Description

    Famous S-80 'Jefferson Head' 1795 Cent
    The Garrett Specimen, VF25

    1795 1C Jefferson Head, Plain VF25 NGC. S-80, B-11, Low R.5. One of the most curious and sought-after large cents, the 1795 "Jefferson Head" arguably is not a large cent at all; modern numismatic scholars believe that the dies were the work of John Harper (no relation to the consignor), who was seeking a coinage contract in the vein of the Fugio cent. To experienced large cent collectors, the Jefferson Head is recognizable immediately, as the forward-swirling lowest curl is like no Mint product struck to that time.
    This is the Garrett specimen, easily pedigreed by the depression at the rim over the RT of LIBERTY; the Garrett cataloger called this a "rim cut," yet it seems smoother. Moderately worn surfaces are deep brown, almost teak, with a suggestion of blue in the overtone. Interiors are remarkably smooth, and the overall eye appeal is excellent. Respected copper authorities Noyes and Bland give the piece net grades (in EAC terms) of VG10 and Fine 12, ranking 12th and 11th in their respective censuses of the variety.
    This coin's pedigree is almost as impressive as the piece itself, stretching back to Dr. Edward Maris and running through three generations of Garretts. One of the more amusing stories (in retrospect, at least) about this piece is that it was left in the back of a taxicab by Tom Morley, along with other purchases from the Garrett auction. The full story, including how the coins were returned by an honest cabdriver, can be found in the January 1980 installment of Penny-Wise, as told by Morley himself; more abbreviated versions of the story have circulated in coin-dealer lore ever since. Our EAC grade Fine 12.
    Ex: Dr. Edward Maris; Harlan P. Smith (6/1886), lot 270, $50; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett (1919); John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1979), lot 80, $7,500; Tom Morley; John W. Adams (4/1981); Denis W. Loring (5/1981); John Harper.
    From The Dr. John Y. Harper, Jr. Collection.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 2722, PCGS# 1386)

    Weight: 10.89 grams

    Metal: 100% Copper


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

    View all of [The Dr. John Y. Harper, Jr. Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2012
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
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