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    1880 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65 Cameo
    Only Eight Examples Traced
    Ex: Garrett

    1880 $20 PR65 Cameo NGC. Ex: Garrett. The 1880 proof Liberty double eagle claims a small mintage of just 36 pieces, but the issue is even more elusive than that tiny production total suggests. Perhaps some of the coins went unsold and were melted after the close of the year. A few examples were undoubtedly spent by their owners during hard economic times in the late 19th century, when proof double eagles were rarely collected systematically, and commanded little or no premium when offered at auction. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth estimate only 10-12 examples survive in all grades today, and three of those coins are impounded in institutional collections and not available to collectors. The two leading grading services have combined to certify a total of just eight coins, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers (2/15). We have compiled a roster of eight specimens known to us, along with a number of earlier appearances that may or may not be duplicate citations of the coins in the main roster (see below).

    The present coin traces its history to the famous Garrett Collection, one of the greatest numismatic gatherings of all time. The collection was started by T. Harrison Garrett in the 1860s and preserved and expanded by his sons until about 1940, when it was donated to Johns Hopkins University. The Garrett's were major stockholders and directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (the B & O Railroad of Monopoly fame) and had enormous wealth and important connections in the numismatic community. T. Harrison Garrett was a connoisseur who only acquired the finest coins available for his collection. The coin offered here is a prime example of the quality Garrett insisted on. He ordered it directly from the Philadelphia Mint and his invoice states it was sent to him on February 10, 1880, only one hour after the first gold proof sets of the year were delivered to Superintendent A. Louden Snowden.

    This delightful Gem exhibits razor-sharp definition on all design elements, with complete star centers and fine detail in Liberty's hair. The deeply mirrored fields contrast boldly with the richly frosted devices to create a stunning cameo effect when the coin is tilted in the light. The impeccably preserved orange-gold surfaces show some highlights of green and a few areas of amber patina on the reverse rim, due to the alloy. Eye appeal is terrific. This coin offers an irresistible combination of high technical quality, intense eye appeal, and an unbroken pedigree back to the day it was minted. Census: 2 in 65 Cameo, 0 finer (2/15).

    Roster of Proof 1880 Double Eagles
    1. PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. Dr. Wilson S. Rise Collection (Stack's, 9/1966), lot 17; Public Auction Sale (Kreisberg-Cohen, 6/1970), lot 1973; Stanley Kesselman; purchased by Harry W. Bass, Jr.; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1878; Baltimore Auction (Stack's, 3/2014), lot 4116, realized $235,000; ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2014), lot 5744, realized $217,375.
    2. PR65 Cameo NGC. Purchased directly from the Mint by T. Harrison Garrett (2/1880); Garrett Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1980), lot 797. The present coin.
    3. PR65 Cameo NGC. Possibly Dr. Charles W. Green (B. Max Mehl, 4/1949), lot 749; Amon G. Carter, Jr. Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 922; Ed Trompeter; sold via private treaty by Heritage Auctions circa 1999.
    4. PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS. N.M. Kaufman Collection (Rarcoa, 8/1978), lot 928; Pre-Long Beach (Superior Galleries, 1/2004), lot 3761.
    5. PR64 Deep Cameo. National Numismatic Collection (Smithsonian Institution), grade per Garrett and Guth.
    6. PR64 Deep Cameo. National Numismatic Collection (Smithsonian Institution), grade per Garrett and Guth.
    7. PR63 Cameo NGC. Henry Miller; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2011), lot 5284.
    8. Proof. R.C.H. Brock; J.P. Morgan; American Numismatic Society Collection.

    Additional Appearances
    A. Proof. Heman Ely; Ely Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 1/1884), lot 955, as part of a six-piece proof set.
    B. Proof. Thomas Cleneay Collection (Chapman Brothers, 12/1890), lot 431, as part of a six-piece proof set.
    C. Proof. Major W.B. Wetmore Collection (Chapman Brothers, 6/1906), lot 163, as part of a six-piece proof set.
    D. Proof. David S. Wilson, Esq. Collection (S.H. Chapman, 3/1907), lot 430, as part of a six-piece proof set, bought by Henry Chapman at $125.00.
    E. Proof. James B. Wilson Collection (Thomas L. Elder, 10/1908), lot 64, as part of a six-piece proof set.
    F. Brilliant Proof. W.F. Dunham Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1941), lot 2323.
    G. Brilliant Proof. F.C.C Boyd, World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1946), lot 883.
    H. Brilliant Proof. William Cutler Atwater Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1946), lot 1272.
    I. Brilliant Proof. Jacob Shapiro (a.k.a. J.F. Bell); Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 700, possibly same as G.
    J. Brilliant Proof. Jacob Shapiro (a.k.a. J.F. Bell); Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 932.
    K. Proof. Mail Bid Sale (A-Mark, 6/1970), lot 1973, catalog not available for comparison.
    L. Proof. Public Auction Sale (Kreisberg-Cohen, 11/1970), lot 2006A, catalog not available for comparison.
    From The New Orleans Collection.(Registry values: P5)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26DZ, PCGS# 89096)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    View all of [The New Orleans Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,386

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