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    Description

    1792 Washington President Pattern, XF45
    Eagle and Stars Reverse in Silver
    The Finest Known GW-31 (B) in Private Hands
    Made in America by Jacob Perkins

    1792 Washington Perkins Pattern Half Dollar Eagle and Stars Reverse, Silver, Lettered Edge, Baker-20, Breen-1231, W-10675, Musante GW-31 (B), High R.7, XF45 NGC. 182.8 grains. We know of just five examples of this important Washington President silver pattern with the Eagle and Stars reverse, one of the rarest of all Washington pieces. The dies for the Eagle and Stars patterns are known to be the work of Newburyport engraver Jacob Perkins whose name frequently appears in relation to early American numismatic items.

    In his diary entry for February 11, 1800, the officiant for Washington's Boston funeral, Reverend William Bentley, discusses his post-funeral dinner with fellow lodge members Paul Revere, Isaiah Thomas, and Jacob Perkins, writing:

    " Mr. Perkins of Newburyport, so eminent for his Mechanic genius, & on this occasion so well known by his excellent medals, in a great variety, of our General Washington. He has also executed with great success, a Medallion on the same interesting occasion."



    The above quote provides further proof that the Washington President and Washington Before Boston patterns were produced and struck by Jacob Perkins of Newburyport, Massachusetts.

    George Fuld suggested that four or five additional silver examples are known with a Plain Edge, and Walter Breen repeated that statement in his Complete Encyclopedia as Breen-1232. Neil Musante also repeated Fuld's statement in Medallic Washington. No Plain Edge examples have been observed, and they likely don't exist. These dies also produced copper examples, as well as one impression in gold that we sold in 2018 for $1.74 million. Of the five Lettered Edge examples, one is in a museum, two others have problems, and two are graded XF45 NGC and XF40 NGC.

    A census of the five known examples provides further details about the quality and appearance of each:

    1. AU55 per Stuart Levine. John McCoy (W. Elliot Woodward, 5/1864), lot 2457, which realized $100; William Sumner Appleton; Massachusetts Historical Society. 188 grains. Pictured in Musante on page 91. Woodward wrote in 1864: "A splendid specimen; if anything, superior to the one in my last sale." The example in Woodward's March 1864 sale was described as: "Washington cent, 1792, thirteen stars above the eagle," with no other details. That piece sold to Brevoort.

    2. XF45 NGC. Ellis Robison Sale (Stack's, 2/1982), lot 245, which realized $44,000; John L. Roper, 2nd Collection (Stack's, 12/1983), lot 379, which realized $35,200; Donald G. Partrick. The finest in private hands. The present lot.

    3. XF40 NGC. Charles I. Bushnell Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 6/1882), lot 1248, which realized $126; Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 619, which realized $86; to S.H. & H. Chapman; DeWitt Smith; Virgil M. Brand (journal #46482); Armin Brand (5/17/1933); Wayte Raymond; "Col." E.H.R. Green; 1942 B.G. Johnson, Eric P. Newman partnership; F.C.C. Boyd; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 5/2004), lot 26, which realized $115,000; Donald G. Partrick. 168.5 grains. This piece will be offered in our April 2021 Partrick Platinum! auction.

    4. XF Details, Graffiti NGC. Richard Picker; Eric P. Newman; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (Heritage, 11/2018), lot 15007, which realized $204,000. 186.7 grains.

    5. VF Details, Plugged PCGS. A.S. Jenks Collection (Edward Cogan, 4/1877), lot 690, which realized $101; Vicksburg Collection (W.E. Woodward, 5/1888), lot 1168, which realized $50; W.S. Baker; Historical Society of Pennsylvania; photographed in The Numismatist (9/1975); Kessler Spangenberger Sale (NASCA, 4/1981), lot 2471, which realized $19,000; returned to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Stack's Bowers, 11/2019), lot 20023, which realized $78,000. Plugged at 12:00. 168.5 grains.


    There have been a few other auction appearances over the years as enumerated in our 2018 offering of the Eric P. Newman specimen, but those auction appearances represent coins that cannot be positively connected to the five examples listed above.

    As recently as three years ago, only two examples were known outside of museums, and both were owned by Donald G. Partrick. The hopes of any collector to acquire an example after the 2004 Ford sale were dashed. Combining the present offering with the upcoming April 2021 Partrick Platinum! event, and the appearance of both the Eric P. Newman example and that from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania brings four pieces into private collections. It is highly doubtful that the circumstances of the last three years will be repeated, and today's collectors are encouraged to zealously pursue the present opportunity.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2B74, PCGS# 708)


    View all of [The Donald G. Partrick Collection ]

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