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    1792 Copper Disme, Judd-10, XF40
    The 1914 ANS Exhibition Plate Coin

    1792 P10C Copper Disme, Judd-10, Pollock-11 XF40 NGC. 57.0 grains.

    The 1792 Disme Design
    Along with technical aspects of coinage, the Mint in 1792 experimented with visual representations of Liberty. Three distinct styles emerge. The Birch cents and the half disme present Liberty with loose and curly hair, while the Eagle-on-Globe quarters depict a neatly coifed and braided Liberty. Finally, the Silver Center cents, Fusible Alloy cents, and dismes adorn Liberty's head with straighter, flowing hair. All three approaches find similarities within contemporary art. The Liberty of the Eagle-on-Globe quarter compares favorably to that of Samuel Jenning's 1792 painting "Liberty Displaying the Arts and Sciences," today reposing in the reading room of the Library Company of Philadelphia. Liberty is virginal, slender, and personifies the association between learning and liberty. The painting is somewhat evocative of the motto LIBERTY PARENT OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY as books, scientific instruments, and symbols of artistic endeavor are placed at Liberty's feet, squarely within her dominion.

    The Birch cents and the half disme reflect the fashion sensibility of the 1790s, a decade shifting in the direction of informality. "Hedgehog hair" is especially apparent on the G?W.PT. Birch cent (Judd-6), while the other Birch cents, and the half disme, present Liberty surrounded with free flowing and curled hair. The informality did not reflect any less preparation. Diderot's Encyclopedia, well known among numismatists for its description of coining machinery, even included a plate depicting the construction of coiffure. The similarity of Liberty on the half disme and Birch pieces has led many writers to assume a common engraver. This is a plausible conjecture, but further evidence eludes researchers.

    The Silver Center and Fusible Alloy cents, with the disme, present Liberty with straighter, flowing hair. The most obvious design source is Augustin Dupré's Libertas Americana medal, conceived and produced under the direction of Benjamin Franklin beginning in 1782. The Libertas medal was distributed throughout Europe and the United States and reproduced in various media. By 1792, the image was well known. The Libertas portrait faces west (signifying the New World), with the hair extended in the opposite direction. Franklin included an "Explication" with each medal, which indicated that the streaming hair was intended to convey the idea of "Liberty in action." The Libertas medal exhibits substantial texture in the hair not replicated in the American coinage, a reminder that the best engravers still resided in the Old World. Certain design elements of the 1792 disme carried forward to the 1793 half cent, including the left-facing Liberty with hair flowing to the right, Liberty's apple cheek, and recessed eye.

    Roster of the 1792 Reeded Edge Copper Dismes (Judd-10)
    The 1792 reeded edge copper disme is the most available of the 1792 patterns, but remains rare in an absolute sense. Fewer than 20 examples are traced, similar to the Getz silver half dollars of the same year. The population profile is similar to that of the silver half disme. A disproportionate number of high grade examples survive, yet, at the same, time, a good number of coins exhibit signs of circulation. The following roster is based on work by Pete Smith, as part of research for the book 1792: Birth of a Nation's Coinage, to be published, along with co-authors Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger, by Heritage Galleries.

    1. SP65 Brown PCGS. 58.6 grains. James W. Ellsworth private sale (3/1923) to John Work Garrett; The Garrett Collection Part IV (Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1981), lot 2352, realized $54,000; Marvin Browder; Alhambra Coin Center, private sale (1998); Hanks & Associates; Heritage (E-Fair Signature, 10/1999) lot 6187, not sold; Coin World ad 5/22/2000, listed at $700,000; Rare Coin Wholesalers; Benchmark Ventures L. P; Legend Numismatics; Bob Simpson.
    2. PR62 Brown NGC. Dr. J. Hewett Judd; Abe Kosoff, 1962, Illustrated History lot 14; Stuart Levine private sale 3/26/2001; Ed Price; ANA World's Fair of Money (Heritage, 7/2008), lot 1406, realized $690,000; Greensboro Collection; ANA National Money Show (Heritage, 10/2012), lot 366, realized $587,500; Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation.
    3. Uncirculated. ANA (Jess Peters, 8/1973), lot 1088, realized $9000; Alan V. Weinberg.
    4. Uncirculated. 58.8 grains. Mint Cabinet (T. L. Comparette 1914 catalog, #1494); Smithsonian Institution #87.060.28/29.
    5. AU58 PCGS. Crosby plate X, 18; Allison W. Jackman (Henry Chapman 6/1918), lot 224; Loye L. Lauder (William Doyle Galleries 12/1983), lot 237, realized $15,000; Stuart Levine and Anthony Terranova; Bertram Cohen; Dana Linett; David Henderson; Benson Collection (Goldberg's 2/2001), lot 152, realized $109,250; Stuart Levine; Ed Price; Stuart Levine 10/4/2004; William H. LaBelle, Sr. (American Numismatic Rarities 7/2005), lot 604, realized $175,000.
    6. SP55 PCGS. 57.6 grains. Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (Heritage 5/2014), lot 3042, realized $499,375; Anthony Terranova.
    7. AU55 PCGS. 60.2 grains. Hollinbeck (7/1954), lot 964; Norweb Collection Part III (Bowers and Merena, 11/1988), lot 3391, realized $28,600; Andy Lustig; David Hall; 73rd Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/2008), lot 32, not sold; Rarities Night Auction (Stack's Bowers, 8/2011), lot 7481, realized $362,250.
    8. AU50 PCGS. Midwest Collector; Stuart Levine (privately 3/2001); Ed Price; Stuart Levine (3/2003); Liberty Collection.
    9. XF40 NGC. 57.0 grains. Carl Wurtzbach (exhibited at ANS Exhibition of United States and Colonial Coins, 1914, plate VI); Sol Kaplan; Phillip E. Benedetti; Gary Fitzgerald; Donald Groves Partrick; the present coin.
    10. XF40 NGC. Virgil M. Brand; New Netherlands (9/1953), lot 416, realized $160; June Sale (Stack's, 6/1973), lot 879, realized $10,000; Laird U. Park Collection (Stack's 05/1976), lot 203, realized $18,000; Ellis Robison (Stack's 02/1982), lot 968, realized $25,000; Allen Lovejoy Collection (Stack's 10/1990), lot 1; Andy Hain; Julian Leidman; Ed Price; Stuart Levine; Haig A. Koshkarian Collection (American Numismatic Rarities 3/2004), lot 300, realized $101,200; Harry Laibstain and Rick Sear; Denis Loring and Donna Levin.
    11. XF40. New England Rare Coin Gallery (11/1975), lot 383, realized $21,000; ANA (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 131, realized $19,000.
    12. VF30. 52.82 grains. Byron Reed Collection; Omaha Public Library; The Durham Museum.
    13. VF25 PCGS. 57.8 grains. Superior (2/1997), lot 2646; Stack's (5/1998), lot 108; Stuart Levine and Anthony Terranova, private sale (5/1998) to Ed Price; Stuart Levine; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 5/2001), lot 1046, realized $45,425; New York Connoisseur's Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 3/2006), lot 37, realized $87,400; Coin Rarities Online; Park Avenue Numismatics; private collection; Americana Auction (Stack's Bowers, 2/2014), lot 2002, realized $211,500.
    14. VF. Colonel Mendes I Cohen (Edward Cogan, 10/1875), lot 378; Heman Ely (W. Elliot Woodward, 1/1884), lot 446, realized $26; W. Elliot Woodward (5/1888), lot 1605; James Ten Eyck (B. Max Mehl, 5/1922), lot 566-A, realized $73.50; Virgil Brand; Burdette G. Johnson; Michael F. Higgy (Abe Kosoff, 10/1943), lot 1397, realized $167.50; Will W. Neil (B. Max Mehl, 6/1947) lot 1197, realized $210; Abe Kosoff / Numismatic Gallery (8/1958), lot 37, realized $650.
    15. F12 PCGS. FUN Signature (Heritage 1/2007), lot 1200, not sold; FUN Signature (Heritage 1/2008), lot 3463, not sold.
    16. VG/Fr. 52.33 grains. New England Rare Coin Galleries (10/1981), lot 334, realized $5170; Stack's (05/1985), lot 51, realized $4,400; Bill Subjack, private sale (1/1992), to Ed Price; Stuart Levine (3/2001); private collection.
    17. AG. River Oaks Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1976), lot 937, realized $3600; Stack's (1/1987), lot 515, realized $7,150; Denis Loring, private sale (2/1988), to Kenneth Goldman.
    18. AG. Frank H. Stewart; Congress Hall Collection; Independence National Historical Park, catalog #9267.
    19. P01 PCGS. Bowers & Merena, c. 2000; John Dannreuther

    Physical Appearance
    Liberty faces left with hair flowing to the right. High relief showcases Liberty's cheek and forehead. There is patch of roughness at NT OF. Brighter color in the same area suggests that something may have rested on the coin for many years. The remainder of the obverse is evenly toned with lighter highlights in the lettering. The motto LIBERTY PARENT SCIENCE & INDUST[RY] is more strongly impressed on the left than right. The die alignment is 45 degrees (near medal alignment). The reverse exhibits light corrosion in the northeast quadrant, again suggesting that something may have rested on the coin for an extended period of time.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 11026)

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,737

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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