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    Important 1795 BB-26, B-12 Silver Dollar, The Gable-Stirling Specimen, The Bowers Plate Coin

    1795 $1 Flowing Hair, Three Leaves AU53 PCGS. B-12, BB-26, R.6. Die State III. This very rare die variety is most easily distinguished by the pronounced die crack from the lower rim through the 7 in the date and continuing to Liberty's lower hair curls. Much to our surprise (and probably the consignor's as well) this is the actual plate coin in the Bowers' dollar reference. It is identifiable by a series of tic-tac-toe adjustment marks in the center of the obverse, an X in the right obverse field inside star 10, and a small abrasion below the left ribbon end.
    This is a very seldom-seen die marriage. In J.W. Haseltine's Type-Table from 1881, he designated this die variety as "excessively rare." Bowers estimated in his silver dollar reference (published in 1993) that only 100-150 pieces exist. Early silver dollar specialist W. David Perkins believes the 1795 B-12, BB-26 variety to be a low R.6 at this time (less than 30 specimens known). Furthermore, it is important to note that most examples of this die variety are found in lower grades, with even a VF specimen considered highly desirable to specialists. For example, the highest graded example listed in the John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS) "Early Dollar Survey" of September 2002 is only XF40. [For information or membership in JRCS please contact Bradley S. Karoleff, Editor, P.O. Box 135, Harrison, Ohio 45030-0135, or visit the JRCS website at] There were only seven examples of this variety listed in this survey, with grades ranging from XF40 down to VG10.
    This is the finest known example, as the list of Bowers' Notable Specimens begins with an XF45. Under Die State III, however, there is this passage: "An AU-55 coin examined by the author had excellent detail on obverse and reverse." We can only speculate, but it is very likely that the coin mentioned above is the same as this piece. (Note that both are Bowers Die State III; and the specimen being offered here was graded AU55 when offered for public sale by Bowers & Merena in the late 1980s).
    In addition to being a high Condition Census example of a very rare die marriage, this specimen comes with a great pedigree. W. David Perkins, years ago while researching the early silver dollars of 1794-1803, discovered (via plate match) that this specimen was lot 614 in the famous S. H. Chapman sale of the William F. Gable Collection, May 27-29, 1914. (Research unpublished until this time). In United States Numismatic Literature by John W. Adams, the Gable Collection sale was noted for having, "Excellent silver, copper, patterns." This specimen's whereabouts following that sale are not known. At some point, Frank M. Stirling, a long-time early dollar specialist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, acquired this specimen. (Again, unpublished research, the information coming from a listing of Frank M. Stirling's early silver dollar collection, as of the middle to late 1960s - WDP). This specimen remained in the Stirling collection for many years. It next appeared as lot 1322 in our 1986 A.N.A. Mid-Winter Auction, February 20-26, 1986, held in Salt Lake City, Utah, where it realized $3,960.00. It has made a number of other appearances over the years since being offered in 1986; those, which are known to this cataloger, are listed below.
    The striking details are very well defined on each side of this piece with just a trace of friction over the highpoints. Hazy gray patina covers both obverse and reverse with a light mottling of blue present as well. An outstanding opportunity for the advanced early dollar specialist.
    Ex: William F. Gable (S. H. Chapman, May 27-29, 1914), lot 614; unknown intermediaries; Frank M. Stirling Collection; 1986 A.N.A. Mid-Winter Auction (Heritage, February 20-26, 1986), lot 1322; Bowers & Merena (November 1987), lot 372 (where it was graded AU55); Bowers & Merena (June 1989), 161; The Father Flanagan's Boys Home Sale (Superior, May 27-29, 1990), lot 450 (but not part of the Roland Willasch early dollar collection).
    From the James L. Moore Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 24WZ, PCGS# 6852)

    Weight: 26.96 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

    View all of [The James L. Moore Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2003
    26th-28th Saturday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 634

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