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    1794 S-37 Head of 1794 Cent, VF20
    The Rarest 1794 Sheldon Number
    Third Finest of 19 Known
    Second Finest Privately Held
    Ex: Wes Rasmussen Collection

    1794 1C Head of 1794, S-37, B-24, High R.6, Fine 15 Bland, Fine 15 Noyes; VF20 PCGS Secure. This is a very pleasing example, especially for the grade. The surfaces show light porosity. The highpoints of the devices display a light reddish-tan coloration while the recesses of the design elements are noticeably deeper in color. Well defined throughout.

    Variety Equivalents: Hays 59E, Chapman 16.

    Obverse 16: Distant 17. The left obverse border is heavy, the shoulder loop is bold, and the 1 is far from the 7, more than double its own width away. This obverse is found only on S-37.

    Reverse M: Single Berry, Leaf to C. Like the previous reverse die of S-34, S-35, and NC-1, and none others in the 1794 series, just one berry is positioned left of the ribbon bow. On this reverse, the lowest leaf on the right is below the right side of the C in AMERICA. This reverse is found on S-36, S-37, and S-38.

    Die State I: This early die state S-37 has perfect dies with no evidence of obverse lapping.

    Rarity and Census: Three of the 19 known examples are in museums, two in the ANS Collection and one in the Carnegie Museum. All three of those museum coins were donated by George Clapp, and include the finest known, an XF40 coin with a provenance dating to the early 20th century. The Boka specimen stands alone as the third finest S-37 cent, and the second finest privately held, according to Del Bland and Bill Noyes in their listings.

    Commentary: In addition to its rarity, the S-37 is one of the most popular and sought-after 1794 cents. Like other coins and collectibles that have enduring value, this variety also has a story. Called the Distant 1 variety by some and called the Steigerwalt variety by others, so-named after Charles Steigerwalt who discovered the variety in 1900. Steigerwalt offered the coin at auction but it was returned by the purchaser as misattributed. Virtually all S-37 cents were struck from misaligned dies. The effect is so pronounced, as seen on this piece, that it resembles a Shielded Hair at first glance.

    In the first edition of Sheldon, Early American Cents published in 1949, the S-37 was one of 18 Sheldon numbers rated R.6 or R.7. In the 1958 second edition, retitled Penny Whimsy, the number actually increased to 19 varieties with those same ratings. When Walter Breen's Large Cent Encyclopedia was published in 2000, the S-37 was one of just seven varieties rated R.6, and today, it is the rarest of only three R.6 1794 Sheldon numbers, joining S-18a and S-39.

    Boka Commentary: Here it is! The most difficult of all 58 collectible varieties to obtain. Additionally, it is the second finest available to collectors. This coin does not change hands often but when it does history is made. Thank you Mr. Steigerwalt.

    Biography: Philip Ford Van Cleave was born at Urbana, Illinois on August 14, 1920, the son of Harley and Bernice Van Cleave. His early years were spent in Urbana, Illinois, and he died at Carlsbad, New Mexico on August 1, 1991. Phil attended Urbana High School and the University of Illinois. He served as the chief naturalist at the Petrified Forest National Park in the late 1950s. His collection of 388 cents included a complete Sheldon-numbered set of the early cents with two exceptions, S-79 and S-80. He also held 15 of the Sheldon "Non-Collectible" cents including a 1798 NC-2 that he cherrypicked from B. Max Mehl, a coin that is still tied for the finest known. Kagin's sold his collection in February 1986.

    Provenance: Copley Coin Co. (2/1963); C. Douglas Smith (1965); Alfred Bonard; Henry J. Berube (New England Coin Co., 11/16/1965); Philip Van Cleave (3/4/1977); William R.T. Smith (4/4/1977); R.E. Naftzger, Jr. (2/23/1992); Eric Streiner (7/8/1992); Dr. Allen Bennett (7/7/1995); Paul Langseth (7/1996); Wes A. Rasmussen (Heritage Auctions, 1/2005), lot 3044; Jon Alan Boka.
    From The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 223P, Variety PCGS# 35576, Base PCGS# 901374)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper

    View all of [The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    7th-11th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 28
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,777

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Rasmussen Special Edition Catalog
    This hard bound volume contains the magnificent Wes Rasmussen Large Cent Collection, formed by a former President of the Early American Coppers society which was auctioned at the 2005 Florida United Numismatic Auction. Reserve your copy of this remarkable volume for just $75 today.
    Rasmussen Signed Limited Edition Catalog
    A hard bound limited library edition of the Wes Rasmussen Collection Catalog, signed by Wes Rasmussen, Mark Borckardt, Greg Rohan, and Denis Loring, is available while supplies last. Only 100 produced. Reserve your copy of this remarkable limited edition signed volume for just $150 today.
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