1839 Judd-105 Gobrecht Dollar, PR65
1839 P$1 Name Omitted, Judd-105 Restrike, Pollock-117, Low R.7,
PR65 NGC. Silver. Plain Edge. Die Alignment III (head of
Liberty opposite the N in ONE, after a coin turn). The reverse is
cracked similar to Judd-104s. Here die cracks are seen through the
tops of ITED with the barest beginning of a previously unrecorded
crack to the right of the top of the U, cracks begin just left of M
and continue through the tops of MERIC, and faint cracks connect
the bottoms of LAR. The expected spur on the upper right side of
the D in UNITED is also present.
Stars Obverse, No Stars Reverse
Rare, Only Seven Confirmed Examples
The close relation between Judd-105 and 107 is obvious. They are the same coins with one important difference; one was struck in silver and the other in copper. It would be tempting to state that they were struck at the same time by simply using the same dies but different planchet compositions. Unfortunately, the simple answer does not apply in this case. The copper Gobrechts, Judd-64, 87, and 107, were struck from a reverse die that had a common flaw, a field depression below and to the right of the F in OF from some debris of unknown origin. None of the silver strikings seen to date show this depression. Thus the copper pieces were struck at a different and most likely later period than their silver counterparts. This is the same Starless Reverse hub that was used on all Judd-104-107 dollars.
As pointed out by Gobrecht experts Mike Carboneau and James Gray in an article on the USPatterns.com website "Gobrecht Dollars in the National Coin Collection," the restrike status of the Judd-105 is underscored by the lack of an example in the Smithsonian. This is also true of the Judd-58 (Name Below Base), a coin that would surely have been included in the U.S. Mint Collection if it were an original striking as the collection was begun in 1838.
The first auction appearance of a Judd-105 that we have been able to find is in the Linderman Collection (Lyman Low, 6/1887), and Linderman had two examples of this rarity. This seems incredible and surprising at first, but one must remember Linderman was a coin collector and was appointed twice as Mint director. His interests as a collector and his duties as Mint director created major conflicts of interest. He is widely known to have ordered numerous restrikes and unusual patterns; some were sold, others he kept. Even an 1804 dollar was in his estate. Most Gobrecht experts (Gray, Carboneau, Dannreuther, and Teichman) believe many of the more unusual Gobrecht mules were struck during one of his two tenures as director. Linderman's restriking activities reached such a point that he was under congressional investigation at the time of his death in 1879. The two Judd-105 dollars, along with all the other Linderman patterns, were pulled from the 1887 auction because of their questionable provenance. Ultimately, only 12 lots were kept by the government, but the cancellation of this auction caused Low such financial stress that he went to work the following year for Scott Stamp and Coin, and the coins were sold by Scott in 1888.
This is only the fourth Judd-105 we have handled, and all those were sold within a relatively short window of five years (a mere blink of an eye in terms of availability of rare Gobrechts). There are probably 10 to 12 examples known. As one would expect from a later-day restrike made for collectors the coins known are in high grades, ranging from PR62 to PR66. The roster of known coins that we have been able to construct includes:
1. H.O. Granberg; William Woodin; Waldo Newcomer; F.C.C. Boyd; Col. Curtis Collection, (Kosoff, 2/1950), lot 1032; Adolph Menjou (Numismatic Gallery, 6/1950), lot 2083; King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1728; Baldenhofer; Ostheimer; Public Auction Sale (Merkin, 9/1968), lot 334; Newport Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 1/1975), lot 392; New York ANA Sale (Superior, 8/2002), lot 1104; Dr. Julius Korein; ANS.
2. Dr. C.A. Allenburger; Royal Sale (Mehl, 3/1948), lot 967; William P. Donlon Collection (Kosoff, 11/1956), lot 1060; Charles Jay Collection (Stack's, 10/1967), lot 177; Dines Collection (Stack's, 3/1969), lot 731; ANA Auction Sale (Superior, 8/1975), lot 1045 (per Walter Breen); Montgomery Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 2/1976), lot 1438; Treglia; Martin Field Collection (Pine Tree, 9/1978), lot 885.
3. Linderman Collection (Lyman Low, 6/1887), lot 47; subsequently Linderman Collection (Scott Stamp & Coin, 2/1888), lot 47, possibly this coin because of Low's description "four stars r. a trifle flat in centre. Otherwise a sharp, perfect proof;" R.L. Miles Collection (Stack's, 4/1969), lot 1574; Autumn Sale (Stack's, 9/1978), lot 312. The present coin.
4. Elite Sale (Superior, 11/2006), lot 1533; Simpson Collection.
5. Palm Beach Signature Auction (Heritage, 11/2005), lot 2206; Central States Auction (Heritage, 4/2009), lot 2572.
6. Somerset Collection (Bowers and Merena), lot 1756; Lemus Collection (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 1529.
7. Byron Reed; Omaha City Library, Durham Western Heritage Museum. Probably the same as the second Linderman (A coin) below.
A. Linderman Collection, second example (Lyman Low, 6/1887), lot 48; subsequently Linderman Collection (Scott Stamp & Coin, 2/1888), lot 48.
B. George Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2202.
C. Peter Mougey Collection (Elder, 9/1910), lot 973.
D. W.W.C. Wilson to Virgil Brand in 1919 (via F.C.C. Boyd), inventory # 90918. Undoubtedly one of the six pieces listed above.
E. Long Beach Auction (Kagin's, 2/1987), lot 1136, described as having a "very small rim bruise at 3 o'clock."
F. Hollinbeck-Kagin (6/1967), lot 1765. Possibly the same as the #3 coin above (the present coin).
This is a solid Gem example that displays deeply mirrored fields on each side, consistent with a late striking period. Each side is primarily golden with a mixture of gray, cobalt-blue, and a few dashes of brilliance. This is a lovely piece and is a solid Gem. There are almost no contact marks, certainly none that could be used as identifiers for pedigree tracking. (NGC ID# BLY7, PCGS# 11448)
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