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    Description

    1865 Liberty Eagle, PR65 Cameo
    Early Proof Gold Rarity
    Only Eight Examples Traced

    1865 $10 PR65 Cameo NGC. JD-1, Low R.7. Ex: Trompeter. The 1865 proof Liberty eagle was the final proof of the No Motto design, an important consideration for type purposes. Only 25 proofs were struck in 1865, all delivered on March 8, to accompany a small business-strike mintage of 3,980 pieces. High-grade business-strikes have always been elusive, putting intense pressure on the small supply of proofs from date collectors. PCGS CoinFacts estimates 12-16 proofs survive in all grades. In his recent series reference, United States Proof Coins, Volume IV Gold, John Dannreuther offers a more conservative estimate of just 8-10 examples, including one specimen in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and another in the collection of the American Numismatic Society. We have listed the eight examples known to us in the roster below. Unfortunately, the population data for this issue has been inflated by resubmissions and crossovers, but we note only two auction appearances have occurred in the last 20 years.

    A single pair of dies was used to strike the proof eagles in 1865, but the obverse die was also used to strike business-strikes that year, making it difficult to distinguish proofs from prooflike regular issues. Fortunately, the reverse was a proof-only die that had been used previously to produce proofs in 1863 and 1864. The date is placed low and centered between the stars on either side. Polish shows in the bottoms of the clear stripes in the shield and the second vertical stripe is thin at the top. The base of a misplaced 1 is evident in the field, above the curve of the 8 in the date.

    The present coin is a delightful Gem proof, either the second or third finest known. It was once a highlight of the famous Trompeter Collection, after Ed Trompeter purchased it at Steve Ivy's 1980 ANA Convention Auction. Ed Trompeter is the only numismatist to complete a collection of gold proof issues from 1859-1915, and he lacked only the unavailable 1858 proof double eagle to complete that year, as well. This remarkable Gem exhibits sharply detailed design elements throughout, aside from some slight softness on star 13. The frosty devices contrast boldly with the deeply mirrored fields and the canary yellow surfaces show the slight orange-peel texture of the best 19th century proofs. Overall eye appeal is terrific. It may be many years before a comparable example becomes available. The discerning collector will bid accordingly.
    From The Duquesne Collection, Part III.

    Roster of 1865 Proof Eagles

    This roster has been expanded from earlier work by John Dannreuther. Grades are per the last auction appearance, unless a subsequent certification event is known. Grade for the Smithsonian example is per Garrett and Guth. Many examples have been resubmitted or crossed over in recent years, inflating the population data from the leading grading services.
    1.
    PR66+ Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. James A. Stack Collection (Stack's, 3/1995), lot 585; Chicago ANA Auction (Stack's Bowers, 8/2013), lot 4512.
    2.
    PR65 Cameo NGC. ANA Convention Auction (Steve Ivy, 8/1980), lot 328; Ed Trompeter; Trompeter Estate; private treaty transaction to Heritage Auctions and Sil DiGenova in 8/1998; private collector. The present coin.
    3.
    PR65. T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; Garrett Collection, Part III (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1669.
    4.
    PR64+ Cameo PCGS. John M. Clapp purchased this coin privately from Charles Wilcox in 1896; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. in 1942, via Stack's; Eliasberg Estate; United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 722; Harry W. Bass, Jr.; Bass Estate; Bass Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1497; The Rarities Group and TNII (Martin Paul and Casey Noxon).
    5.
    PR64 Deep Cameo. Purchased for the Mint Cabinet on April 7, 1865, as part of a complete proof set; National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution.
    6.
    PR64. Purchased privately from the Hollinbeck Coin Company in June of 1953 by R. Henry Norweb; Norweb Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 3/1988), lot 2190; David Akers (Paramount).
    7.
    PR62 NGC. Jerome Kern Collection (B. Max Mehl, 5/1950), lot 510; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 3/1994), lot 1589; Baltimore Auction (Stack's Bowers, 6/2014), lot 2570.
    8.
    Proof. Purchased directly from the Mint in 1865 by John Colvin Randall; Randall Estate (1901); Julius Pierpont Morgan in 1902; New York Museum of Natural History (1902-1908); American Numismatic Society on April 10, 1908; exhibited at the 1914 ANS Exhibition.

    Earlier Appearances
    A.
    Proof. George Seavey; Seavey Descriptive Catalog (William Strobridge, 1873), lot 827, part of a complete 1865 proof set; Lorin G. Parmelee purchased Seavey's entire collection in 1873; Parmelee Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 1344, part of a complete 1865 proof set offered in five separate lots; possibly John G. Mills.
    B.
    Proof. Heman Ely Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 1/1884), lot 947, part of a six-piece gold proof set.
    C.
    Proof. Thomas Cleneay Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 12/1890), lot 414, part of a six-piece gold proof set.
    D.
    Proof. David S. Wilson Collection (S.H. Chapman, 3/1907), lot 325, part of a six-piece gold proof set, possibly Henry Chapman; William Cutler Atwater (B. Max Mehl, 6/1946), lot 1443, part of a six-piece gold proof set, with the coins offered in separate lots; possibly an earlier appearance of number 7 above.
    E.
    Proof. James B. Wilson Collection (Thomas Elder, 10/1908), lot 62, part of a six-piece gold proof set.
    F.
    Proof. Virgil Brand purchased a six-piece gold proof set of 1865 from S.H. Chapman on 1/11/1913 (Brand Journal # 63649); Brand Estate in 1926; Armin Brand; the proof eagle was sold on 12/31/1937 for $50.
    G.
    Proof. F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1946), lot 670; J.F. Bell (Jacob Shapiro); Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 564; Chadwick and Darnell Collections (Numismatic Gallery, 5/1952), lot 371; possibly the same as number 2 or number 6 above. Pictured in Walter Breen's proof Encyclopedia.
    H.
    Sharp Brilliant Proof. James Ten Eyck Collection (B. Max Mehl, 5/1922), lot 294.
    I.
    Perfect Brilliant Proof. Belden Roach Collection (B. Max Mehl, 2/1944), lot 342.
    J.
    Brilliant Proof. Arizona Sale (Kagin's, 11/1951), lot 2768.
    K.
    Brilliant Proof. Samuel Wolfson Collection (Stack's, 10/1962), lot 689; possibly the same as G above.(Registry values: P5)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28F3, PCGS# 88801)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    View all of [The Duquesne Collection, Part III ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
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