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    Description

    1795 B-15, BB-52 Draped Bust Dollar, MS65+
    Centered Bust Obverse

    1795 $1 Draped Bust, Centered, B-15, BB-52, R.2, MS65+ PCGS. CAC. Ex: Simpson. The usual die state with a strong break in the hair at eye level, just above and right of the hair ribbon, found on nearly all examples of the Centered Bust die marriage. Raised die flaws on the reverse, in the vicinity of the F in OF and the first A in AMERICA, are also seen on nearly all known examples of the B-15, BB-52 dollar.

    There are two varieties of the 1795 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollars. The other variety, B-14, BB-51, with the bust improperly centered to the left was struck first, and this more aesthetically pleasing variety with the bust properly placed was struck second. These two varieties followed the many 1795 Flowing Hair varieties.

    John W. Haseltine described the variety as "fillet head; well centered," in his November 1881 Type Table sale catalog. Seven decades later, M.H. Bolender updated that description as the "fillet bust" in The United States Early Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803. The Centered Bust dollar has and does represent an important variety for the early silver dollar enthusiast.

    In the late 1850s, a descendant of Gilbert Stuart informed Mint Director James Ross Snowden that the famous artist had prepared designs for the silver coinage in 1795. "That is the sole known basis on which the Stuart name is attributed," according to R.W Julian and Q. David Bowers in The Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars 1794-1804. Walter Breen enhanced that brief statement and postulated that the model was Mrs. William Bingham (formerly Ann Willing), further noting that another artist, John Eckstein, created physical models from the drawings. The Bingham connection is entirely undocumented. While a record exists of a payment to Eckstein for "two models," the identity of those models is uncertain. Regarding the Draped Bust, Small Eagle dies, Bowers noted in his reference:

    "The obverse portrait punch is of high quality and is superbly engraved, with a wealth of minute detail. Whoever made it, Robert Scot or John Eckstein, was extremely skilled. The reverse punch of the Small Eagle on billowy clouds is likewise superbly done. The wreath is sophisticated as well. The left side of the wreath, with olive leaves, bears a stylistic resemblance to the Three Leaves wreath, as the individual leaf elements are similar in appearance, with raised or outlined edges."



    The newly designed silver dollars were likely first struck in October 1795, starting with the Uncentered Bust coins attributed today as B-14, BB-51. The Centered Bust coins, including the Gem offered here, followed.

    This Gem is extremely well struck, especially evident in Liberty's hair and on the eagle's breast. The highly lustrous silver surfaces are nearly flawless, with only a few light reverse adjustment marks. A few trivial field marks are visible when the coin is closely examined, but they have no effect on the overall eye appeal. The luster is bright and softly frosted, with shimmering, reflective fields. Light planchet streaking is noted on the obverse. This is a magnificent coin and is completely brilliant on each side. A rare opportunity for the early dollar collector to acquire this popular type in Gem condition.
    Ex: Walton Hood Collection; FUN Signature (Heritage 1/2007), lot 1027; Flambeau Type Collection; Joseph O'Connor; Bruce Morelan Type Collection; Legend Numismatics.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 24X2, Variety PCGS# 39995, Base PCGS# 6858)

    Weight: 26.96 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [Important Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part II ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    19th-22nd Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 38
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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