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    Description

    1880 Liberty Eagle, PR64 Cameo
    Very Rare Issue, Only Seven Examples Traced
    Ex: Garrett

    1880 $10 PR64 Cameo NGC. CAC. Only 36 proof Liberty eagles were struck in 1880, apparently all for inclusion in the proof sets of the year. Either some of the coins were never distributed or the issue suffered an unusually high rate of attrition over the years, as the 1880 eagle is a formidable rarity in proof format today. Experts estimate the surviving population at 10-12 examples in all grades, but we can only account for seven distinct specimens in our roster below. Four of those coins can be traced all the way back to their original proof sets from the Philadelphia Mint and two are included in institutional collections, out of reach of eager collectors. NGC and PCGS have combined to certify a total of eight examples, with an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers (2/15).

    The present coin was once a highlight of the famous Garrett Collection. It was purchased directly from the Philadelphia Mint as part of a complete gold proof set by T. Harrison Garret, on February 10, 1880, according to his invoice (the double eagle from that set is being offered in another lot in this sale). The coin was cataloged in lot 1676 of the Garrett Collection, Part III in 1980, where it realized a strong price of $27,000. It has not been offered publicly since, so this lot marks just its second auction appearance in 135 years.

    This impressive Choice specimen features sharply detailed frosty design elements that provide a noticeable degree of contrast with the reflective fields. The yellow and orange-gold surfaces are well-preserved, with just a few minor hairlines and contact marks visible on close inspection. Overall eye appeal is outstanding. This lot offers a rare combination of intense historic interest, absolute rarity, and high technical quality for the discerning collector. This piece has not been publicly offered in the last 35 years and it may be decades before a comparable specimen becomes available. Census: 3 in 64 Cameo (1 in 64 Cameo), 0 finer (2/15).

    Roster of 1880 Proof Liberty Eagles
    1. PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. Pevehouse-Davis Collections (American Numismatic Rarities, 10/2004), lot 840, realized $50,000.
    2. PR64 Cameo NGC. Purchased directly from the Mint by T. Harrison Garrett on February 10, 1880 as part of a complete six-piece gold proof set; Robert Garret; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; Garrett Collection, Part III (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1676, realized $27,000. The present coin.
    3. PR64 Cameo NGC. Metropolitan Washington Sale (Kagin's, 7/1974), lot 1613; Ed Trompeter; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/1999), lot 8242, realized $27,000.
    4. PR64 PCGS. Possibly Thomas Melish Collection (Abe Kosoff, 4/1956), lot 2477; Theodore Ullmer Collection (Stack's, 5/1974), lot 495; Harry W. Bass, Jr.; Bass Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1577, realized $32,200.
    5. PR63 PCGS. Nathan M. Kaufman Collection (RARCOA, 8/1978), lot 885, part of a six-piece gold proof set, with the coins offered individually; Dr. Jerry Buss Collection (Superior, 1/1985), lot 1902; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 4828.
    6. PR63 Deep Cameo. Mint Cabinet, part of a complete proof set ordered from the coiner on January 10, 1880; National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, grade per Garrett and Guth.
    7. Proof. R.C.H. Brock, part of a complete proof set ordered from the Mint; J.P. Morgan; American Numismatic Society, exhibited at the 1914 ANS Exhibition.

    Additional Appearances
    A. Proof.
    Heman Ely; Ely Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 1/1884), lot 955, as part of a six-piece gold proof set.
    B. Proof. Thomas Cleneay Collection (Chapman Brothers, 12/1890), lot 431, as part of a six-piece gold proof set.
    C. Proof. Major W.B. Wetmore Collection (Chapman Brothers, 6/1906), lot 163, as part of a six-piece gold proof set.
    D. Proof. David S. Wilson, Esq. Collection (S.H. Chapman, 3/1907), lot 430, as part of a six-piece gold 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 gold proof set.
    F. Proof. William Forrester Dunham Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1941), lot 2249.
    G. Proof. Belden E. Roach Collection (Mehl, 2/1944), lot 355.
    H. Proof. Fred E. Olsen Collection (Mehl, 11/1944), lot 636.
    I. Proof. J.F. Bell Collection (Stack's, 12/1944), lot 644.
    J. Proof. William Cutler Atwater Collection (Mehl, 6/1946), lot 1458.
    K. Proof. Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 578.
    L. Proof. Golden Jubilee Sale (Mehl, 5/1950), lot 517.
    From The New Orleans Collection.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 3YFU, PCGS# 88820)

    Weight: 16.72 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: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,686

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