The Bareford-Beranek 1793 S-11c Wreath Cent
1793 1C Wreath Cent--Lettered Edge-- MS64 Brown PCGS. S-11c,
R.3. Off the market for 30 years, the Bareford 1793 S-11c lettered
edge Wreath cent is considered the finest known example of the
variety, and the only one known in Mint State, according to large
cent researchers Del Bland and Bill Noyes. They both carry this
piece in their Census listings as MS60.
The Finest Known Lettered Edge Wreath Cent
Three Edge Types
The S-11 die combination was used to coin three distinctly different subvarieties, each with its own special edge treatment. The first of these coins, the S-11a, has the Vine and Bars edge type, the same as all Chain cents and all earlier Wreath cents. Next are the lettered edge coins with two leaves following the word DOLLAR. Known as S-11b, its special edge design is not known on any other large cent varieties or types. The third edge type is S-11c, the type of this coin, with a single leaf after the word DOLLAR. This final edge type continued in use for all remaining lettered edge cents.
Once the dies were engraved and placed in the press, all remaining planchets that were on hand with the Vine and Bars edge were struck. Remember that the edge lettering was placed on each planchet in a separate process from striking. As these coins were being struck, additional blanks were prepared with the lettered edge. The two leaves planchets were intermingled with the one leaf planchets, and struck without regard to the edge. The result is examples of S-11b and S-11c in mixed die states.
The Bareford-Beranek 1793 S-11c Wreath cent is an impressive piece, considered to be the single finest known example from the Sheldon-11 dies. It is not perfectly centered, imperceptibly off center to 9 o'clock, although the complete beaded border can still be seen on each side. Some beads along the left obverse and reverse are partially off the flan. The strike is bold with all of the delicate details completely defined. Full frosty mint luster is visible on each side, with a complete cartwheel effect. The surfaces have incredible light brown color, exactly what any collector would want. Some minor planchet lamination is evident on the reverse, but of little consequence other than service as a pedigree marker.
Early Die State
All three edges are known in early die states, while just the S-11b and 11c are known in later die states. The present coin is one of the first produced after the Vine and Bars pieces were completed. There is no evidence of any clash marks or other die defects on either side.
An Impressive Pedigree
A remarkable coin that first appeared in the collection of Dr. Charles Clay from Manchester, England. W.H. Strobridge sold his coins at auction in December 1871 (lot 701, $67.50). The buyer at that sale was James E. Root, who enjoyed the coin for several years until his death in the late 1870s. Edward Cogan handled the Root coins at auction in December 1878 (lot 231, $42). At the time, the price must have seemed like a bargain to Lorin G. Parmelee, the Boston bean baker, who began his collecting by searching through the daily receipts of his business. Parmelee went on to form one of the most impressive cabinets of his time. His numismatic recipe was the purchase of complete collections from others. He would then pick coins he needed, or upgrades of coins he already owned, and sell the balance at auction, usually under the original collector's name. New York Coin and Stamp Company sold the Parmelee Collection in an auction held in June 1890 (lot 673, $80).
The venerable Chapman brothers, Samuel Hudson and Henry, purchased this cent from the sale, either on their own account or as an agent of the next owner, John G. Mills.
A native of Albany, New York, Mills resided in a hotbed of numismatics in the late 19th and early 20th century. When the Chapmans sold his collection in April 1904 (lot 1232, $130), the buyer was Carl Wurtzbach, a cousin of Virgil Brand. Brand financed Wurtzbach's collecting interest, and in return was able to buy the entire Wurtzbach large cent collection. Although not a household name, even among advanced copper collectors, Sheldon considered Wurtzbach to be every bit the equal of contemporary collectors Henry Hines, George Clapp, and Howard Newcomb.
Brand was born in Germany, and made his fortune in his Chicago brewing business. An accumulator by nature, Brand amassed a holding in excess of 300,000 numismatic items. Although he died in 1926, remnants of the Brand Collection were still coming on the market nearly 60 years later.
The buyer of the Brand large cents was Harold Bareford, who acquired the holdings in a private transaction via New Netherlands Coin Company. The preeminent New York City coin dealers from the 1940s through the 1960s, New Netherlands had ceased operations by the time Bareford's coins came to market. Stack's sold portions of the collection in several sales, including their September 1978 "Autumn Sale" (lot 502, $16,000). At the Stack's sale, W.M. "Jack" Stone bought the coin for his inventory at Hub Stamp and Coin Company in Boston. Joseph Landry, another coin and stamp dealer from the Boston area, represented Leo Beranek in the acquisition of this and other items offered in the present sale.
Beranek spent 1947 to 1958 as Associate Professor of Communications Engineering at MIT. During part of this time, he served as president of Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, now known as BBN Technologies, Inc. His specialty in acoustics has allowed him to study concert halls and opera houses around the world. In 2003, he received the U.S. President's National Medal of Science. We are delighted to wish Leo a happy 94th birthday later this year. EAC 60.
From The Leo Beranek Collection of Early Federal Coinage.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 223J, PCGS# 1350)
View all of [The Leo Beranek Collection of Early Federal Coinage ]
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