Impressive Condition Census 1799/8 S-188 Large Cent1799/8 1C Overdate VF35 PCGS. S-188, B-2, R.4. Bland VF25; tied for CC-5. Noyes VF20; tied for CC-6. Photo #20416. Our EAC Grade VF25.
Equivalents. Proskey 1; Doughty 137; McGirk 1A; Clapp 1; EAC 2; Encyclopedia 1733; PCGS #1446.
Variety. Overdate. Leaf below T in CENT overlaps branch. The obverse appears on S-188 and NC-1. The reverse appears on 1798 S-186 and 1799 S-188.
Surfaces. Smooth medium to dark olive-brown surfaces with a few small flakes near Liberty's eye and in the hair, and also in the obverse field near the nose. Otherwise, just the usual tiny handling marks are evident. The reverse is similar.
Die State II. Two sets of clash marks are visible on each side. Most examples of the 1799/8 S-188 die marriage are early die state pieces, prior to heavy obverse die cracks that curve through RTY and the upper right field.
Census. Bland and Noyes agree that the finest known piece grades AU50, followed by seven VF coins. One of the finer VF coins is in the ANS, forever unavailable to collectors.
Commentary. Joseph Mickley made this date famous during his well-publicized search for an example, to represent the year of his birth. In 1876, Attinelli wrote: "Probably every numismatist knows that it was his attempt to procure a cent of that year the led him into the formation of a collection, which was almost unrivalled, both in its fineness and extent, as also in the rarity of many of the pieces it contained."
Provenance. Dr. William H. Sheldon (1936); Morton Stack; later, Harmer Rooke (8/1970), lot 200; William Anton; Joe Flynn; John R. Grellman (1976); Denis W. Loring (1985); Jack H. Robinson (Superior, 1/1989), lot 395, $13,200; Denis W. Loring; Dr. Eugene Sherman; Bowers and Merena (10/2000), lot 119, $48,300.
Personality. Dr. Eugene Sherman was born in Bronx, New York, in 1948, attended elementary school in Mississippi, and graduated from high school back in the Northeast. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he continued his education with medical training at Pittsburgh, Georgetown, and UCLA. He and his wife have been happily married for 26 years and have two children. Sherman states that he has been an obsessed coin collector since the age of eight, reading B. Max Mehl's Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia by flashlight under the covers when his parents thought he was asleep. His hobby was put aside six years later, but returned stronger than ever in the late 1980s. He plans on a "long and numismatically rich retirement." (NGC ID# 2247, Variety PCGS# 36131, Base PCGS# 1446)
Weight: 10.89 grams
Metal: 100% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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