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    Description

    1795 S-80, B-11 Jefferson Head Cent, XF40
    The Second Finest Known Plain Edge Piece
    Ex: Caldwell-Weinberg

    1795 1C Jefferson Head, Plain Edge, S-80, B-11, Low R.5, XF40 PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: Caldwell-Weinberg. Congressional Representative and former Continental Congress president, Elias Boudinot investigated and reported on the operations of the Mint that he communicated to the House of Representatives in February 1795. His report examined all aspects of Mint operation, and led to his appointment as Mint Director less than eight months later, a post he held for 10 years.

    There were many who felt that the Mint, being unprofitable, should be abolished with the nation relying on contract coinage makers. One such individual was the New Jersey mechanic and sawmaker, John Harper, who was formerly associated with Albion Cox at the Rahway Mint producing New Jersey coppers. Breen attributed the Jefferson Head cents to John Harper who used his product as a sample of his workmanship. He presumably made enough to provide a sample to each member of Congress.

    Michael Hodder submitted an article to Penny-Wise in March 1993 that discussed Albion Cox and John Harper. Of Harper, Hodder wrote:

    "The cellar of Harper's saw-manufactory, traditionally placed at 6th and Cherry Streets, Philadelphia (but which Cox said was located near the iron works in Trenton, New Jersey), is said to have been where the 1792 Getz silver Washington pieces were struck. Adam Eckfeldt told Jonas McClintock that the 1792 half disme's had also been struck in Harper's cellar. The dies Harper made late in 1794 are generally believed to have been those for the 1795 'Jefferson Head' cents. Harper is said to have been angling for a private coinage contract from the government allowing him to strike all copper half cents and cents, instead of the Mint."



    Hodder continues to share his belief that Harper was not the maker of the Jefferson Head cents, although he fails to suggest who else might have made them. All we know for sure is that they were not produced of the fledgling U.S. Mint.

    The Jefferson Head obverse was combined with two different reverse dies to create 1795 NC-1 and 1795 S-80. There are two edge lettering styles for NC-1, as well as plain edge S-80 cents (the type usually seen), and lettered edge pieces from the same die pair that is sometimes called NC-4. Only the plain edge S-80 Jefferson Head cent is seen with any frequency.

    Alan Weinberg's Commentary: This is the finest 1795 Jefferson Head cent in collectors' hands. One slightly finer is in the ANS. I compared in-hand my specimen and the equally graded Naftzger specimen and mine was visually finer with better color. Doug Bird acquired this for me at the F. Dabney Caldwell auction (Stack's) sale with Denis Loring as the immediate underbidder. Several years earlier, I had advised Doug of a very decent Jefferson Head coming up in the obscure Doyle Galleries Loye Lauder auction that he acquired there.

    The Weinberg Specimen. M.H. Bolender graded this Jefferson Head Very Fine in 1951. James Kelly graded this piece VF30 in his April 1959 auction catalog. In 1988, Stack's assigned a grade of VF20. Other grade opinions include VF25 as graded by Bill Noyes who calls this piece second finest known, and VF20 per Del Bland who suggests that it is tied for third finest known. We have a slightly finer opinion. This example was unknown to Sheldon, although it had appeared in auction before his second edition, Penny Whimsy, was published in 1958.

    An extraordinary Jefferson Head cent, this piece exhibits smooth medium brown surfaces without blemishes on either side, save for a slight obverse rim nick at 8:30. As the second finest known, Alan Weinberg's 1795 Jefferson Head cent follows closely behind the ANS example that has a burnished obverse and small reverse gouges. Clearly, this piece has finer surfaces and is one of just three pieces among the dozen finest that Bill Noyes calls Average. The others are all Average Minus. Our EAC grade VF30.
    Ex: John P. Young (M.H. Bolender, 9/1951), lot 45; Melvin Danner; James Kelly (World Numismatiques, 4/1959), lot 1430; F. Dabney Caldwell, Jr. (Stack's, 4/1988), lot 2094.
    From The Alan V. Weinberg Collection, Part I.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2722, Variety PCGS# 35741, Base PCGS# 1386)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper


    View all of [The Alan V. Weinberg Collection, Part I ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,544

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