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    Description

    1792 Judd-2 Fusible Alloy Cent Pattern, VF35
    Upper Condition Census Example
    Ex: Bob Simpson

    1792 P1C One Cent, Judd-2, Pollock-2, Low R.7, VF35 PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: Simpson. The Judd-2 Fusible Alloy cent pattern is historically and numismatically extremely important -- but it is also overshadowed and underrated compared to the Judd-1 Silver Center cent issue. Whereas the Judd-1 Silver Center cent makes for a photogenic shot in the Judd pattern reference (ours is the 10th edition), the Judd-2 is a follow-on, not even given a separate photograph -- and this despite having a higher estimated rarity rating, Low R.7 for the Judd-2 compared to High R.6 for the Judd-1.

    In actuality, we estimate that the Judd-1 survives in considerably greater numbers than the Judd-2. We count 14 examples known of the Judd-1 (one unique piece is known that lacks the silver plug in the center) with only one of those in institutional collections, compared to nine known of the Judd-2, of which three are in institutional collections. According to our count, the Judd-1 survives in an amount 50%+ greater than the Judd-2, and if institutional examples are excluded, the Judd-1 Silver Center cents are theoretically "available" in an amount more than twice that of the Judd-2 Fusible Alloy cents.

    To the naked eye, the Fusible Alloy cents appear to be simply ordinary 1792-dated copper cents -- which is the point, and the problem. The designs of the Judd-1 and Judd-2 are identical save for the existence of the silver plug in the center of the Judd-1, with the remarkable, easy identification trait ensuring a greater survival for the Silver Plug coins. Sophisticated X-ray fluorescence techniques are required to determine whether an example contains silver alloyed with copper. This early Mint experiment was soon abandoned, as it would have been an open invitation to debasing and counterfeiting.

    Numismatists for years have endeavored without certainty to identify who was (were) the designer(s) of the various 1792-dated patterns, including the Judd-1 and Judd-2 patterns, the Birch cents, and the 1792 half dismes and dismes. To our eyes, the designer of the Birch cents, which were and are remarkable for their high artistry -- could not possibly have designed the Judd-1 and Judd-2 cent patterns. Although they use the same basic design elements and legends, not only are the Birch cents signed BIRCH on the bust truncation, but more importantly, the designs are rendered with an amazing level of artistry on the portrait that the Judd-1 and Judd-2 patterns frankly lack. The Birch cents show a distinctly feminine, softly rounded bust with finely rendered hair. The Judd-1 and Judd-2 coins show an androgynous profile with a sharply pointed bust and thickly flowing but inelegant hair locks.

    The Present Example, VF35 PCGS-CAC, Ex: Simpson
    This coin made a remarkable entry into the numismatic world in 2004 at the ANA Convention, a previously unknown example of this rarity that had apparently stayed in the same family for more than 200 years (see more in the provenance below). This piece is second or third in the Condition Census, depending on one's point of view, with the only surviving Judd-2 that is clearly finer the Parmelee-Steigerwalt-Alan Weinberg example, which PCGS estimates at XF45 (and which may have claims to AU). The Partrick Collection example, which PCGS estimated at VF30, was encapsulated as XF40 NGC before we offered it in the Partrick Collection Part I (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5503, where it realized $305,500. The Partrick Collection example (which tested at 99% copper before encapsulation at NGC) shows medium-brown surfaces that are free from verdigris, but the Simpson coin shows far finer details throughout both sides. ONE CENT is nearly illegible on the Partrick coin, but it is bold on the Simpson coin, as are the berries sprinkled around the wreath. The Simpson coin shows separate hair strands throughout Liberty's hair on the obverse, although there is weakness around the obverse denticles. The device recesses on each side show some darker charcoal-gray patina that has settled there, but this piece overall shows just even wear with a good strike and really top-notch eye appeal when one stops to consider its rarity.

    This piece has to our knowledge not been tested for its metallic composition, but its significantly different color -- a bit of a silvery-bluish tinge more noticeable on the reverse -- compared to the Partrick coin certainly leaves open the possibility that this could be a true Fusible Alloy cent, which would contain (when new) 66 grains of copper (worth one-quarter of a cent) and 2.8 grains of silver (worth three-quarters of a cent). This piece was weighed before its 2004 encapsulation at PCGS, clocking in at 69.21 grains and further suggesting a mix of copper and silver. Listed on page 89 of the 2015 Guide Book.
    Ex: Said to be from the family of Oliver Wolcott (1726-1797), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. As the Goldbergs description from 2005 states, Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1760-1833) was Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury from 1791-1795 and served as the second Secretary of the Treasury from 1795-1800, succeeding Alexander Hamilton and serving under Presidents Washington and Adams. This piece was reportedly kept by descendants of the Wolcott family for some 200-plus years before the coin garnered national attention at the 2004 ANA Convention in Pittsburgh. Anthony Terranova (Goldberg Auctions, 5/2005), lot 806, which brought $437,000; Donna Levin and Denis Loring; Madison Collection / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3462, as VF30 PCGS, which brought $603,750; Legend Numismatics; upgraded at some point to VF35 PCGS and approved by CAC; sold privately to Bob Simpson.
    Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2949, PCGS# 11004)


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

    View all of [Selections from the Bob R. Simpson Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    6th-11th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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