Spectacular PR66 1844 Quarter, Finest Known
1844 25C PR66 NGC. Ex: Pittman-Kaufman. The rarity of the
1844 proof quarter is attested to by the solitary example certified
by either NGC or PCGS, this NGC-graded PR66 coin out of the John
Jay Pittman and the Phil Kaufman collections. In addition, Larry
Briggs, in his Seated quarter Encyclopedia, says that there
are approximately five proofs, and Walter Breen, writing in his
1988 Encyclopedia, contends that "Five proofs traced." The
estimates by Breen and Briggs are clearly too high.
The Only Certified Example
Possibly the Only Collectible Specimen
David Akers presents a more complete discussion of the 1844 proof quarter in his October 1997 catalog of the Pittman Collection:
"This is the rarest silver denomination of the year in proof with possibly only three examples known; other than the one reportedly in the Smithsonian Institution and the example in the Mathew Stickney original Proof set (Lot 1788 in the 1907 auction of his collection), I have not seen or heard of another. Breen's two other proofs mentioned in his (1977) Encyclopedia are J.H. South: 507 and Lester Merkin 6/71:717, the latter cataloged by Breen himself, but not really a Proof. If the South coin was a legitimate coin, then there are four known. Still, this is one of the greatest rarities among all Liberty Seated Proof coins, comparable to the 1841 Dime and the 1840 and 1841 Quarters."
Aside from the appearances mentioned above, our search of auction records has turned up no further examples. Our roster supports the comments made by Akers:
1. Proof 66 NGC. The Kaufman specimen. Numismatic Gallery (4/1948); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 833; Philip Kaufman. Part of Pittman's 1844 proof set. The Seated silver coins have been kept intact by Phil Kaufman.
2. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.
A. Proof. Lester Merkin (6/1971), lot 717.
B. Proof. J.H South (Stack's, 2/1951), lot 507.
The Premium Gem Pittman-Kaufman proof displays beautiful natural toning with various iridescent colors, including reddish-gold, cobalt-blue, and gold-beige, the palette being slightly deeper on the obverse. The strike is uniformly sharp, bringing about crisp definition in every design feature. There are a number of very tiny spikes from the denticles into the field by the 11th, 12th, and 13th stars, along with some faint die polish lines intermixed with some unobtrusive hairlines in the reverse fields. Not only is this spectacular coin extremely rare, it is the only one certified, and is probably the finest known.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 23W7, PCGS# 5538)
Weight: 6.68 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two ]
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