Finest Certified 1845 Quarter, PR66
1845 25C PR66 NGC. Ex: Pittman-Kaufman. When the Pittman
Collection was sold a decade ago, bidding for the 1845 proof set
was by the set only, including the three gold pieces. Today, for
the first time in nearly 60 years, bidders have an opportunity to
compete for each of the five silver pieces on an individual basis.
David Akers sold the complete cased 1845 proof set on behalf of the
Pittman Family in May 1998.
Recut Date, Possible Proof Only Variety
We have determined that just four proof 1845 quarters exist, including the Pittman-Kaufman coin, the Eliasberg specimen, an example that hasn't been seen for 50 years, and one in the Smithsonian Institution. Akers estimated that five or six survive when he cataloged this coin a decade ago, and Larry Briggs wrote in his Seated Liberty quarter book that about six proof are known, and Breen gave a similar total of six pieces known in his Complete Encyclopedia, while NGC and PCGS have graded a combined total of nine submissions.
The following roster of 1845 proof quarters results from our survey of auction records:
1. PR66 NGC. The Present Kaufman 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, the Seated Liberty coins kept intact by Phil Kaufman.
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, April 1997), lot 1437; Phil Kaufman; Bowers and Merena (January 1999), lot 1112.
3. PR63. Earle Collection; Ryder Collection; New Netherlands (49th Sale, June 1957), lot 1152.
4. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.
A. PR64. Harmer Rooke (November 1989). This piece is either the same as number 3, or it is a fifth example.
The Pittman-Kaufman specimen is attributed as Briggs 5-E, based on the classification system published by Larry Briggs in The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Coinage. Obverse 5 is described as a proof die with the date recut, the extra digits left of the final figures. Briggs did not give 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 8,9,10 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 being the most prominent.
This Premium Gem is beautifully toned, with the obverse primarily a medium reddish-gold color with blue and violet at the periphery. The reverse is equally attractive, but the color is somewhat deeper reddish-gold turning to blue at the border. A solid strike manifests itself in sharp definition on the design features, further enhancing the coin's outstanding eye appeal. 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 this purpose. This issue is obviously a great rarity, and the present coin is the finest of the few known pieces.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 23W8, PCGS# 5539)
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two ]
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