierce the horizontal stripes above, with 8, 9, and 10 the most prominent, and extending to horizontal stripe 5. This differs from the reverse of the Eliasberg coin, where Bowers and Merena catalogers note that vertical stripes 1, 2, 5, 10, and 11 pierce the above horizontal stripes, with 10 and 11 most prominent.

This Premium Gem is beautifully toned, the obverse primarily a medium reddish-gold with blue and violet at the periphery. The reverse is equally attractive, somewhat deeper reddish-gold turning to blue at the border. The solid strike appears full throughout both sides. Close scrutiny with a glass reveals impeccable surface preservation, such that we are hard-pressed to identify pedigree markers. Perhaps a minuscule tick left of the date will help serve that purpose. The finest known example of this great rarity.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part IV.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 23W8, PCGS# 5539)

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