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    Description

    Finest Available 1794 S-37 Cent

    1794 1C Head of '94. XF45 PCGS. S-37, B-24, High R.6. Bland VF30; CC-2. Noyes VF30; CC-2. Photo #32007. Our EAC Grade VF30.

    Equivalents.
    Hays 59; McGirk 4-M; Ross 38-U; Chapman 16; EAC 23; Encyclopedia 1662; PCGS #901374.

    Variety.
    Wide date with 1 and 7 distant; heavy left border. Single berry left of ribbon bow; lowest leaf points to C. The obverse appears on S-37. The reverse appears on S-36, S-37, and S-38. Lettered Edge, leaf points up. Sheldon numbers 36, 37, and 38 are all struck from the same reverse die. Numbers 36 and 38 have reverse die cracks that are absent on S-37, showing that S-37 was actually the first coined. S-36 is listed ahead of S-37 on the strength of the obverse die that was also used for NC-1, which in turn is from the reverse die of S-34 and S-35.

    Surfaces.
    Splendid olive-brown surfaces with wisps of pale blue toning, a few minor handling marks and some original planchet marks. The reverse has an insignificant rim bump at 9:30 and a tiny nick below A in STATES that identifies the pedigree. The surfaces are far finer than typical for any 1794 large cent, let alone such a rarity.

    Die State I.
    Both dies appear perfect with no evidence of clash marks or cracks, and no indication of die polishing.

    Appearances.
    The obverse and reverse are illustrated in Noyes (2006).

    Census.
    The finest known, an XF example, is in the ANS Collection. This piece is next in the Census, the finest S-37 available to collectors. Noyes and Bland agree that the third finest grades just Fine 15, and the Census falls quickly from there.

    Commentary.
    This specimen is an old friend of the cataloger, who cherrypicked this coin in a mail transaction for a previous employer in 1992. The coin was offered via a telephone call from a West Coast dealer who insisted that the price was full "Graysheet Bid" and no less, at the time about $1,250. A glance at the obverse and a glance at the reverse made the purchase decision easy.

    This is one of the rarest and most highly desired of all Sheldon numbered varieties. It is known as the Steigerwalt variety, discovered by Charles Steigerwalt in 1900. The Sheldon-37 die combination was the subject of a remarkable display at the 2007 EAC Convention, bringing 12 of the 17 known specimens together in one place. Sixteen of the 17 known pieces are illustrated by William Noyes in United States Large Cents, 1793-1794.

    In February 1957 edition of "The Cent Collector's Forum" in The Numismatist, Walter Breen wrote "no new ones have turned up, and the four specimens in collectors' hands are jealously treasured."

    Provenance. Purchased unattributed by Mark Borckardt for Bowers and Merena Galleries; Bowers and Merena (1/1993), lot 220, $26,400; Anthony Terranova, Thomas D. Reynolds, and Chris Victor-McCawley; Tom Morley (10/1993); Dr. Robert Schuman (5/1994); Dr. Allen Bennett.

    Personality. Mark Borckardt was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 13, 1957, but spent most of his formative years in Findlay, Ohio, graduating from Findlay College. Involved in numismatics from an early age, Borckardt made coins a full-time profession in 1980. Since 1989 he has worked as a numismatic cataloger, first for Bowers and Merena and currently for Heritage. He is also an accomplished bowler, having recorded several sanctioned 300 games.

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

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper


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

    View all of [The Walter J. Husak Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,575

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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