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    Description

    Uncirculated BD-4 1797 Heraldic Eagle Ten

    1797 $10 Large Eagle MS60 NGC. Breen-6834, Taraszka-12, BD-4, High R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Die State d/a. Many collectors are aware that 1797 was the introductory year of the Heraldic Eagle reverse, although backdated 1795 half eagles were struck using the new reverse type, and 1798 half eagles were struck with the old reverse type. Both of those rare half eagle issues were undoubtedly economy measures, due to the time and expense of preparing dies.
    What only advanced specialists know is that there are three 1797 Heraldic Eagle subtypes, a different one for each of the three dies used that year. John Dannreuther calls these the 'Long Thin Neck,' 'Short Thin Neck,' and 'Long Thick Neck.' The 'Short Thin Neck' variety (used on BD-3) survived to 1798 and later years, and is identified by the toucan-like beak and the comparatively sedate expression of the eagle. The eagle has a belligerent appearance on the 'Long Thin Neck' variety (BD-2), as if its giraffe-like neck has been stretched against the eagle's wishes.
    BD-4, the 'Long Thick Neck,' is the missing link between BD-2 and BD-3. The eagle's expression is angered, but he seems less upset than on BD-2. The triangle-shaped neck is unnatural, unlike BD-4, but it is an improvement over the elongated neck of BD-2, which appears nearly comical. Given the variety of the eagle's neck and head for the 1797 Heraldic Eagle reverses, it appears that either the initial punch lacked those two features, or that the Heraldic Eagle punch was modified (on two different occasions) throughout the eagle's head and neck.
    This 'Long Thick Neck' example has moderately reflective yellow-gold fields. The strike is penetrating, and the only remotely noticeable mark is between star 8 and the bust. The reverse is particularly lustrous. The 1797 is a better date, especially compared to 1801, and is highly desirable in Mint State.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 25ZY, PCGS# 8559)

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2008
    30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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