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    Description

    1831 Capped Bust Quarter, PR66
    Large Letters, B-5 Variety
    Rare Early Proof, Ex: David Akers

    1831 25C Large Letters PR66 PCGS. CAC. B-5, R.7 as a proof. Quarters were struck on reduced-diameter planchets in 1831, and the design was fine-tuned by Chief Engraver William Kneass. Seven die varieties are known for the date, with four varieties featuring the Small Letters reverse and three with a Large Letters reverse. The proof mintage for the date is unknown, but it is believed to be larger than the other denominations of the year because of the change in dimensions and design. Walter Breen reports that 20 specimens were sent to President Andrew Jackson and 20 more were delivered to Treasury Secretary S.D. Ingham, but they may not all have been proofs.

    The surviving population has been estimated as low as seven or eight examples in all grades by David Akers, but he believed the only true proofs were of the B-5 variety, like the present coin, with long 1s punched over short 1s in the date and a Curl Base 2 in the denomination. Proofs of the B-1, B-2, and B-4 varieties have also been reported, and examples of some of these varieties have been certified by the leading grading services. PCGS estimates 10-15 proof examples may be extant, including all varieties, but the B-5 is the only variety with the Large Letters reverse that has been certified in proof format. We have listed all the 1831 B-5 proof quarters we are aware of in the roster.

    The present coin is a magnificent representative of this rare issue. It was once owned by celebrated numismatist David Akers, who noted:

    "Superb Gem Proof 66, undoubtedly the finest of only 7-8 examples known. This is the most obvious proof quarter of this type that I have seen and looks just about the same as a gem proof 1892 Barber quarter."



    This coin exhibits razor-sharp definition on the central design elements and shows just a touch of the typical softness on the star centers. Although this piece is not designated Cameo, the frosty devices show definite elements of contrast with the deeply mirrored fields. The well-preserved surfaces are enhanced by a greenish-gold patina and eye appeal is tremendous. This coin has realistic claims to the title of finest known, and the combination of absolute rarity, intense historic interest, and illustrious pedigree should ensure spirited competition when this lot is called. Population: 1 in 66, 0 finer (11/13).

    Roster of 1831 B-5 Proof Quarters
    1. PR66 PCGS. Paramount International Sales Corporation, purchased as part of a partial 1831 proof set in 1975; Auction '79 (Paramount, 7/1979), lot 154; Sixten Ehrling; David and Sharron Akers; the present coin. Note from David Akers, "Sixten Ehrling (1918-2005) was a world renowned Swedish orchestra conductor, one of the last living conductors to have known both Igor Stravinsky and Jean Sibelius personally."
    2. PR66 Cameo NGC. Richard Picker in the late 1950s; Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/1988), lot 1548; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 3736, realized $218,500.
    3. PR65 Cameo NGC. Possibly F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1945), lot 105; Jerome Kern; Golden Jubilee Sale (B. Max Mehl, 5/1950), lot 1416; John McNail, who assembled a partial 1831 proof set in a custom holder; ANA Convention Sale (Kagin's, 8/1977), lot 2185, as part of the assembled set; Frog Run Farm Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 11/2004), lot 1151; Pre-Long Beach Elite Sale (Superior, 2/2005), lot 4123; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 442; Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2009), lot 2334.
    4. PR64 NGC. FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/1998), lot 6760.
    5. Choice Proof. Numismatic Gallery; John Jay Pittman, purchased 7/15/1947 for $30; Pittman Collection, Part II (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1286.
    6. PR62 ANACS. Dallas Signature (Heritage, 12/2005), lot 606.
    7. Proof 62. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 1399; Lindesmith Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/2000), lot 449.

    Other Appearances
    A. Proof 63 SEGS. Pre-Long Beach Auction (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 2/2013), lot 1285, listed as "Ex: Mid America Sale # 523 as Proof 64, earlier from Kosoff 1946 ANA Sale Lot 430." Possibly a prooflike business strike.
    B. PR62 PCGS. Club Cal Neva Sale (Superior, 9/1987), lot 1678.
    C. Brilliant Proof. Peter Mougey Collection (Thomas Elder, 9/1910), lot 694; Dr. Christian Allenburger; Royal Sale (B. Max Mehl, 3/1948), lot 872; T. James Clarke; Forty-Seventh Catalog (New Netherlands, 4/1956), lot 1577.
    D. Brilliant Proof. Davis-Graves Collection (Stack's, 4/1954), lot 338.
    E. Brilliant Proof. Paramount FPL, winter 1976, as part of a set (possibly the same as number 1 above).
    F. Proof. Lorin G. Parmelee Collection (New York Coin & Stamp; 6/1890), lot 1006; Charles Steigerwalt. Noted as "Large Letters in legend" in the catalog.
    G. Proof. Thomas Cleneay Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 12/1890), lot 1341. Noted as "Large Letters on reverse" in the catalog.
    From The David & Sharron Akers Collection. (NGC ID# 23SB, PCGS# 5378)

    Weight: 6.74 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper


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

    View all of [The David & Sharron Akers Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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