Gem Proof 1834 Bust Quarter, B-2, R.7
1834 Capped Bust Quarter PR65 NGC. B-2, R.7 as a Proof. The
obverse is shared with the B-1 die pairing, while the reverse is
unique to this marriage. On the obverse star 7 is repunched and
points to the highest curl, while star 13 is low and close to the
nearest curl. The reverse shows a large curl base 2 in the
denomination, with the 2 higher than the 5 and three-line stripes
in the shield. Line 2 of stripe 1 extends to crossbar 3. Other
unique die attributes are noted below.
Same Die Pairing as in the King of Siam Set
We believe that no more than 10-15 examples of the 1834 Capped Bust quarter exist in proof format, probably closer to the lower number. The B-2 die pairing is the same as the example in the King of Siam proof set. Steve M. Tompkins offers interesting comments in Early United States Quarters 1796-1838 concerning the reverse die:
"Along with several other known proofs, this combination of dies was used in striking the example found in the King of Siam presentation proof set.
"This reverse may have been produced especially for use with the above mentioned presentation sets. The central eagle master hub is distinctly different than all others in the small diameter series. The right wing is much taller and all of the eagle's feathers are in different positions. The lines and stripes are engraved at a slight angle as compared to all the other reverses as well. There is a possibility that this reverse may have been engraved by Christian Gobrecht and not William Kneass. Mint documentation for this has not been found, but due to the different style of engraving it is apparent that Kneass was not the engraver. Since it was still in good condition after striking the presentation sets, it was pressed into service as a regular production die along with the obverse. The first 10 or so coins produced could be considered either proofs or proof-like strikes until the die polish that was earlier applied wore away."
Although Christian Gobrecht was officially appointed second engraver at the Mint in September 1835 by incoming Mint director Robert Maskell Patterson, he had worked for the Mint in contract assignments for more than a decade by that time, so Tompkins' theory has plausibility.
This Gem proof example is fully struck, with light pinkish-gold and blue patina overall. There are no impairments or distractions worthy of mention. Another incredibly rare coin from this set, a prize for early quarter specialists. Census: 3 in 65, 1 finer (11/10). (NGC ID# 27HD, PCGS# 5382)
Weight: 6.74 grams
Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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