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    Description

    1792 Washington Getz Pattern Cent, AU58+
    Musante GW-22, Among the Finest Known Examples

    1792 CENT Washington Getz Pattern Cent, Small Eagle, Copper AU58+ PCGS Secure. Baker-25. Breen-1352. Musante GW-22.
    Plain Edge. Narrow flan. 32 mm. 16.63 gm (256.7 gns). An extraordinary example of this rare and highly desirable Washington pattern piece, struck from dies believed to have been engraved by Peter Getz as a proposed coinage design for the United States. This glossy chocolate-brown coin is among the finest known of the type and exhibits a level of detail often lacking from the few examples of higher technical grade. Close examination reveals a scattering of light marks, long since toned over, in the obverse and reverse fields, most obvious in the reverse legends through TES OF AMER. A small rim bump can be seen on the reverse at 7 o'clock, though it is unobtrusive enough to not show through on the obverse.

    While the present example narrowly misses true Mint State status, it bears a stronger strike than most Mint State Getz coppers. The extent of visible detail is exceptional, and is best appreciated on the reverse. The eagle's features are rendered in breathtaking clarity, with each individual barb, painstakingly engraved, clearly and distinctly visible. The hatching in the stars above the eagle, unseen on most examples, is perhaps more obvious on the present coin than on any other Getz copper. While centering on these smaller-planchet coins is often problematic, the entire reverse legend is on-planchet, with the U of UNITED barely touching the rim. Only the eagle's knees and the central pale (or vertical stripe) on the shield show even faint weakness. The obverse strike is well above-average for high-grade examples, with fine detail in the epaulette's shoulder strap and on Washington's hair calling out for attention.

    Alan Weinberg's Commentary:
    The immediate underbidder was my good friend Bill Anton, who appreciated superb early American coinage. This piece surpasses the uncirculated but scratched Ford copper. Dick Picker was the preeminent dealer of American colonial coins from the 1950s to around 1980, and was renowned for refusing to grade a coin--stating only that it was worth $xxxx, from which a collector could infer its desirability. Dick faded into obscurity and died brokenhearted after his briefcase with all sorts of rarities 'disappeared' at ANA security and Dick lost his lawsuit based on a security liability disclaimer. Those stolen rarities are still missing today, with the most identifiable being a unique uniface, white metal 1792 Roman Head George Washington colonial pattern.

    Additional Commentary:
    In the 2009 census of copper Getz pieces published by George Fuld, this piece is listed as coin number seven. Two of the pieces ranked ahead of it there have ornamental edges; one of the remaining plain-edged examples is in the British Museum. This leaves three plain-edged examples in private hands ranked ahead of this, one of which is the scratched Ford example mentioned by Alan above. It is worth noting that when that piece was sold in the 2004 sale of Part II of Ford's collection, it was cataloged as Extremely Fine. Quibbles aside, the present example undoubtedly remains among the finest of its kind. The Archangel collection example, graded AU58 and clearly inferior to the present coin, recently sold for $72,000. Listed on page 94 of the 2019 Guide Book.
    Ex: Richard Picker Collection (Stack's, 10/1984), lot 310.
    From The Alan V. Weinberg Collection, Part I.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2B7B, PCGS# 921)


    View all of [The Alan V. Weinberg Collection, Part I ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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