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    1804 Plain 4 Eagle Pattern, PR64
    Silver Die Trial, Judd-34
    Four Examples Known

    1804 DT$10 Ten Dollar, Judd-34, Pollock-46, High R.7, PR64 PCGS. Ex: Simpson. The 1804 Plain 4 eagle in silver, Judd-34, is a rare and historically important issue in the pattern series. These patterns were originally struck as die trials for the 1804 Plain 4 proof eagles in the diplomatic presentation sets issued in 1834, along with the ultra-famous 1804 dollar. Only four examples of Judd-34 are known to collectors today. One of those coins is included in the Harry Bass Core Collection, on display at ANA Headquarters and out of reach of eager collectors. Heritage auctions is privileged to present the finest-certified example of this early pattern rarity (and the finest specimen in private hands) in this important offering.

    Research by John Dannreuther reveals that the obverse die for Judd-34 was actually an unused die for the Capped Bust Right eagle from the 1800-1804 time period. The date was left incomplete in this earlier time frame, with just the first three digits impressed. When the die was needed to strike the proof eagles in 1834, it was polished and reworked to remove rust and decay and the final digit was added, using a Plain 4 punch from a set of half dollar punches in use at the Mint in 1834. Until recent times, numismatists believed the Judd-34 obverse die was specially made from scratch in 1834, because a die line in Liberty's hair that shows on Capped Bust Right eagles from 1800-1804 is not visible on the 1804 Plain 4 eagles from the presentation proof sets. This was convincing evidence that a new bust punch had been made to impress a new die for use in 1834. However, using computer overlays to compare the portrait on the 1804 Plain 4 eagles with the portrait on the earlier Capped Bust Right coins, Dannreuther found the major features were virtually identical. It would have been impossible to duplicate the punch so precisely with the limited technology of those times. Further investigation revealed that the four silver die trials had a discernible emission sequence. Each one showed differing degrees of die rust as the clean up process progressed from one trial to the next. The die line in Liberty's hair was gradually polished away with each proceeding trial, until it vanished altogether.

    In a cross-denominational switch reminiscent of some early quarter eagle reverse dies that were also used to strike early dimes, the reverse die for Judd-34 was actually an unused half dollar reverse from 1806. By comparing dentil counts and using computer overlays, Bill Nyberg and Bryce Brown confirmed the reverse die was manufactured using the same master die that was used to produce half dollar dies in the 1805-1807 time frame. Bill Nyberg further narrowed the date of production by noting the broken foot on the F in OF, a feature that only shows on half dollars of 1806. Judd-34 was struck in a close collar with 200 edge reeds, but the borders still exhibit the cigar-shaped dentils of the pre-1804 era.

    Early Appearances of Judd-34
    We have been unable to locate any 19th century auction appearances of Judd-34. Early pattern specialist R.C. Davis did not list the issue in his pattern reference, which was published sequentially in the Coin Collector's Journal from 1885 through 1887. The first mention we can find is in the 1913 Adams-Woodin pattern reference, United States Pattern,Trial, and Experimental Pieces, where it was listed as AW-23, "Eagle. Regular dies. Silver. Four specimens are said to have been struck. R13." These facts suggest that Judd-34 was unknown to collectors until William Woodin acquired his famous hoard of patterns from former Mint Superintendent Archibald Loudon Snowden in return for restoring the two fifty dollar Half Union patterns in gold to the Mint Cabinet in 1910. We hesitate to state this as a fact, but the circumstances strongly suggest this turn of events. As might be expected, auction appearances of Judd-34 have occurred infrequently over the years. The roster below lists all the examples known to us.

    The Present Coin
    This spectacular Choice example exhibits sharply detailed design elements in most areas, with just the slightest softness on some obverse stars on the right. The remnants of the die line in Liberty's hair are barely visible on this specimen. The well-preserved devices are lustrous and appealing, with some reflectivity in the fields and highlights of silver-gray toning in selected areas. This coin combines the finest available technical quality, outstanding eye appeal, and intense historic interest in one irresistible package. The discerning collector will bid accordingly. This coin is pictured on PCGS CoinFacts. Population: 1 in 64, 0 finer (11/20).

    Roster of Judd-34 Die Trials
    1. Uncertified, PCGS estimated grade PR65. The coin pictured in United States Patterns and Experimental Pieces by Edgar Adams and William H. Woodin (1913); exhibited by Woodin at the 1914 ANS Exhibition; possibly E.H. Adams and F.Y. Parker Collections (Thomas Elder, 4/1935), lot 2451; unknown intermediaries; Dr. J. Hewitt Judd; Illustrated History of United States Coins (Abe Kosoff, 1961), lot 59; sold privately by Kosoff to Harry W. Bass, Jr. on 8/3/1971, via Michael G. Brownlee; Harry Bass Core Collection, on exhibit at ANA Headquarters.
    2. PR64 PCGS. King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1708; Dr. Conway Bolt Collection (Stack's, 4/1966), lot 1609; Eduard Kann Collection (Abner Kreisberg, 9/1971), lot 700; unknown intermediaries; Simpson Collection.
    3. PR58 (uncertified at last auction appearance, possibly the PR60 example in the PCGS Population data today). 1973 FUN Auction (RARCOA, 1/1973), lot 523; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 1/1987), lot 551; Sommerset Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1992), lot 1790.
    4. Proof. F.C.C. Boyd; Newport Balboa Savings and Loan Association Collection, per Abe Kosoff's Illustrated History of United States Coins.

    Additional Appearances
    A. "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; unidentified fixed price list in 1955, per Stack's lot description in their Public Auction Sale (1/1987), see number 3 above.
    B. Harry X. Boosel; Central States Convention Auction (RARCOA, 4/1972), lot 968.
    Note: Andrew Pollock mentions a single example struck from these dies, but with a plain edge, Judd-34A, in the Ed Schuman Collection.
    Collecting Patterns – A Brief History and Commentary

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 11100)

    View all of [Important Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part III ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2021
    20th-24th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 33
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,023

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