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HomeUS Coins1794 Liberty Cap Cent : A Collector's Guide

1794 Liberty Cap Cent : A Collector’s Guide

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-22. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-22. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

1794 Liberty Cap cent production was far more successful than the United States Mint’s inaugural-year of cent production had been. The Mint settled on the Liberty Cap design in late 1793, when it struck a token coinage using Chief Coiner Henry Voigt’s now-iconic design. In 1794, 918,521 coins were struck. To carry out this volume, the Mint employed many obverse and reverse dies, resulting in 69 collectible die varieties.

Many of the finest examples have been held in prominent American collections since the 19th century. Several coins, including many finest known of their respective varieties, were held for more than a century by an English family and repatriated to the United States in the mid-20th century.

 

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 17a

Obverse 1 and Reverse A. Edge: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR, with single leaf pointing down. Wide date. Reverse: Eight berries left, seven berries right. Ribbon know misses the ribbon and is located at the crossing of the stems. Fraction bar is long and slightly curved.

  • PCGS XF-45 #13457485: Discovered in England, 1950; Henry Grunthal, 1951; Dr. William H. Sheldon, 1970; Dorothy Paschal, March 1977; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner. March 1992; Denis W. Loring, August 1993; Dr. Robert A. Schuman, May 1994; Dr. Allen Bennett, 2001; Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2017 – $97,750. Die State II.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 17b (NC-4)

Obverse 1 and Reverse A. Edge: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with single leaf pointing up. Wide date. Reverse: Eight berries left, seven berries right. Ribbon bow misses the ribbon and is located at the crossing of the stems. Fraction bar is long and slightly curved. Excessively rare and unknown in mid-grade circulated or better.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 18a

Obverse 2 and Reverse A. Obverse has a prominent doubled chin and a curved date. Edge: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with a single leaf pointing down.

  • PCGS VF-20 #81233626: “The Henry C. Colvin Collection”, French’s, October 1962, Lot 21 – $400; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, New Netherlands Coin Company, November 1973, Lot 339 – $1,200; Del Bland, March 1976; Dr. Robert A. Schuman; Myles Z. Gerson; Del Bland, March 1984; Darwin Palmer; George E. Ewing, Jr., November 1993; “The Wes Rasmussen Collection”, Heritage, January 2005, Lot 3022 – $16,100. As PCGS VF-20 #13457484. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2018 – $43,125. Husak Collection on insert. As PCGS VF-20 #81233626. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5301 – $35,250. Rasmussen-Husak-Boka on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 18b

Sheldon-18B. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-18B. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Obverse 2 and Reverse A. Obverse has a prominent doubled chin and a curved date. Edge: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with a single leaf pointing up.

  • NGC MS-65BN #1950651-002: Stack’s Bowers, October 2014, Lot 7 – $49,937.50. Obverse die shattered.
  • PCGS MS-64BN #50240170: John F. McCoy; W. Elliot Woodward, May 1864, Lot 661 – $10; J. N. T. Levick; Edward Cogan, May 1865, Lot 1352 – $9; Abram S. Jenks; Edward Cogan, April 1877, lot 701 – $21; George W. Merritt; Ed. Frossard, January 1879, Lot 95 – $15; Ed. Frossard; Lorin G. Parmelee; New York Coin & Stamp Co., June 1890, Lot 693 – $52; John G. Mills; S. H. & H. Chapman, April 1904, Lot 1236 – $49; S. H. & H. Chapman – $55; Robert Garrett, 1919; John Work Garrett; The Johns Hopkins University, acquired privately, March 1973; John W. Adams; Marketed in Bowers and Ruddy 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 5 – $55,000; Marketed in Bowers and Ruddy Rare Coin Review #46, December 1982 – $55,000; Marketed in Bowers and Merena Rare Coin Review #48, June-July 1983 – $55,000; John W. Adams, February 1984; R. E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner; Jay Parrino, May 1996; W. M. “Jack” Wadlington; Chris Victor-McCawley, January 2009; Cardinal Collection. As PCGS MS-64BN CAC #50240170. Stack’s Bowers, January 22, 2013, Lot 13004 – $881.250. The D. Brent Pogue Family. As PCGS MS-64BN #50240170. “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection, Part V”, Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5093 – $540,500. Pogue Novelty insert. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS MS-63BN #32189850: Dr. George P. French Collection; B. Max Mehl, by sale, en bloc, 1929; “The Dr. George P. French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, fixed price list, 1929, Lot 21 – $200; T. James Clarke Collection; T. James Clarke Estate, 1952; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; “The R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, by sale, en bloc, October 1954; 1989 EAC Auction, April 1989, Lot 20 – $36,000; Dr. Allen Bennett; Walter J. Husak; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, by sale, en bloc, 1999; As PCGS MS-63BN #32189850. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2019 – $253,000. Husak Collection on insert; D. Brent Pogue Family. As PCGS MS-63BN #32189850. “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection”, Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5094 – $188,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • NGC MS-61+BN #4920437-001: As NGC MS-61 BN #4196618-001. Heritage Auctions, January 5, 2017, Lot 5526 – $82,250. As NGC MS-61+BN #4920437-001. Heritage Auctions, January 2017, Lot 5526; Heritage Auctions, January 9, 2020, Lot 4089 – $105,000. Upgraded one half point. Numerous black spots on the obverse.
  • PCGS AU-58+ #81233627: Virgil M. Brand; B.G. Johnson, August 1, 1945 – $170; James Kelly; Dr. William H. Sheldon; Sheraton Coin Co.; Numismatic Gallery, August 1947, Lot 779 – $140; Edward L. Urban; Lester Merkin, June 15, 1977; Andrew M. Hain; Dennis E. Steinmetz; Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions, August 1980, Lot 939 – $15,000; Anthony Terranova; “The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 18 – $15,400; John M. Foreman, Sr.; Kenneth M. Goldman, June 1991; John B. MacDonald; Denis W. Loring, April 13, 2001; Jon Alan Boka. As PCGS AU-58+ #81233627. “The Jon Alan Book Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5302 – $176,250. Brand-Halpern-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 19a

Doubled Obverse 2 and Reverse B. Edge: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with a single leaf pointing down.

  • PCGS XF-40 #81233628: “The Harlan P. Smith Collection”, S.H. and H. Chapman, May 1906, Lot 1071 – $13; Clapp offered “any price under four figures” but was refused, 1941; S.H. and H. Chapman; Henry C. Hines, 1944; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner; Dr. George E. Ewing, Jr., December 22, 1994, via Darwin B. Palmer, Jr.; “The Daniel W. Holmes, Jr., Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 32; Walter J. Husak, May 4, 2013; Jon Alan Boka. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5303 – $82,250. Smith Discovery Coin on insert; “The Arizona Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 12, 2022, Lot 3007 – $54,000.
  • PCGS VF-30 #13457243: Carl Wurtzbach; “The Charles J. Dupont Collection”, Stack’s, September 1954, Lot 27 – $250; Dorothy Paschal, May 1975; Denis W. Loring, May 1983; Del Bland; Jack H. Robinson; Douglas F. Bird; “The Gary Ruttenberg Collection”, McCawley & Grellman Auctions, August 1996, Lot 72 – $12,100; “The Wes Rasmussen Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2005, Lot 3024; Walter J. Husak; As VF-30 #13457243. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage, February 2008, Lot 2020. Husak Collection on insert; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2433 – $27,025.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 19b, Head of 1793

Doubled Obverse 2 and Reverse B. Edge: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR with a single leaf pointing up.

  • PCGS AU-55: Stack’s, September 8, 2005, Lot 456 – $17,250.
  • PCGS AU-50 #13457244: Peachtree Coin Shop, 1971; C.F. Gordon, Jr.; Darwin B. Palmer, Jr.; Dr. Edward R. Bush; John R. Grellman; Gary Ruttenberg; Darwin B. Palmer, Jr.; Thomas D. Reynolds; Midwestern collector. Walter J. Husak; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2021 – $34,500. Husak Collection on insert. Edge dents.
  • PCGS XF-40 #5373019: Bowers and Merena, January 1999, Lot 1018; Heritage Auctions, January 2007, Lot 772; “The ESM Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 6, 2020, Lot 1008 – $20,400. Unattractive granular surfaces with spotting.
  • NGC XF-40BN #508554-001: Traded November 9, 1956 by Freeman Smith to John Schreuder for a Pan-Pac half and a 1920-S quarter at an estimated cost of $25; Del Bland, December 1979; Myles Z. Gerson; Bertram Cohen; George E. Ewing, Jr.; EAC Sale, May 1996, Lot 95 – $7,750; Wes Rasmussen; As NGC XF-40BN #508554-001.”The Wes Rasmussen Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 13, 2005, Lot 3025 – $25,300. RASMUSSEN on insert.
  • PCGS VF Details – Cleaned, #81233629: Thomas D. Reynolds, March 1995, purchased unattributed on February 11, 1987 from Carlsbad Coins; Walter J. Husak; Denis W. Loring, April 2001; Jon Alan Boka; “The Jon Alan Book Collection”, Heritage Auctions, September 2016, Lot 5304.; “The Collection of Thaddeus A. Tatum III”, Stack’s Bowers, August 15, 2018, Lot 1021 – $10,200. Bland cc#10; Noyes cc#11.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 20a

Also known as Sheldon NC-7. Very Rare. Unknown in mid circulated grades or higher.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 20b, Head of 1793

Head of ‘93. Close straight date. No pole between the cap and head. Reverse is B.

  • PCGS XF-45 #13457245: George Morris; “The Charles Steigerwalt Collection”, June 1891, Lot 897 – $3; Charles Steigerwalt, Fixed Price List, 1891; “The W.B. Guy Collection”,  Henry Chapman, November 1911, Lot 351 – $42.50; Dr. George P. French; “The Henry C. Miller Collection”, Thomas Elder, April 1917, Lot 653 – $65; S.H. Chapman; “The J.P. Hale Jenkins Collection”, Henry Chapman, July 1922, Lot 1472 – $95; S.H. Chapman; S.H. Chapman April 1923, Addenda A – $180; Henry Chapman; “The Dr. George P. French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, 1929 Fixed Price List, Lot 19 – $125; T. James Clarke, 1944; B. Max Mehl, 1944; Dr. William H. Sheldon; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; Alfred Bonard; Numismatic Enterprises February 1968, Lot 23 – $2,200; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., March 1973; “The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, lot 7 – $10,000; Denis W. Loring, May 1983; Jack H. Robinson; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998; Walter J. Husak. As PCGS XF-45 #13457245. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2022 – $54,625. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 21

Obverse 4. Reverse B. Flat end of the pole. LIBERTY widely spaced. A die crack extending from the rim through the tip of B to Liberty’s cap is typically seen on this variety. Milling is typically incomplete. Base of pole is flattened, angular. Lower relief head. Eight neat locks of hair.

  • PCGS MS-64BN #81233631: Dr. Edward Maris; David Proskey; Henry C. Hines; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; Early American Coppers, April 1989, Lot 21 – $15,000; Dr. Allen Bennett. As PCGS MS-64BN #13457246. “The Walter J. Husak Collection,” Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2023 – $43,125. Husak Collection on insert; Paul Gerrie; Chris Victor-McCawley, Fixed Price List, January 6, 2012; Jon Alan Boka; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5306 – $61,687.50. Maris-Husak-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-62BN #50010975: Dr. Edward Maris; “The Édouard Frossard Collection”, Édouard Frossard, October 1884, Lot 853; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett, 1919; John Work Garrett; John Hopkins University; “The Garrett Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, November 1979, Lot 57 – $3,500; Tony Terranova; “The Dennis Mendelson Collection,” Superior, February 1991, Lot 662 – $4,180; Dr. Eugene Sherman; Tony Terranova, April 1993; Dr. Thomas Turissini, April 1997; Walter Husak; “The James Mossman Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 8, 2009, Lot 3576 – $17,250.
  • PCGS AU-58+ CAC #3298233: “The Harlan P. Smith Collection”, Chapman Brothers, May 1906, Lot 1072 – $21; George Roebling; New Netherlands Coin Company, June 1967, Lot 1196 – $475; Ed Hipps; Del Bland, May 13, 1986; Herman Halpern, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 23 – $7,150; Tony Terranova; Stack’s, October 2000, Lot 659 – $4,250; Tony Terranova; Tom Morley; Superior, May 1992, Lot 166 – $7,975; Tom Morley; Superior, January 1994, Lot 773 – $7,150; Tom Morley; Chris McCawley and Tony Terranova, September 1994; “The Tom Reynolds Collection,” Goldberg Auctioneers, January 2016, Lot 14. As PCGS AU-58+ CAC #3298233. “The Donald Stoebner Collection of Early Date Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 5, 2019, Lot 3123 – $19,200. Halpern-Reynolds on insert.
  • NGC AU-58BN: Auction ’88 – Stack’s, July 1988, Lot 1012; “The Key Coin Coppers Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, November 15, 2011, Lot 242 – $10,350.
  • PCGS AU55 #03716474: Heritage Auctions, April 2009, Lot 1015; “The Adam Mervis Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 2014, Lot 2439; Heritage Auctions, May 9, 2024, Lot 3820 – $10,200.
  • NGC XF-45BN Gold CAC #279490-002: “The Larry H. Miller Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, December 17, 2020, Lot 1009 – $13,200.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 22, Bent Hair, Mounded Reverse

Sheldon-22. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-22. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Rarity-1. Obverse 5. Reverse C. Bent hair variety. Mounded Reverse. Head of 1794. Sixth hair lock bent downward. In Noyes Die State B/C, the coin will present a die crack through 4 in date and well defined mounds on the wreath on the reverse. Mounds not always present on earlier die states.

  • PCGS MS-64+BN #41438275: W.W. Hays Collection, 1900; Charles Steigerwalt, 1906; John Zug; Lyman Low, March 1907, Lot 43 – $28.50; “The Howard R. Newcomb Collection, Part I,” February 1945, Lot 58 – $65; “The Milton A. Holmes Collection”, Stack’s, October 1960, Lot 1361; Frank H. Masters, Jr.; RARCOA, May 1971, Lot 49 – $925; Denis Loring; John W. Adams; Bowers and Ruddy Fixed Price List of the Adams Collection of 1794 Cents, 1982, Lot 12 – $5,500; David C. Putnam; Private Owner; Stack’s Bowers, March 25, 2021, Lot 4010 – $72,000. John Adams on insert.
  • PCGS MS-63BN #36382326: Charles J. Dupont, Stack’s, September 1954, Lot 30; Dorothy I. Paschal; Darwin B. Palmer, Jr. via Ray Chatham; Gordon J. Wrubel; Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz, Dr. Sheldon Freed, via Shalowitz; Jack H. Robinson; McLaughlin & Robinson Collections Auction, Stack’s, September 1987, Lot 143; Evan Kopald; McCawley & Grellman Auctions, January 1993, Lot 30; Dr. Thomas Turissini; Mark Hagan; Goldberg Auctioneers, August 2014, Lot 139; Glenn Strauss; Goldberg Auctioneers, June 2018, Lot 207; Goldberg Auctioneers, January 2019, Lot 435; R.J. Rudolph Collection; Goldberg Auctioneers, February 2020, Lot 637; Stack’s Bowers, August 6, 2020, Lot 1158 – $21,600; Heritage Auctions, February 9, 2023, Lot 3691 – $32,400. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • NGC MS-63BN: Stack’s Bowers, November 9, 2009, Lot 743 – View.
  • PCGS MS-63BN #13457247: B. Max Mehl, April 1926, Lot 359 – $37; “The Frank Hussey Collection,” New Netherlands Coin Company, April 1960, Lot 1341 – $140; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; “The Alfred Bonard Collection,” Numismatic Enterprises, February 1968, Lot 25 – $1,100; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998. As PCGS MS-63BN #13457247. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2024 – $48,875. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-61BN #25545344: Europe; Thomas L. Elder, February 1921, Lot 1911 – $20; unknown intermediaries; Paramount, August 1974, Lot 308 – $700; Chuck Furjanic; Bowers and Ruddy Fixed Price List of 1975 – $1.695; American Auction Association, December 1975, Lot 271 – $950; “The Julius Turoff Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, October 1976, Lot 1487 – $900; unknown intermediary; Bowers and Merena, March 1984, Lot 613 – $3,300; Gene Sanders; Jonathan Gordon; Superior Galleries, May 1991, Lot 23 – $5,500; Dr. Thomas Turassini; Eric Streiner; Thomas D. Reynolds, April 24, 1993; Dr. John D. Wilson, October 6, 1997; Heritage Auctions, June 2005, Lot 5075. As NGC MS-62. “The Richard Jewell Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, August 2011, Lot 7223 – $13,800; As PCGS MS-61BN #25545344. Stack’s Bowers, November 2015, Lot 20006 – $16,450. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS AU-55 #25250124: “The Sommelier Collection,” Legend Rare Coin Auctions, May 27, 2021, Lot 412 – $11,456.25.
  • PCGS AU-53 #29986391: Stack’s, January 1988, Lot 971. As PCGS AU-53 #29986391. Stack’s Bowers, August 2014, Lot 13026 – $6,462.50.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 23

Rarity-4+. Obverse 6 with Reverse D. This is the only variety to use this obverse. Reverse D will also be used on Sheldon 24. Looking at the side-by-side image, you will see why this obverse die was discontinued. In perfect die state, this variety is rare. The reverse features six berries on the left and seven on the right. The ribbon is higher on the right. Also, the fraction bar touches the tall numerator “1”.

  • PCGS MS-63BN #13457248: Discovered in England; Stack’s, 1957; C. Douglas Smith June 1958; Dorothy I. Paschal; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, 2001. As PCGS MS-63BN #13457248. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2025 – $66,700. Husak Collection.
  • “EF-40”: Probably from the David Proskey Collection; sold in 1916 intact to Henry C. Hines; Col. E.H.R. Green Collection; B.G. Johnson to Abe Kosoff in March 1943, $18.75; “The Oscar Pearl Collection,” Numismatic Gallery Fixed Price List, 1944, Lot 35 – $35; Edward L. Urban to Robert Kissner; “The Kissner Collection,” Stack’s, June 1975, Lot 225; Tom Morley Collection; “The Morley Collection,” Cape Kennedy Medals, December 1975, Lot 9 – $2,500; Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz to Del Bland to Betram Cohen. Stack’s, January 2, 2007, Lot 24 – $17,250.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 24, Apple Cheek

The Sheldon-24 Apple Cheek. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-24. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Rarity-1. Obverse 7 with Reverse D. This is the only occurrence of this die, as it develops a crack the bisects that coin from the L in LIBERTY to the rim near 4. Head of 1794. Apple Cheek variety. Full cheeks.

  • PCGS MS-67RB #32189885: Lincoln Seagrave; Henry and S. Hudson Chapman, February 1903, Lot 1197 – $27.50; Allison W. Jackman; Allison W. Jackman Estate, 1917; “The Allison W. Jackman Collection,” Henry Chapman, June 1918, Lot 695 – $78; S. Hudson Chapman; Henry C. Hines; Dr. William H. Sheldon; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; “The R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection,” by sale, en bloc, February 1972; Eric Streiner, by sale, en bloc, via Stack’s, February 1992; Jay Parrino; Goldberg Auctioneers, October 2000, Lot 1397; Superior Galleries, May 2003, Lot 365; Oliver Jung; “The Oliver Jung Collection”, American Numismatic Rarities, July 2004, Lot 8 – $126,500; As PCGS MS-67RB #02368146. “Oliver Jung Collection”; Heritage Auctions, August 7, 2014, Lot 5524 – $352,500 [Editor’s Note: CoinWeek auction analyst Greg Reynolds wrote an extensive piece on the Jackman-Jung 1794 Apple Cheek Large Cent prior to the Aug. 7, 2014 auction. —CoinWeek]; As PCGS MS-67RB #32189885. D. Brent Pogue Family; “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection, Part V,” Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5095 – $446,500. Breen Die State V.
  • PCGS MS-65BN: Ed. Frossard, acquired from an old American cabinet for $24; Ed. Frossard, October 1884, Lot 865; T. Harrison Garrett, to Robert and John Work Garrett, by descent, 1888; Robert Garrett interest to John Work Garrett, 1919; transfer completed 1921; John Work Garrett to the Johns Hopkins University, by gift, 1942; “the Garrett Collection, Part I”, Bowers and Ruddy, November 1979, Lot 59 – $17,000; Stanley J. Richmid; Leon Hendrickson; Fred Sweeney Rare Coins; Robert Rhue and Michael Storeim; Kagin’s; Michael Storeim; Silvano DiGenova; Bowers and Merena, September 1988, Lot 3209 – $14,300; Silvano DiGenova; Superior Galleries, January 1989, Lot 3092 – $9,350; Paul Burke III; Anthony J. Terranova, April 1995; Walter J. Husak; Stuart A. Levine; D. Brent Pogue; private collector; Heritage Auctions, August 2014, Lot 5523 – Passed; Stack’s Bowers, March 22, 2018, Lot 2176 – $102,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • NGC MS-64+BN #4489301-001: Discovered in Europe. As NGC MS-64+BN #4489301-001. Heritage Auctions, January 4, 2018, Lot 4740 – $45,600; Stack’s Bowers, March 26, 2024, Lot 4009 – View.
  • NGC MS-64BN CAC #610349-001: “The Allison W. Jackman Collection”, Henry Chapman, June 1918, Lot 696; Virgil M. Brand; later, “The R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, Abe Kosoff, April 1956, Lot 16; Stack’s; Hollinbeck Kagin Coin Co.; Federal Brand, August 1964, Lot 43; Hollinbeck Kagin Coin Co.; Kagin’s, January 1981; Del Bland, May 13, 1986; “The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 30; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; EAC Sale, April 1989, Lot 22; Anthony Terranova; “The Gilbert Steinberg Collection”, Superior, October 1996, Lot 1563; Anthony Terranova; John F.E. Carroll; Bowers and Merena, July 1997, Lot 15. As NGC MS-64BN CAC #610349-001. Heritage Auctions, October 27, 2014, Lot 98018 – $76,375. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-61BN #6548233: Heritage Auctions, June 2002, Lot 5027; “The Adam Mervis Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 8, 2014, Lot 3324 – $16,450.
  • PCGS AU-55 CAC #83722778: Captain Andrew C. Zabriskie; “The Zabriskie Collection”, Henry Chapman, June 1909, Lot 738; Howard Newcomb; Homer K. Downing; New Netherlands Coin Company, 1952, Lot 1658; Stack’s Bowers, June 21, 2017, Lot 9229 – $15,275.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 25

The Sheldon 25 variety sees the first use of Obverse 8. Obverse 8 will be used here and on Sheldon 26. It is identified by its wide date with a wide gap between 17 and 94. There are several points where hair strands appear to be severed from one another. LIBERTY is also positioned high above the top of Liberty’s head. Reverse D features a very short fraction bar–as you can see in this example from the Clapp Collection–the bar extends from the end of the 1 to almost the center of the top of the second 0. There are also two tiny dotlike berries at the upper leaf stem area on the left.

  • PCGS AU-58 #13457250: “The Henry C. Miller Collection,” Thomas Elder, April 1917, Lot 674 – $105; “The Howard R. Newcomb Collection,” J.C. Morgenthau, February 1945, Lot 39 – $200; “The Charles H. Deetz Collection,” Stack’s, November 1946, Lot 1734 – $180; “The Judge Thomas L. Gaskill Collection,” New Netherlands, privately November 1956; Dorothy Paschal; “The John W. Adams Collection,” Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 17 – $6,000; Del Bland, October 1984; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998. As PCGS AU-58 #13457250. Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2027 – $48,875. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 26, Severed Hairs

Sheldon-26. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-26. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

The second use of Obverse 8. The reverse die is Reverse F. This die fails during production, resulting in a prominent crack from the first S of STATES to the top of the C in Cent and from the rim through the E to the top of the wreath. Two thirds will exhibit this crack. Also, note the presence of several die-clash images. This is a fairly common die marriage.

  • PCGS MS-66RB #32189848: Discovered at an upstate New York coin show about 1959; Richard Picker; C. Douglas Smith Collection; Louis Helfenstein Collection; “The Louis Helfenstein Collection”, Lester Merkin, August 1964, Lot 4 – $3,000; Dr. James McCleery Collection; Stack’s, by sale, en bloc, via Lester Merkin; Kevin Lipton to Anthony Terranova; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection; Eric Streiner, by sale, en bloc, via Stack’s, February 1992; Jay Parrino; Bowers and Merena, January 1999, Lot 1019; Lawrence Stack type set; acquired by sale, en bloc, January 2003. D. Brent Pogue Family. As PCGS MS-66RB #32189848. “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection, Part V,” Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5096 – $211,500. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS MS-66RB #4464327: George Seavey; William H. Strobridge, 1873, Lot 221; Lorin G. Parmelee, New York Coins & Stamp Co., June 1890, Lot 686 – $21; J.F. Anger; John G. Mills, S.H. Campman, April 1904, Lot 1238 – $36; George H. Earle., Jr., Henry Chapman, June 1912, Lot 3376 – $48; John H. Clapp, February 1942; Louis E. Elasberg, Sr., “The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection.” Bowers & Merena, May 1996, Lot 492 – $34,100; Anthony Terranova; Stack’s September 2005, Lot 473 – $120,750, ‘The Madison Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2008, Lot 2667 – $195,500. ELIASBERG on insert; Heritage Auctions, April 2009, Lot 2034 – $126,500; As PCGS MS-66RB #4464327 CAC. Heritage Auctions, April 25, 2013, Lot 4116 – $205,625. EAC 63, red is mostly concentrated at the date to pole. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-65BN #13457251: “The George W. Merritt Collection”, Ed. Frossard, January 1879, Lot 98 – $12.50; George H. Blanchard; W. Elliot Woodward, December 1882, Lot 358 – $9.25; “The E.F. Kuithan Collection”, Ed. Frossard, June 1883, Lot 248 – $18.75; “The Ed. Frossard Collection”, Ed. Frossard, October 1884, Lot 868; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett, 1919; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University, privately, 1973; “The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 19 – $9,000; Del Bland, November 1984; Dr. Allen Bennett, April 1992; Eric Streiner; Superior, October 1992, Lot 64 – $15,400; Anthony Terranova. As PCGS MS-65BN #13457251. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, February 15, 2008, Lot 2028 – $97,750. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-65BN: Elmer S. Sears, 1926; Henry A. Sternberg; J.C. Morganthau & Co., April 1933, Lot 11; B. Max Mehl personal collection, circa 1940; T. James Clarke, 1944; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. Naftzger, Jr.; Early American Coppers April 1989, Lot 23; Anthony Terranova; Martin Paul; unknown intermediary; Superior Galleries, February 1991, Lot 664. As PCGS MS-65BN. Heritage Auctions, August 16, 1995, Lot 5579 – $30,800. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC MS-62BN #136259-003: “The F.D. Taylor Collection,” Henry Chapman, June 1908, Lot 27; “The Howard Newcomb Collection, Part I,” J.C. Morgenthau, February 1945, Lot 38; L. Ward Hicks; Robert Bender; Heritage, July 1988, Lot 47; Heritage Auctions, January 7, 2015, Lot 3102 – $18,212.50. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS AU-58 CAC #41201440: Charles M. Williams (possibly); Heritage Auctions, January 2021, Lot 3315; Stack’s Bowers, June 10, 2021, Lot 1276 – $20,400.
  • NGC AU-58BN #4241589-004: “The Charles J. Dupont Collection,” Stack’s, September 1954, Lot 35 – $65; Dorothy Paschal; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; Alfred Bonard; Carlyle A. Luer; “The Carlyle A. Luer Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 4, 2018, Lot 4741 – $16,800. Dupont / Luer Collection on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 27

The pairing of Obverse 9 and Reverse G; Reverse G sticks around for Sheldon 28, as well. This is a scarce die marriage, and we could not secure an image of one better than this example from the Clapp Collection. This has a buckled obverse, which William C. Noyes describes as a bulged border to the fifth hair lock. I’m not sure how visible this is in the photo. The seventh curl points directly at the top of 1. Reverse G has a few notable features as well. There is a single leaf on the wreath at I in AMERICA. There is a tiny die break extending from the top of D toward the border, and with glass, you can make out a tiny berry on the upper left branch.

  • PCGS AU-50 #13457252: Discovered in England, 1970; Lester Merkin, March 1970; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr. Collection,” New Netherlands Coin Company, November 1973, Lot 350 – $3,200; John W. Adams, January 1975; Denis W. Loring, May 1983; “The Jack H. Robinson Collection,” Superior, January 1989, Lot 44 – $16,500; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998. As PCGS AU-50 #13457252. Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2029 – $51,750.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 28

Obverse 10 and Reverse G. Sheldon 28 features a very simple expression of Liberty’s hair detail. Noyes points out the straight perpendicular line that can be drawn with your imagination at the termination of Liberty’s third, fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth points. LIBERTY is punched slightly high on the die. The R is 1.5 mm above the head. Faint die cracks are seen in the cap, hair, nose, and border. This is a more common deployment of Reverse G.

  • PCGS MS-63BN #13291618: S.H. Chapman’s sale of the John Lyman Collection, November 1913, Lot 401; Henry C. Hines to William Sheldon in 1944; “The Charles M. Williams Collection,” Numismatic Gallery, November 1950, Lot 29 – $162.50; “The R.E. “Ted” Naftzger Collection,” New Netherlands, November 1973, Lot 351 – $2,000; RARCOA to Dennis Forgue to Thomas Werner; Stack’s, January 1987, Lot 837 – $5,280; Anthony Terranova; Superior Galleries, January 1989, Lot 3093 – $4,620; Larry Briggs; “The Red Bank Collection,” American Numismatic Rarities, December 1, 2003, Lot 389 – $13,225; Heritage Auctions, August 2004, Lot 5092; “The Kennywood Collection”, American Numismatic Rarities, January 10, 2005, Lot 74 – $14,950; “The Dr. Robert Hesselgesser Collection”, Goldberg Auctioneers, February 2007, Lot 261; As PCGS MS-63BN #13291618. “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 47. Dan Holmes Collection on insert; Chris Victor-McCawley, March 2010; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2452 – $24,675. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS MS-63BN #13457253: Dennis E. Steinmetz, October 1989; Douglas Bird, January 1995; Robert J. Shalowitz; Chris Victor-McCawley, June 1995; G. Lee Kuntz; Chris Victor-McCawley. Walter J. Husak. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2030 – $40,250. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS MS-62BN #06145594: Heritage Auctions, August 2006, Lot 5035; “The Joseph C. Thomas Collection”, Heritage Auctions, April 30, 2009, Lot 2033 – $17,250.
  • PCGS MS-62BN #50144331: Heritage Auctions, April 26, 2006, Lot 241 – $20,125.
  • PCGS AU-58 #81233634: Charles J. Dupont, Stack’s, September 1954, Lot 37; Abe Kosoff; Glen E. Wallace, 1974; Abe Kosoff; RARCOA, May 1974, Lot 804; Gordon J. Wrubel; Dr. David Crossen; Dana Linett; Dr. George E. Ewing, Jr.; unknown; Heritage Auctions, April 2006, Lot 241; Chris Victor-McCawley, May 5, 2006; Jon Alan Boka. As PCGS AU-58 #81233634. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5313 – $24,675. Dupont-Wrubel-Boka on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 29

Sheldon-29. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-29. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Obverse 10 and Reverse H–the only reverse with the long-tailed ribbon. Also note the use of the long-tailed R in AMERICA.

  • NGC MS-65BN: As PCGS MS-64BN #05485876. “The Joshua and Ally Walsh Collection of United States Cents”, Heritage Auctions, January 2006, Lot 3021 – $34,500; As NGC MS-65BN. “The Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation”, Stack’s Bowers, August 7, 2010, Lot 1002 – $43,700.
  • PCGS MS-65BN #13457254: W.W. Hays, 1900; Charles Steigerwalt, 1906; Charles Zug; Lyman H. Low, March 1907, Lot 24 – $31; “The Howard R. Newcomb Collection”, J.C. Morgenthau, February 1945, Lot 41 – $65; Willard C. Blaisdell; Del Bland; “The John W. Adams Collection, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 21 – $9,500; Del Bland, October 1984; Dr. Allen Bennett; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2031 – $97,750. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC MS-63BN #1800345-003: Bowers and Merena, August 2004, Lot 12; “The Douglas C. Kaselitz Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, July 2015, Lot 5013 – $18,800.
  • PCGS AU-55: W.W. Hays, 1900; Charles Steigerwalt; unknown intermediaries; ” J.H. South Collection”, Stack’s, 1952, Lot 335; Homer K. Downing; New Netherlands 1952, Lot 1666 – $42.50; Hugh O. Griffins; Arthur E. Young; Alex Cooper Auctioneers, 2012, Lot 26; Stack’s Bowers, August 7, 2012, Lot 11184 – $24,000 Reserve Not Met.
  • AU-50: J.W. Haseltine; S.H. Chapman; Carl Wurtzbach-Beckwith, 1923 – $95; French; Clark; D. Nelson, 1976; John W. Admas; Brooks; As “AU-50”. Bowers and Merna, 1989. Coin was apparently cleaned and recolored in the 20th century.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 30, Head of 94, Marred Field

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-30. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-30. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Obverse 11, Reverse H. This is known as the “marred field” obverse. You will see a jagged raised feature in the field to the left of the hair; this is the result of a die break. Also, the hair detail is much fuller than on previous dies. Noyes suggests that, with Liberty’s full cheek and mouth expression, she appears to be smiling. If you look closely, you will also note minor die clash images on many examples. An attractive die variety and one of the most commonly found for the issue.

  • PCGS MS-66BN CAC #5001282: Stack’s, privately in 1971; John W. Adams; Gordon J. Wrubel; Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz, August 1977; Del Bland May 1986; Herman Halpern; “The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 41 – $16,400; Andrew M. Hain; “The Hain Family Collection”, Stack’s, January 2002, Lot 731; Legend Numismatics, October 15, 2008; Martin Logies; private collector; As PCGS MS-66BN CAC #50001282. Stack’s Bowers, August 13, 2011, Lot 7222 – $86,250; “The Jim O’Neal Collection of U.S. Type, Part One”, Heritage Auctions, April 24, 2014, Lot 5509 – $117,642.18.
  • PCGS MS-64BN #13457255: Dr. Edward Maris; unknown intermediaries, Col. E.H.R. Green; B.G. Johnson, March 24, 1943 – $45; Abe Kosoff; Numismatic Gallery, 1944 Fixed Price List, Lot 54 – $225; T. James Clarke, 1950; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 2000; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2032 – $92,000. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC AU-58BN #2038685-020: “The Adam Mervis Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2014, Lot 2454. MERVIS COLLECTION on insert; Stack’s Bowers, March 29, 2017, Lot 444 – $8,225.
  • PCGS AU-55: Stack’s Bowers, February 2015, Lot 1106 – $6,462.50.
  • PCGS EF-45 CAC: Stack’s Bowers, June 14, 2022, Lot 1151 – $13,200.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 31

Sheldon-31. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-31. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Rarity-1. Head of 1794. Obverse 12, Reverse I. Also features a marred field, but while the die crack is similar, it is larger and more developed. The hair detail is changed, with the lowest lock cut more lightly. The reverse die features a very long fraction bar that extends beyond the denominator. The ribbon knot is also bulbous.

  • PCGS MS-67BN CAC #2368157: Discovered in England; Stack’s, August 1957; C. Douglas Smith; Abe Kosoff, August 14, 1957; R.E. Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner; Jay Parrino; John F.E. Carroll; Bowers and Merena, January 1999, Lot 1020; Ed Milas; Laura Sperber; Bruce Morelan; Legend Rare Coins Auctions, October 2020, lot 3 – $258,500; “The Westwood Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 14, 2022, Lot 4569 – $264,000. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-66BN CAC #6589718: C.M. Williams; Dr. James O. Sloss; Lester Merkin, June 1971, Lot 546; Dr. James E. Dice; Stack’s, March 1986, Lot 836; Herman Halpern; “The Herman Halpern Collection of United States Large Cents”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 43; Anthony Terranova; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1992; Denis W. Loring; Stack’s Bowers, March 2014, Lot 4008 – $129,250; Anthony J. Terranova; Martin Logies, Stack’s bowers, January 2013, Lot 13111 – Passed; Stack’s Bowers, March 2014, Lot 4008; Heritage Auctions, April 23, 2020, Lot 3633 – $120,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS MS-64BN #13457256: “The Philip H. Ward, Jr. Collection”, Stack’s, April 1964, Lot 799 – $1,300; “The Frank H. Masters, Jr. Collection”, RARCOA, May 1971, Lot 57 – $1,350; Jerry A. Bobbe; RARCOA; Bruce Todd; RARCOA; Allen Harriman; Auction ’83 – Superior, Lot 1522 – $13,750; Allen Harriman; Gary Ruttenberg; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2033 – $74,750. Husak Collection on insert; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 50. Reholdered. Dan Holmes Collection on insert. Greg Hannigan; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2457 – $70,500. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-63+BN #33415945: “The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 45; Superior, January 1990, Lot 190; “The John R. Frankenfield Collection”, Superior, February 2001, Lot 226; “The March Wells, Jr. Collection”, Goldberg Auctioneers, February 2009, Lot 513. “The Boulder City Collection”, Heritage Auctions, May 23, 2022, Lot 44003 – $33,600.
  • PCGS MS-63+BN CAC #39493097: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; “The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection”, Bowers and Merena, May 1996, Lot 493 – $14,300; Robert Kaufmann; unknown intermediaries; Legend Rare Coin Auctions, July 16, 2020, Lot 102 – $42,300.
  • PCGS MS-63BN #90066222: “The Charles M. Williams Collection”, Numismatic Gallery, November 1950, Lot 32; “The Dr. James O. Sloss Collection of United States Large Cents”, Abe Kosoff, October 1959, Lot 14; “The Herbert M. Oechsner Estate”, Stack’s, September 1988, Lot 42; “The ESM Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 6, 2020, Lot 1009 – $28,800.
  • “Mint State 62”: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; “English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C.”, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd., October 1964; Stack’s, June 23, 2004, Lot 4030 – $13,800; Stack’s, October 13, 2004, Lot 1056 – $11,500.
  • NGC MS61BN #3809156-019: House of Davis McKinney, January 1964, Lot 220; “The Eugene Exman Collection”, Heritage Auctions, June 4, 2015, Lot 3758 – $18,800. Exman Collection on insert.
  • PCGS AU-55 #81233636: “The William J. Jenks Collection”, W. Elliot Woodward, June 1883, Lot 471 – $11; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett, 1919; John Work Garrett, 1942; Johns Hopkins University; “The Garrett Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, November 1979, Lot 63 – $5,200; Stanley J. Richmond; Dana Linett; Dr. George E. Ewing, Jr.; Eric Streiner; Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz; Jack H. Beymer; Chris Victor-McCawley, Fixed Price List, September 1993 – $17,500; Dr. Thomas Turissini; Anthony Terranova and Chris Victor-McCawley, April 24, 2000; Jon Alan Boka. As PCGS AU-55 #81233636. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5316 – $25,850. Jenks-Garrett-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS AU-55: American Numismatic Rarities, June 21, 2006, Lot 532 – View.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 32

Sheldon 32 matches the new Obverse 13 with Reverse J; we will see this obverse again on Sheldons 33 and 34 (these latter varieties are more scarce). The hair detail on this obverse has several upturned locks at the terminating point. The date is far away from the bust, nearly touching the denticles. LIBERTY is also high on the design. The obverse design will show weak milling on the right side.Note the rim break at LI. The reverse has a short fraction bar and you will see that a berry is aligned between the leg and post of the R in AMERICA. A die break develops on this reverse that runs through the S. This is the more common pairing of Obverse 13. Likely delivered on March 28, 1794.

  • PCGS MS-66BN #20383873: “The Henry C. Miller Collection”, Thomas Elder, April 1917, Lot 678 – $112.50; Henry Chapman; Dr. Christian A. Allenberger; B. Max Mehl, March 1948, Lot 339 – $87.50; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr; Naftzger sold to Eric Streiner, February 23, 1992; Jay Parrino; Anthony Terranova; Dr. Thomas Turissini. As PCGS MS-65+RB #20383873. Legend Rare Coin Auctions, September 26, 2018, Lot 210 – Passed; As PCGS MS-66BN #20383873. Legend Rare Coin Auctions, March 21, 2019, Lot 8 – $152,750. Allenberger-Naftzger/Noyes Plt on insert.
  • PCGS MS-64BN #13457257: Discovered in Boston; Thomas Elder, October 1907, Lot 137; Virgil M. Brand; B.G. Johnson, March 1943; Abe Kosoff; New Netherlands Coin Co. September 1953, Lot 248 (238) – $155; “The Floyd Starr Collection”, Stack’s, June 1984, Lot 25 – $9,900; Dr. Allen Bennett, 2000; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2034 – $69,000. Husak Collection on insert.
  • NGC MS-62BN #2046415-009: Eric P. Newman – $60.00; “Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part V”, Heritage Auctions, November 14, 2014, Lot 3091 – $32,900. Eric P. Newman novelty insert.
  • NGC AU-55+BN #4241589-005: Dr. William H. Sheldon; Stack’s, privately; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; Alfred Bonard; Numismatic Enterprises, February 1968, Lot 26 – $750; Alfred Bonard; Carlyle A. Luer. “The Carlyle A. Luer Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 3, 2018, Lot 3164 – $21,600. Bonard / Luer Collection on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 33

Rarity-6. Known as the “Wheel Spokes” reverse. The LI rim break is still present. Same weak milling. On the reverse, we see ONE CENT is weakly impressed. The reverse fairly quickly developed spokes- 4 and then 6 before reaching its terminal state. The variety was first “discovered” in 1888 by collector William Hayes. Was considered an R-7 variety in the 1950s. A few more have been accounted for since.

  • PCGS VF-35 #13457258: Harold Straight, 1950; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, January 1993; Tom Morley, October 1993; Dr. Robert A. Schulman, April 1998. As PCGS VF-35 #13457258. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2035 – $103,500. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS G-6: Stack’s Bowers, November 14, 2019, Lot 3009 – $22,000 Reserve Not Met.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 34

Rarity-5. Sheldon 34 uses the same obverse on the common 32 and scarce 33 continued, this time with Reverse L. Again note the rim break at LI. Hair detail is the same. A rim break is developing in the cap area. The reverse sees the ribbon bow connect to the knot off to the left side, practically missing it. There is a single berry to the immediate left of the ribbon. Rim break and cud above LI, crack from cud to cap. Double lock fifth from bottom; locks four and six turn up. Reverse (L): Five berries on the left side of the wreath, six berries on the right. Bow to the left of the knot. One berry left of the bow.

  • Extra Fine: A.E.L. Reese; Dr. George W. Massacre, November 1895, Lot 351 – $10.50; W.W. Hayes, 1900; Charles Steigerwalt, 1906; Charles G. Zug; Lyman H. Low, March 1907, Lot 28 – $15.50; W.B. Guy; Henry Chapman, November 1911, Lot 398 – $34; Dr. George P. French, March 21, 1929; “The George P. French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, Fixed Price List, 1929, Lot 51 – $300; T. James Clarke, 1944; B. Max Mehl; Dr. William H. Sheldon, March 25, 1945; George H. Clapp; ANS Collection. Finest known.
  • PCGS XF-45BN #81233638: Heritage Auctions, September 2016 – $58,750.
  • PCGS XF-45BN #81233638: Dr. Thomas Hall; W.W. Hays; Dr. Thomas Hall, September 7, 1909; Virgil M. Brand, February 7, 1941; B.G. Johnson, September 28. 1943 – $50; Thomas Elder; Oscar Pearl; Numismatic Gallery, 1944 Fixed Price List, Lot 45 – $95; Dr. William H. Sheldon; American Numismatic Society, January 2001; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 2001; As PCGS XF-45BN #13457259. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2036 – $54,625. Husak Collection on insert. As PCGS XF-45 #81233638. Jon Alan Boka; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5319 – $58,750. Hall-Husak-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 35

Rarity-5+. Sheldon 35 represents the only appearance of this die pairing. New Obverse 14 joins Reverse L from Sheldon 34. This variety starts with a perfect die and quickly deteriorates as you can see from the jagged line that bisects the coin from north to south. The date on this obverse die is very close to the denticles, with the 9 merging with them. R is double cut and touches the denticle. The hair detail features seven fine locks.

  • PCGS AU-50 #81233639: Discovered in an Australian collection; Empire Coins June 1965; Dorothy I. Paschal; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. February 1992; Eric Streiner, January 1993; Tom Morley, October 1993; Dr. Robert A. Schuman, April 1995; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 2001. As PCGS AU-50 #13457260. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2037 – $46,000. Husak Collection on insert; Jon Alan Boka; As PCGS AU-50 #81233639. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5320 – $64,625. Reholdered. Paschal-Husak-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC XF-40BN #2038595-033: “The Matthew Adams Stickney Collection”, Henry Chapman, June 1907, Lot 1481 – $12.50; J.L. Howland; United States Coin Co., October 1914, Lot 415 – $73; Henry C. Hines, 1944; Dr. William H. Sheldon; Dorothy I. Paschal, December 13, 1966; Eugene Exman, August 14, 1972; Dorothy I. Paschal, January 3, 1973; Darwin B. Palmer, Jr.; Dr. Edward R. Bush; Del Bland, March 25, 1984; George E. Ewing, Jr.; Darwin B. Palmer, Jr.; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Coins, September 2009, Lot 56; Greg Hannigan; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2461 – $28,200.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 36

Liberty’s head situated slightly low in the coin, terminating near the date. The burst rests on the number 4. The lowest hair curl terminates about 2mm from the date. The reverse is the second one to feature just one berry to the immediate left of the bow. This reverse die is also paired with Sheldon 37 and 38.

  • PCGS AU-55 #13457261: Discovered in England in 1934; “The Homer K. Downing Collection”, New Netherlands, Lot 1673 – $250; R.E. Naftzger, Jr., March 1973; John W. Adams; Del Bland, June 1984; George E. Ewing, Jr.; Eric Streiner, April 1993; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2038 – $43,125. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 37, Head of 1794

Sheldon-37. Image: NGC.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-37. Image: NGC.

Obverse die 16. Note the Distance between the 1 and the rest of the date. Noyes notes eight distinct hair locks, with the second to last being longer than usual and pointing down. This variety features the same reverse that we saw on Sheldon 36. Sheldon 37 is a scarce variety.

Walter Husak holds a printout of 1794 Sheldon-37 large cents that placed on exhibit at the 2007 Early American Coppers Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Image: CoinWeek.
Walter Husak holds a printout of 1794 Sheldon-37 large cents that placed on exhibit at the 2007 Early American Coppers Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Image: CoinWeek.
  • PCGS XF-45 #13457262: Bowers and Merena; Bowers and Merena, January 1993, Lot 220 – $26,400; Anthony Terranova; Thomas D. Reynolds and Chris Victor-McCawley; Tom Morley, October 1993; Dr. Robert Schulman, May 1994; Dr. Allen Bennett. As PCGS XF-45 #13457262. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2039 – $161,000. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC VF-30: Copley Coin Co., February 1963; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; Alfred Bonard; “The Henry J. Berube Collection”, New England Coin Co. November 16, 1965; Philip Van Cleave, March 4, 1977; William R.T. Smith, April 4, 1977; R. E. Naftzger, February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner, July 8, 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, July 7, 1995; Paul Langseth, July 1996. As NGC VF-30. “The Wes Rasmussen Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 13, 2005, Lot 3044 – $34,500.
  • NGC VF-20BN #2038647-003: G.G. Finnell, who discovered it unattributed in the 1950s, August 21, 1978; Tom Morley, January 1, 1979; Del Bland, March 25, 1984; George E. Ewing, Jr., December 1989 via Darwin Palmer; Robinson S. Brown, Jr.; Tom Morley; “The Tom Morley Collection”, Superior, May 1992, Lot 189 – $28,600; Tom Morley, January 1996; Jack Wadlington, June 2005 via Chris McCawley and Bob Grellman; Dan Holmes; “The Dan Holmes Collection”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 59; Paul Gerrie; Chris McCawley, June 2011 via Greg Hannigan; Adam Mervis; As NGC VF-20BN #2038647-003. “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2014, Lot 2464 – $117,500. MERVIS COLLECTION on insert; Chris McCawley; Dan Trollan, “The Dan Trollan collection”, Goldberg Auctioneers, January 2019, Lot 138. Stack’s Bowers, March 25, 2021, Lot 4012 – $78,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS VF-20 #34342394: Denis Loring, January 1983; Jack H. Robinson; Richard V. Punchard; Tom Morley, September 12, 1991; “The Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Collection”,  Superior, January 1996, Lot 53; Larry Briggs; “The Loma Linda Collection, Part II”, Heritage Auctions, February 22, 2018, Lot 3715 – $60,000.
  • PCGS VF-20 #81233641: Copley Coin Co., February 1963; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; Alfred Bonard; New England Coin Co., November 16, 1965; Philip Van Cleave March 4, 1977; William R.T. Smith, April 4, 1977; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner, July 8, 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, July 7, 1995; Paul Langseth, July 1996; “The Wes A. Rasmussen Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2005, Lot 3044; Jon Alan Boka; As PCGS VF-20 #81233641. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5322 – $88,125. Copley-Rasmussen-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 38

The first of three die varieties to feature Obverse 17. Immediately apparent is the presence of a large die chip behind Liberty’s hair. A blunt single lock of hair wraps toward the date at the bottom. On the reverse, we see the same die as used on Sheldon 36 and 37. A single berry is present to the immediate left of the bow. Six berries on the left and seven on the right.

  • PCGS MS-63BN #13457903: Discovered in England; Lester Merkin; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; Alfred Bonard; French’s, privately, May 1967; R.E. Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., 2001. As PCGS MS-63BN #13457903. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2040 – $57,500. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS XF40 #81233642: Rare Coin Company of America, 1974; Gordon J. Wrubel March 1976; Denis W. Loring, May 7, 1983; Jack H. Robinson, January 23, 1988; “The J.R. Frankenfield Collection”, Superior Galleries, February 2001, Lot 234; W.M. “Jack” Wadlington, 2004; Daniel W. Holmes, Jr., March 17, 2008; Chris Victor-McCawley; Walter J. Husak. As NGC XF-45BN #2038595-035. The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2014, Lot 2465 – $47,000; Jon Alan Boka. As PCGS XF-40 #81233642. Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5323 – $30,550. Crossed to PCGS at one grade down. Wrubel-Mervis-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 39

Rarity-6. Like Sheldon 38, Sheldon 39 uses Obverse 17. The marred field remains with the visible die chip behind Liberty’s hair. The identifying features of this variety appear on the reverse. Here you have six berries on the right and seven on the left. ONE CENT is positioned high inside the wreath. Also note that the ribbon terminates close to the A.

 

  • PCGS AU-55 #13457904: Charles I. Bushnell; Lorin G. Parmelee; Chapman Brothers, June 1882, Lot 2626 – $11; Chapman Brothers; “The Thomas Warner Collection”, Chapman Brothers, June 1884, Lot 3000 – $7.25; David Proskey; Henry Phelps, 1901; Charles Steigerwalt, 1906; Charles Zug; Lyman H. Low, March 1907, Lot 40 – $38.50; Thomas Elder; Ebenezer Gilbert; Thomas Elder, October 1910, Lot 40 – $101; H.O. Granberg; “The William H. Woodin Collection”, United States Coin Co., May 1915, Lot 125 – $245; Henry C. Hines, 1944; Homer K. Downing, 1948; Dr. William H. Sheldon; American Numismatic Society; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., 2001; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2041 – $69,000. Husak Collection on insert; Colonel Steven K. Ellsworth; This coin was featured on Cool Coins! Episode #7: 2012 EAC Convention. Also shown was a raw XF example.
  • NGC XF-40BN #3809157-006: Ebenezer Gilbert, Jr.; Thomas L. Elder, December 1913, Lot 835 – $85; John P. Young; Barney Bluestone, April 1945, Lot 1768 – $165; Robert L. Moore, November 1958; Dorothy I. Paschal; Eugene Exman; “The Eugene Exman Collection”, Heritage Auctions, June 4, 2015, Lot 3761 – $27,025. EXMAN COLLECTION on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 40

Sheldon 40 is the third and final of three die marriages to use Obverse 17. Again, easily identifiable due to the marred field. The reverse utilizes die O. The bow is small and extends high above the knot. This example from the Clapp Collection shows die cracks at the D and the N, which are characteristic of die state B. Note seven berries on the left and the right.

  • PCGS MS-63BN #13457905: “The Ed. Frossard Collection”, Ed. Frossard, October 1884, Lot 887; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett, 1919; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University, March 1973; “The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 30 – $22,500; Bowers and Ruddy Galleries; Bowers and Merena Galleries; John W. Adams; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner January 1993; Tom Morley; Superior, January 1994, Lot 778 – $18,700; Tom Morley and Chris Victor-McCawley, April 22, 1995; Jon Alan Boka, April 19, 1997; As PCGS MS-63BN #13457905. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2042 – $86,250; Chris Victor-McCawley March, 17/2008; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 63. Dan Holmes Collection on insert; Chris Victor-McCawley; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2467 – $94,000.
  • PCGS XF-45 #81233644: An unnamed English source to James D. King, August 23, 1973; C. Douglas Smith; Del Bland; Dr. Robert A. Schuman, March 1976; Del Bland. September 1982; Denis W. Loring, May 7, 1983; “The Jack H. Robinson Collection”, Superior Galleries, January 1989, Lot 65 – $8,250; “The J.R. Frankenfield Collection”, Superior Galleries, February 2001, Lot 236; W.M “Jack” Wadlington, July 2005; Chris Victor-McCawley, July 25, 2005; Jon Alan Boka; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5325 – $32,900. Robinson-Frankenfield-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 41

R-3. Head of 1794. This variety features the 18th obverse for the issue as well as a new reverse, identified as Reverse Q. Notice that the marred field is gone. A variety marker for this obverse is the short hair locks above and below the Liberty pole. On the date, the numerals 1 and 4 are spaced apart, while the 79 is punched close together. The date almost touches the border. On the reverse, the berries are small on this die. The fraction bar is low, and shorter than the spread of the denominator. Some examples will show a large crack from the edge, through the AT in STATES, through the wreath and landing at ONE.

  • PCGS AU-53 #13457906: Dixie Land Collection; Geoffrey Charlton Adams, November 1906, Lot 915 – $15; David Proskey; later, New Netherlands, September 1953, Lot 236 – $52.50; Dorothy Paschal; Dr. William H. Sheldon; Dorothy Paschal, June 1977; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1993; Dr. Thomas Turissini; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 20008, Lot 2043 – $25,300. Husak Collection on insert. Lightly cleaned at some point. Dark surfaces. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 42

Sheldon 42 reuses Obverse 18 so the same features that we used to identify Sheldon 41 are in play and all known examples of this variety are struck with an obverse die in perfect condition. To identify Sheldon 42, turn the coin over and study the reverse. Sheldon 42 is the first of two varieties to use Reverse R. Here the number of berries on each side of the wreath is six. The center dot, visible on many varieties of 1794 cents, is seen on this reverse die merged at the top left Serif of the N in CENT. Specialists know this reverse as the WEAK OF reverse as the word OF in the legend is poorly defined.

  • PCGS AU-55 #81233604: Lorin Parmelee, July 1891; Dr. Thomas Hall, September 1909; Virgil M. Brand; New Netherlands Coin Co., October 1951, Lot 590 – $165; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, New Netherlands Coin Co., November 1973, Lot 363 – $1,500; “The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 33 – $3,500; Denis W. Loring, May 1983; Jack Robinson Superior, January 1989, Lot 69 – $7,975; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998. As PCGS AU-58 #13457907. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2044 – $48,875. Husak Collection on insert. As PCGS AU-55 #81233604. Jon Alan Boka. Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5327 – $37,600. Regraded, downgraded one grade. Parmelee-Husak-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC AU-50 #1941087-008: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; “English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C.”, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd., October 1964, Lot 146 – $336; Edwin Shapiro, via Lester Merkin; C. Douglas Smith, 1965; Alfred Bonard; C. Douglas Smith, October 31, 1968; “The Jules Reiver Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 24, 2006, Lot 19203 – $34,500. JULES REIVER COLLECTION on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 43

Rarity-3. Introduces a new obverse that is married to the same reverse we saw in Sheldon 42. This is the short obverse, which lacks the loop at the bottom left of the bust truncation. Liberty’s hair features seven short locks and the curls in her hair are thick and wavy. The top of numerals 1 and 4 touch the figure above. Reverse R is employed again – note the faint OF – and in this variety, we see a progression of heavy die cracks on the reverse of this issue. The illustrated example from the Clapp Collection at the American Numismatic Society (ANS) shows a faint, thin crack splitting the U in UNITED. In later states, this crack becomes thicker and dominates the reverse – extending through the wreath and the touching the C in cent before terminating at the A in STATES. This is not the only crack apparent on this reverse die. Slightly more scarce than the R-4 Sheldon 42.

  • NGC MS-62BN: “The Allison Park Collection,” American Numismatic Rarities, August 15, 2004, Lot 42 – $11,500.
  • NGC MS-61BN #2038595-038: J. Chandler Roach; J. Colvin Randall; S.K. Harzfeld. November 1880, Lot 440 – $18; “The Ed. Frossard Collection”, Ed. Frossard, October 1884, Lot 876; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett, 1919; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University, March 1973; “The John W. Adams Collection,” Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 34 – $3,750; Bertram M. Cohen; George E. Ewing, Jr., May 13, 1990; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I,” Goldberg Coins, September 2009, Lot 69; Greg Hannigan; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2472 – $25,850. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS XF40 #81233605: Heritage Auctions, August 1993, Lot 5912; James L. Moore; Chris Victor-McCawley, January 13, 2005; Jon Alan Boka; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Cents,” Heritage Auctions, September 2016; “The James DeAngelis Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, March 27, 2024, Lot 5018 – View. Heritage-McCawley-Boka on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 44

R-1. Head of 1794. Obverse 19 sees its second deployment. Short bust, the tip of numerals 1 and 4 touch the figure above. Hair is wavy with short locks. The reverse now is Reverse S, which is only seen on Sheldon 44. Note the large berry to the left of C in CENT. This is your naked eye identifier for the reverse. The obverse on Sheldon 44 will always appear cracked. Here you see cracks extending through the left side of Liberty’s cap and through the 1 and 7 of the date. On Reverse S, we see seven berries instead of the 6 that were engraved on the S-43 Obverse 19 die marriage. The berry opposite of the C is large and pronounced. This reverse is found with and without die cracks, more often than not a prominent die crack is visible running from the border, to the left of the O in OF and down to the N in ONE. This is a common R-1 variety and is the more frequently found variety using Obverse 19.

  • PCGS MS-63BN CAC #25611798: “The Clarence S. Bement Collection”, Henry Chapman, May 1916, Lot 293 – $23; “The Arthur L. Gray Collection”, J.C. Morgenthau, February 1939, Lot 560 – $24; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate; “The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection”, Bowers and Merena, May 1996, Lot 496 – $20,900; “The Thomas D. Reynolds Collection”, Goldberg Auctions, January 2016, Lot 28. “The Arizona Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 12, 2022, Lot 3008 – $30,000. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-63BN #13457909: Virgil M. Brand; Carl Wurtzbach, 1938; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner; Anthony Terranova; Dr. Allen Bennett, 1999; As PCGS MS-63BN #13457909. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage, February 2008, Lot 2046 – $40,250. Husak Collection on insert; William Mitchell; Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2009, Lot 4327 – $45,600. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • AU-50: then tied for third on census. Necomb coin referenced by Sheldon. Plated by Chapman. M.A. Brown, 1897; Earle, 1912; Newcomb – R. Green Fixed Price List, May 1946; Abner Kreisberg Auction, 1954; Ted Nafzger; John W. Adams, 1973. As “AU-50”. Brooks Sale (1989).

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 45

Rarity-5. A die marriage consisting of Obverse 20 and Reverse T. Liberty’s hair features thick heavy braids with a gap between the bottom and next to last set of curls. The 7 in the date is slightly long and hangs a touch lower than the other numerals. The tip of the 1 touches the hair and the top of the 4 touches the bust truncation. The reverse die was damaged when put into use and Noyes points out that much of the reverse from TA in STATES to the lower right branch is peppered with tiny linear marks. Typical examples will exhibit a die crack at the IC in AMERICA. The wreath exhibits seven berries to the left and six to the right. The fraction bar is short and tilts up towards the right, slightly. Also present is a lump in left loop of the bow.

  • PCGS MS-65RB #32189852: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; “English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C.”, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd., October 1964, Lot 147 – $2,800; Harold Van Colle; Dorothy Paschal and Dr. William H. Sheldon Collection; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; “The R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, by sale, en bloc, April 1972; Eric Streiner, by sale, en bloc, via Stack’s, February 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, by sale; Walter J. Husak, by sale, 2001; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2047 – $149,500. Husak Collection on insert; Chris Victor-McCawley; Daniel W. Holmes, Jr. Collection, by sale, May 2008; “The Dan Holmes Collection”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 74; The D. Brent Pogue Family. As PCGS MS-65RB #32189852. “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection”, Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5097 – $152,750. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • NGC Details – Repaired #2038595-040: Michael R. Kirzner, February 1971; Denis W. Loring, February 1971; John W. Adams; Dorothy I. Paschal, May 1977; Denis W. Loring, December 1977; Robinson S. Brown, Jr.; “The Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Collection”, Superior, September 1986, lot 60 – $4,180; Robinson S. Brown, Jr.; Superior Stamp & Coin Co., January 1996, Lot 64 – $8,800; Dan Holmes, May 9, 2008; Chris Victor-McCawley, April 17, 2009; Greg Hannigan; Adam Mervis; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2014, Lot 2476; Stack’s Bowers, March 24, 2021, Lot 1536 – $22,800. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 46

Rarity-3. Marries Obverse 20 with a new reverse, this time Reverse U. Reverse U features six berries to the left and six berries to the right. The bow of the ribbon is engraved high above the knot. Examples also exhibit a short break that crosses the E in UNITED.

  • PCGS XF-40 #37256130: “The Ed Frossard Collection”, October 1884, Lot 892; T. Harrison Garrett to Robert and John Work Garrett, by descent, 1888; Robert Garrett interest to John Work Garrett, 1919; transfer completed 1921; John Work Garrett to The Johns Hopkins University, by gift, 1942; “The Garrett Collection, Part I”, Bowers and Ruddy, November 1979, Lot 66 – $1,100; Tom Morley; Paul Padget, June 1984; “The Wes Rasmussen Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2005, Lot 3054; Bowers and Merena, August 2005, Lot 107; Chris Victor-McCawley Fixed Price List #78; 2005; Walter Husak; Terry Denham, May 14, 2011; Stack’s Bowers, August 2019, Lot 561 – $6,600. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 47

R-4. Short bust variety. Reverse bow skewed left. new obverse and reverse dies. This is Obverse 21, which we see used here and on Sheldons 48 and 49 and NC-9. Although the die will undergo retooling before it is deployed on Sheldon 48. This is known as the “short bust” variety. On this obverse, the termination of the upper two locks is bulbous and ends abruptly. The next lock down is severed from the head. There is a doubled denticle to the immediate left of 1 on the date. The ribbon is off-center to the left, with a frayed ribbon on the right end. The reverse used is Reverse V. Six berries appear on each side of the wreath. The right ribbon is split at the end. The typical example will show a small crack that extends from the border to the first A in AMERICA.

  • Extra Fine: Charles E. Clapp, December 1924; George H. Clapp; American Numismatic Society. Finest known.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 48, Starred Reverse

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-48. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-48. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Rarity 5+. Sheldon 48 features a retooled version of Obverse 21 and a Reverse W. The retooling removes the doubling present on the LI of LIBERTY. LIBERTY is set low on the coin and R almost touches Liberty’s hair. The upper two locks of Liberty’s hair appear bulbous, almost braided, before terminating. Reverse W is instantly recognizable, having 94 tiny stars punched at the tips of the denticles. Typical examples may not exhibit all 94 stars as many were struck with defective planchets. The variety was discovered by the Chapman Brothers. Approximately 60 examples survive in all grades.

  • PCGS AU-50 #13457913: Spink & Son, Ltd., 1972 Fixed Price List; “New York Collector Collection”, Stack’s, September 1972, Lot 662 – $15,000;
    The John W. Adams Collection, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 43 – $50,000; Bowers and Ruddy, marketed in Rare Coin Review #43, 1982; Bowers and Ruddy, marketed in Rare Coin Review #46, December 1982; Dr. Boyd Hayward November 1985; Bowers and Merena April 1986, Lot 945; R.E. Naftzger, Jr. February 1992; Eric Streiner; Jay Parrino; Bowers and Merena, March 1995; As PCGS AU-50 #13457913. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2050 – $632,500. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS VF-35 #81238374: “The Samuel A. Bispham Collection”, S.H. and H. Chapman, February 1880, Lot 162 – $4.25; “The John W. Haseltine Collection”, John W. Haseltine, March 1881, Lot 771 – $21; “The C. T. Whitman Collection”, S.H. and H. Chapman, August 1893, Lot 826 – $50; Dr. Thomas Hall September 7, 1909; Virgil M. Brand, 1934; “The Armin W. Brand Collection”, New Netherlands Coin Co., October 1951, Lot 579 – $225; Willard C. Blaisdell September 1974; Del Bland, January 2, 1985; “The Jack H. Robinson Collection”, Superior Galleries, January 1989, Lot 84 – $33,000; Douglas F. Bird; “The David Henderson Collection”, Goldberg Auctions, February 2001, Lot 266; Richard Pearl, April 23, 2005; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 2016, Lot 5333 – $258,500; “The Arizona Collection”, January 12, 2022, Lot 3009 – $312,000. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions. Chapman Discovery Coin on insert.
  • PCGS VF-30 #13666803: “The ESM Collection”, Allison W. Jackman; Henry Chapman, July 1919, Lot 190; Henry C. Hines, 1945; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner; Jay Parrino, June 1995; Michael Arconti; Superior, February 2001, Lot 2133; Jack Wadlington, via Bob Grellman and Chris Victor-McCawley, June 30, 2005; Dan Holmes; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldbergs Auctioneers, February 2009, Lot 79. Stack’s Bowers, August 6, 2020, Lot 1010 – $156,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS VF-25 #28191721: Discovered unattributed upon submission to ANACS in 1990; Auction ’90 – David W. Akers, August 1990, Lot 1508; Julian Leidman; Bowers and Merena Galleries; Dr. John A. Van Arsdall; Bowers and Merena, January 1993, Lot 222; Dr. John A. Van Arsdall; Bowers and Merena, July-August, 2003, Lot 120; As NGC VF-25 BN. “The Thomas H. Sebring Collection”, American Numismatic Rarities, January 2004, Lot 1101 – $49,450. As PCGS VF-25. “The Johnson-Blue Collection”, Stack’s, August 8, 2010, Lot 197 – $80,500; Q. David Bowers. As PCGS VF-25 #28191721. Stack’s Bowers, August 2014, Lot 13027 – $129,250; Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, May 20, 2015, Lot 43 – $99,875. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS F-15 #34179930: As NGC F-12 #1925795-001. Heritage Auctions, September 13, 2006, Lot 142 – $34,500. As PCGS F-12 #04300078. Heritage Auctions, January 4, 2012, Lot 3033 – $74,750. Crossed over to PCGS; As PCGS F-15 #34179930. Heritage Auctions, January 9, 2020, Lot 4090 – $52,800. Regraded, upgraded one grade; Heritage Auctions, August 4, 2020, Lot 3907 – $49,200.
  • PCGS Genuine: Repaired – XF Detail #41226689: Joseph Armstrong Temple; Geoffrey Charlton Adams, April 1905, Lot 227 – $25; Geoffrey Charlton Adams, circa 1910; Henry C. Miller; Thomas Elder, April 1917, Lot 660 – $92.50; Dr. George P. French, March 1929; B. Max Mehl’s 1929 Fixed Price List, Lot 29 – $150; T. James Clarke, June 1944; B. Max Mehl, April 1947; R.E. “Ted’ Naftzger, Jr.; New Netherlands, November 1973, Lot 368 – $4,000; John W. Adams; Bowers and Ruddy’s Fixed Price List, 1974; Bowers and Ruddy’s Fixed Price List, 1974-1975 – $9,750; Ellis Robison; Stack’s, February 1982, Lot 408 – $20,000; Anthony Acevido; Robert Vlack, March 1988; Dan Holmes; Chris Victor McCawley’s Fall 2005 Fixed Price List #78; Stack’s Bowers, March 25, 2021, Lot 4013 – $60,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 49, Head of 1794

Sheldon 49 is the more common of two varieties that feature Obverse 21. The starred reverse has been replaced with Reverse X, which appears on varieties Sheldon 49 through 54. This variety can feature a perfect obverse or show a thick crack from just to the right of the 12 o’clock position through the E and into Liberty’s hair. The reverse features large leaves, which fan out. The tips of the leaves almost touch, which is why this reverse is referred to as having a “closed” wreath. At the bottom of the wreath, the ribbon is slightly canted to the right and the right ribbon drapes down, almost touching the fraction bar. The two knots do not touch. There are 83 dentils, with 94 stars running along them.

  • PCGS AU-58 #13457914: “The Ebenezer Gilbert Collection”, Thomas Elder, October 1910, Lot 7 – $24.50; “The Dr. George French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, 1929 Fixed Price List, Lot 27 – $150; T. James Clarke, 1944; B. Max Mehl; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, Early American Coppers, May 1990, Lot 23 – $13,000; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998. As PCGS AU-58 #13457914. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2051 – $34,500. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS AU-50 #36135542: Trollan Collection; “The William L. Buxton Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 16, 2021, Lot 1084 – $6,600. Trollan Collection on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 50

Rarity-5+. A scarce 1794 variety featuring a new obverse (22) and, of course, Reverse X. On Sheldon 50, LIBERTY is punched with LI, BE, and RTY seemingly punched in three separate pairings. The R leans slightly to the right. You also see a thin strand of hair terminate upwards, towards the center of the cap. The lowest lock appears detached from the rest of Liberty’s hair. On the date, the numeral 4 touches the bust. This is an R5+ variety, making this the second rarest pairing utilizing Reverse X.

  • PCGS AU-55 #13457915: “The George Merritt Collection”, Ed. Frossard, January 1879, Lot 96 – $11.25; L.F. Montanye; H.G. Sampson, April 1881, Lot 307 – $6.10; “The R.A. Britton Collection”, H.G. Sampson, February 1882, Lot 766; Ed. Frossard, November 1882, Lot 155 – $8.25; “The E.F. Kuithan Collection”, Ed. Frossard, June 1883, Lot 247 – $15; Philadelphia Collection; Lyman H. Low, July 1906, Lot 470 – $31.25; Robert Garrett, 1919; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University, privately, March 1973; “The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 45 – $10,000; Denis W. Loring, May 1983; Jack H. Robinson; Dr. Allen Bennett. As PCGS AU-55 #13457915. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2052 – $46,000. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 51

Rarity-5. Short bust. Long locks. Closed wreath reverse. Late die state: crack from rim up to 1 and 7. Obverse 23. This is also known as the short bust variety. The hair detail is finely engraved, like Sheldon 49, but the strands are longer. They almost extend to the left tip of the pileus cap, but not quite. Perhaps 80% of the way there. Some examples in later die state show a prominent crack through the 17 of the date. Reverse X returns. This is a scarce R5- variety.

  • PCGS AU-55 #13457916: “The Henry C. Miller Collection”, Thomas Elder, April 1917, Lot 662 – $52; Henry C. Hines; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr., New Netherlands, November 1973, Lot 372 – $2,000; The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 46 – $3,500; Denis W. Loring, May 1983; “The Jack Robinson Collection”, Superior, January 1989, Lot 89 – $8,800; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998. As PCGS AU-55 #13457916. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2053 – $32,200. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 52

seldom encountered R6- variety. Features Obverse 24 and Reverse X. On this obverse, the 1 and 4 of the date are punched with a gap that separates them from the center digits. Noyes points out that minor cracks typically show in Liberty’s cap. Also, look at the difference in the hair detail. The locks are heavy and crude, the lowest lock especially.

  • NGC AU-53BN #6057068-007: Purchased unattributed from a Philadelphia Collection by Orlando J. Pernarelli, May 1961; Dorothy I. Paschal; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner; “The Tom Morley Collection”, Superior, January 1994, Lot 784 -10,450; Butler M. “Bim” Gander. As NGC AU-53BN #6057068-007. “The Steelhead Falls Collection”, Heritage Auctions, April 24, 2021, Lot 4977 – $45,600. Edge dents.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 53

Rarity-6+. Closed wreath Reverse X. This time it is paired with the seldom seen Obverse #25. This obverse has a clearly identifiable date style. The 17 is coupled and the top of the four touches the bust truncation. There bottom curl hooks back towards the date. More visible is the raised hair, which almost touches the RT in LIBERTY. Notice the severed sixth lock counting from the bottom. The top of the pileus nearly touches the denticles.

  • Extra Fine: Elmer Sears, Charles E. Clapp, Sr., December 1924; George H. Clapp, American Numismatic Society.
  • PCGS VF-35 #81233610: “The Ebenezer Gilbert Collection”, Thomas Elder, October 1910, Lot 58; H.O. Granberg; “The William H. Woodin Collection”, United States Coin Co., May 1915, Lot 146; “The Dr. George P. French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, 1929 Fixed Price List, Lot 85; T. James Clarke, 1944; B. Max Mehl, 1944; Dr. William H. Sheldon; American Numismatic Society (de-acquisitioned 1/2001); R.E. Naftzger, Jr. February 2001. As PCGS XF-40 #13457918. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2055 – $46,000. Husak Collection on insert; As PCGS VF-35 #81233610. Jon Alan Boka; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5338 – $76,375. Regraded. Downgraded one grade. Gilbert-Husak-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 54, Head of 1794

Rarity-3. The first of three uses for Obverse 26 and the final deployment of Reverse X. Only Sheldon 49 is more frequently encountered with this reverse die. The other marriages are quite scarce, as we’ve discussed. This obverse is immediately recognizable as the 7 of the date is canted to the right. That and the touching tips of the wreath make this variety easy to identify.

  • NGC AU-53BN #2038604-006: Norman Stack; “The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 72 – $1,870; Chris Victor-McCawley, December 6, 1988; “The Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Collection”, Superior, January 1996, Lot 77 – $5,775; Walter J. Husak; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2056; Dan Holmes; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 87; Greg Hannigan. As NGC AU-53BN #2038604-006. Adam Mervis; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2490 – $19,975. MERVIS COLLECTION on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 55, Slanting 7

Rarity-2. Large reverse berries. Usually die crack from rim at 8 o’clock at Liberty’s hair. Obverse 26. On this example, and on all examples you will encounter, there will be a thin die crack from the rim to the hair starting just below the 9 o’clock position. Again note the slanted 7. Reverse die Y features two close knots that do not touch on the ribbon. The berries are large and oriented six to the left and five to right. The top berry on the right side rests on the stem. The A in STATES is canted to the left and sits too high. This is a pleasing and commonly found variety of 1794 cent.

  • PCGS MS-64BN #13457920: Frank H. Shumway; Henry C. Hines; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner; Jay Parrino; Anthony Terranova, June 1, 1996); “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2057 – $37,375. Husak Collection on insert; Anthony Terranova; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2491 – $58,750. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-63BN #06548234: Paul S. Seitz, November 1946 Fixed Price List; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, New Netherlands Coin Co., November 1973, Lot 376 – $1,300; John W. Adams, September 1974; “The Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Collection”, Superior, September 1986, Lot 74 – $3,960; David Henderson; later, Anthony Terranova. Heritage Auctions, January 8, 2009, Lot 3577 – $17,250. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 56

Rarity-3. The last deployment of Obverse 26, this time married to Reverse Z. Sheldon 56 might represent the end of the alphabet for the reverse, but we still have 16 more Sheldon numbers for this date, if you can believe it. Again, slanting 6. Die crack at the back of the hair. The die state is getting later, obviously. The reverse is called by Noyes and others as the “Office Boy” reverse given the crudeness of the asymmetrical wreath. Also note how the A and the M in AMERICA are spaced wide apart. The ribbon bow is detached from the knot and the E from ONE is set slightly high and canted to the right.

  • PCGS MS-62BN #13457921: “The William Fewsmith Collection,” Mason & Co., October 1870, Lot 797 – $4; “Ramsey”; John W. Haseltine, 1881; “The Joseph Hooper Collection,” Ed. Frossard, October 1892, Lot 333 – $9; “The Howard R. Newcomb Collection,” J.C. Morgenthau, February 1945, Lot 28 – $75; Willard C. Blaisdell, 1975; “The John W. Adams Collection,” Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 51 – $7,000; Del Bland, June 1985; Dr. Allen Bennett, April 1998. As PCGS MS-62BN #13457921. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2058 – $32,200.
  • NGC AU-55BN #2038604-007: Bowers and Merena, September 1996, Lot 25 – $2,970; W.M. Wadlington, June 30, 2005; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I,” Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 90; Greg Hannigan. As NGC AU-55BN #2038604-007. “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2492 – $28,200. MERVIS COLLECTION on insert.
  • PCGS XF45 #81232297: “The Foster Lardner Collection,” B. Max Mehl, June 1930, Lot 15; Dr. William H. Sheldon; Stack’s, October 1938, Lot 289; George H. Clapp, December 19, 1946; American Numismatic Society; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; “The R.E. Naftzer, Jr. Collection,” New Netherlands Coin Company, November 1973, Lot 377; Dr. Edward R. Bush, via William R.T. Smith; Myles Z. Gerson, February 1981; Denis W. Loring, May 7, 1983; Jack H. Robinson, January 23, 1988; J.R. Frankenfield Estate; returned to the American Numismatic Society, September 28, 2011; deacessioned by the ANS, January 31, 2012, via John R. “Bob” Grellman, February 9, 2012; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection,” September 2016, Lot 5341; “The Jon Alan Boka Collection,” Heritage Auctions, May 9, 2024, Lot 3822 – $10,200. Pedigree research by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 57

Known to specialists as the “Pyramidal Head”, a name attributed to the coin by Dr. Edward Maris, whose monograph Varieties of the Copper Issues of the United States Mint in the Year 1794 (1860s) used several quasi-medical terms to describe varieties of 1794 cents. The text helped popularize the issue, despite the small number of collectors active at the time. Noyes describes the sweep of the hair on the left as being straight, evoking the shape of a pyramid. The fifth lock of hair is severed at the tip. The date is evenly spaced. Although some of this variety come with perfect dies. Many exhibit a thin die crack that extends to Liberty’s mouth, almost resembling a snake. The reverse is referred to as Reverse AA. Seven large berries adorn each side of the wreath. With the lowest berry on the left side touching the bottom of the bow loop. The bottom leaf on the right side points to and almost touches the C. This is a common variety for the date.

  • PCGS MS-65RB #32189849: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; “English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C.”, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd., October 1964, Lot 150 – $2,100; Stack’s; Dorothy Paschal and Dr. William Sheldon Collection; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, by sale, en bloc, April 1972; Eric Streiner, by sale, en bloc, via Stack’s, February 1992; Jay Parrino; Superior Stamp & Coin Company, September 1997, Lot 38 – $44,000; Dr. Allen Bennett; Walter J. Husak; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, by sale, January 1998. As PCGS MS-65RB #13457922. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2059 – $103,500. Husak Collection on insert. D. Brent Pogue Family; “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection, Part V”, Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5098 – $164,500. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 58

This variety features a new die marriage. Obverse die 28 is first deployed here. We will see it again on Sheldon-59. The reverse is die BB, which is only used on this variety. Liberty’s hair is described as thick, almost clumpy behind her ear, terminating with seven locks. The date is widely spaced. The numeral 1 almost touches the bottom of Liberty’s hair. Reverse BB features six berries to the left. Seven berries to the right. These are large berries. The right side ribbon protrudes farther up than the left side and crosses the two stem segments. Noyes notes that this variety is always found to be struck on thick planchets. A crack and cud break develops on the reverse – which informs us as to why the die was retired- the location of the break if from the rim through UNIT. Like struck November 12, 1794.

  • PCGS MS-62BN #81233613: private collector, acquired in the 1950s; As NGC MS-62BN CAC #217176-001. Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2011, Lot 3006 – $69,000. Old holder; As PCGS MS-62BN #81233613. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5343 – $51,700. Heritage-Boka on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 59

Rarity 3-. Sheldon 59 uses the thick hair wide date Obverse 28 that was used in Sheldon-58. The reverse, called Reverse CC is easily identifiable. It features seven berries on each side with three berries on the outside of the wreath and four on the inside. Usually you will see a crack on the reverse starting below the left ribbon at the rim through the fraction bar and terminating between the A and C at the rim. This will eventually break off on later die state. The left side of the ribbon has been recut. The berries and crack give this variety away.

  • PCGS MS-66+BN CAC #25349026: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; “English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C.”, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd., October 1964, Lot 153 – $1,736; Lester Merkin; Dorothy Paschal; Douglas Smith; Dr. Bob Shalowitz; Del Bland; Dr. Bob Shalowitz; David Berg; William Freeman; John W. Adams; Bertram Cohen; unknown intermediaries. As PCGS MS-66+BN CAC #25349026. Legend Rare Coin Auctions, July 26, 2018, Lot 174 – $246,750.
  • PCGS MS-64BN #13470588: George Seavey; W.H. Strobridge, 1873; “The Lorin Parmelee Collection, New York Coin & Stamp Co., June 1890, Lot 685 – $19; J.F. Anger; Col. James Ellsworth, March 1923; Wayte Raymond; Charles E. Clapp, Sr., December 1924; George H. Clapp; American Numismatic Society; Dr. William H. Sheldon, 1964; Dorothy Paschal, 1968; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr., New Netherlands, November 1973, Lot 380 – $4,800; “The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 55 – $8,500. As PCGS MS-64BN #13470588. Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2061 – $57,500. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS MS-63BN CAC #32788980: “The Herbert Dietz Collection”, Stack’s, April 1962, Lot 271; Stack’s, October 1966, Lot 46 – $1,150; “The Gilbert Steinberg Collection”, Stack’s, August 1976, Lot 232 – $2,000; Del Bland; “The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 80 – $12,650; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger Jr., Collection”, 1990 EAC Auction, Lot 27 – $13,000. As PCGS MS-63BN CAC #32788980. “The Tom Reynolds Collection”, Goldberg Auctioneers, January 2016, Lot 36; Legend Rare Coin Auctions, December 15, 2016, Lot 1 – $34,075. Naftzger-Reynolds on insert.
  • PCGS AU-50 #45062668: Stack’s Bowers, August 23, 2022, Lot 2051 – $8,400.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 60

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-60. Image: NGC.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-60. Image: NGC.

Rarity-3+. Thick hair. Close date. Features a new die pair. Obverse 29, which will see use again in Sheldon 61, and Reverse DD. Obverse 29 features thick hair, is struck on a thick planchet, and features a tightly spaced date. Counting from the bottom, the fifth lock up is detached at the tip. Noyes notes that clash marks are typically visible on the obverse, especially at the top. Reverse DD will likely exhibit numerous cracks. The ribbon on the right is high and does not touch the knot or the bow. Six berries on the left. Only five on the right. One at the top, one in the upper middle, and a cluster of three towards the three o’clock position.

  • PCGS MS-62BN #13470589: Charles Bushnell; “The Lorin Parmelee Collection”, Chapman Brothers, June 1882, Lot 2625 – $11; Chapman Brothers; “The Lorin Parmelee Collection”, New York Coin & Stamp Co., June 1890, Lot 689 – $17; Dr. Thomas Hall, September 1909; Virgil M. Brand; New Netherlands, October 1951, Lot 601 – $205; Dr. William H. Sheldon; Dorothy Paschal; “The John W. Adams Collection”, Bowers and Ruddy, 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 57 – $4,250; “The Dr. Boyd Hayward Collection”, Bowers and Merena, September 1997, Lot 262 – $15,400; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2062 – $43,125. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC XF45BN #2038604-011: “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, January 2014, Lot 2497. MERVIS COLLECTION on insert; Stack’s Bowers, March 24, 2021, Lot 1539 – $6,600.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 61

Rarity-4. The second variety to use Obverse 29. It is the first variety to use Reverse EE, which we will see again on Sheldon 62. Again, Obverse 29 features thick hair and is struck on a thick planchet. The tightly spaced date and the detached fifth lock of hair should help you identify this obverse. The reverse has two noticeable details that should immediately stand out: The final 0 of the fraction is punched too high, and the right stem is noticeably shorter than the stem on the left. Minor cracks will typically be found on the Sheldon 61.

  • ANACS MS-60 Details #4042671: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; “English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C.”, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd., October 1964, Lot 156 – $1,008; Stack’s; “The Frank Masters Collection”, RARCOA, May 1971, Lot 73 – $3,200; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner; Chris Victor-McCawley; Dr. Thomas Turissini; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2063 – $32,200. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS AU-58 #81233614: “The Ebenezer Gilbert Collection”, Thomas Elder October 1910, Lot 36; H.O. Granberg; “The William H. Woodin Collection”, United States Coin Co., May 1915, Lot 121; “The Henry C. Miller Collection”, United States Coin Co., December 1917, Lot 4150; “The Dr. George P. French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, 1929 Fixed Price List, Lot 60; T. James Clarke, 1944; Dr. William H. Sheldon; “The Norman Stack Collection”, Auction ’88 – Stack’s, July 1988, Lot 1013; Denis W. Loring; Roy Rauch; “The Tom Morley Collection”, Superior Galleries, May 1992, Lot 441; “The Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Collection”, Superior, January 1996, Lot 87; Walter J. Husak June 13, 1999; Anthony Terranova and Chris Victor-McCawley; Chris Victor-McCawley; W.M. “Jack” Wadlington, July 2005; Chris Victor-McCawley, July 25, 2005; Jon Alan Boka. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5346 – $30,550. Gilber-Husak-Boka on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 62

Sheldon 62 introduces a new obverse die, Obverse 30, which is unique to this variety. Reverse EE continues use from Sheldon 61. Noyes describes the hair detail on this variety heavy and stubby at the lower lock. This is the thickest lower lock of any 1794 cent variety. Typical examples may exhibit a large rim break. There are examples with a perfect obverse, as well. Reverse: same as Sheldon 61. The final 0 of the fraction is punched too high and the right stem is noticeably shorter than the stem on the left.

  • PCGS MS-62BN #13470591: John Work Garrett; John Hopkins University, privately March 1973; John W. Adams, November 1974; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett; Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2064 – $57,500. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS XF-45 #81233615: Virgil M. Brand; B. G. Johnson, April 26, 1943 – $30; “The Oscar J. Pearl Collection”, Numismatic Gallery, 1944 Fixed Price List, Lot 76 – $50; T. James Clarke; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., November 1974; Denis W. Loring, September 1975; Dr. Robert A. Schuman; Dr. Edward R. Bush, November 1977; Myles Z. Gerson; Dr. George E. Ewing, Jr.; Darwin B. Palmer, Jr.; Early American Coppers, April 1995, Lot 172; Dr. Thomas Turissini, October 25, 2003; Jon Alan Boka. As PCGS XF-45 #81233615 “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5347 – $29,375. Brand-Ewing-Boka on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 63

R-3. Fallen 4 variety. The 9 is also misplaced. features a unique obverse and reverse die marriage. Aesthetically, this variety is a disaster. LIBERTY is punched way too high and nearly touches the denticles. LI in Liberty shows an awkward amount of separation and does not follow the expected curvature that we find in most varieties. The date is repunched with the 4 dangling. As stated previously, the 9 is also misplaced. Notice a spur jutting out towards the 4, with smaller spurs jutting out towards the end of the pole. The reverse has heavy, pronounced denticles. The bottom leaf on the right appears only in a faint outline. The fraction bar’s right point touches the ribbon.

Once you see this variety, you won’t likely forget it.

  • PCGS MS-62BN #13470592: “The Henry S. Adams Collection”, Edward Cogan, October 1876, Lot 1121 – $6.50; “The George Merritt Collection”, Ed. Frossard, January 1879, Lot 99 – $7; S.H & Henry Chapman, October 1879, Lot 447 – $10; “The L.F. Montanye Collection”, H.G. Sampson, April 1881, Lot 309 – $6.25; “The R.A. Britton Collection”, H.G. Sampson, February 1882, Lot 772 – $6.75; “The Richard Winsor Collection”, S.H. & Henry Chapman, December 1895, Lot 832 – $13; DeWitt Smith; Virgil M. Brand; New Netherlands Coin Co., September 1953, Lot 239 – $75; Dorothy Paschal; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1993; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1999; As PCGS MS-62BN #13470592. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2065 – $37,375. Husak Collection on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • NGC AU-55BN #2038604-014: “The Captain Andrew C. Zabriskie Collection”, Henry Chapman, June 1909, Lot 739; “The Allison W. Jackman Collection”, Henry Chapman, June 1918, Lot 698; Wayte Raymond; “The Charles M. Williams Collection”, Numismatic Gallery, November 1950, Lot 72; Harold Bareford, September 13, 1985; The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 87; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; EAC Sale, April 1989, Lot 41; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Coins, September 2009, Lot 100; Greg Hannigan; As NGC AU-55BN #2038604-014. “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2501 – $35,250. MERVIS COLLECTION on insert. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 64, No Bar, Head of 1794

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-64. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-64. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Sheldon 64 features a die obverse (32) that is used on Sheldons 64 and 65 and NC-6. The reverse die is unique to this variety and is instantly identifiable due to the missing fraction bar. The reverse also exhibits seven berries on each side of the wreath. A heavy crack at D develops, shortening the die’s life. The obverse has deep border milling on the left side. This shields the raised elements, specifically the hair and cap. This is actually a quite striking variety in terms of the quality of the image. Hair details follow up in nearly a straight line. They are well cut. The date is compact. The top tip of one touches the bottom lock. A scarce Rarity-5.

  • PCGS MS-65BN CAC #13470593: “The John G. Mills Collection”, S.H. and H. Chapman, April 1904, Lot 1243 – $36; “The George H. Earle, Jr. Collection”, Henry Chapman, June 1912, Lot 3386 – $65; “The Clarence Bement Collection”, Henry Chapman, May 1916, Lot 296 – $115; “The Howard R. Newcomb Collection, Part I”, J.C. Morgenthau, February 1945, Lot 61 – $140; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, August 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, 2001; Walter J. Husak; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2066 – $149,500. Husak Collection on insert; “The ESM Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 6, 2020, Lot 1011 – $144,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS MS-64RB #11483668: “The Henry C. Miller Collection”, Thomas L. Elder, April 1917, Lot 696 – $115; “The Dr. George P. French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, 1929 Fixed Price List, lot 73 – $200; T. James Clarke, May 1955; “The R.E. ‘Ted’ Naftzger, Jr. Collection”, Goldberg Coins, September 2008, Lot 169; As PCGS MS-64RB #11483668. “The Dan Holmes Collection”, Goldberg Coins, September 2009, Lot 101. Dan Holmes Collection on insert; “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2503 – $381,875. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-62BN #40246167: Stack’s, ca. early 1960s; Alfred Bonard; Numismatic Enterprises, February 1968, Lot 34 -$ 2,000 (where incorrectly reported to be the Dr. French coin); Carlyle A. Luer; As NGC MS-62BN #4241589-007. “The Carlyle A. Luer Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 2018, Lot 4742 – $66,000; Stack’s Bowers, March 25, 2021, Lot 4015 – $63,000. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 65, Head of 1794

Sheldon 65 reuses Obverse 32 and introduces Reverse HH. Obverse 32 enters the marriage in perfect state and develops cracks. In later die states, the reverse will display heavy cracks. Some have a very pronounced crack from 12 o clock, extended through to the top of the wreath. Same as 64, the milling is deeply cut, protecting the attractive hair elements and the liberty cap. The reverse die exhibits very short stems on both sides. The berries are large, with the two closest to the left side of the bow being especially pronounced. This is a common variety for the 1794 cent.

  • PCGS MS-64+BN #3606616-001: Heritage Auctions, April 25, 2013, Lot 4115 – $44,062.50.
  • PCGS AU-58 CAC #24725757: Stack’s Bowers, August 7, 2012, Lot 11185 – $21,150; Legend Rare Coin Auctions, January 30, 2020, Lot 22 – Passed. Noyes Die State B.
  • PCGS AU-58 CAC #24725757: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, July 26, 2018, Lot 198 – Passed; Legend Rare Coin Auctions, November 15, 2018, Lot 9 – $21,150.
  • PCGS AU-58: American Numismatic Rarities, March 14, 2006, Lot 56 – $9,775.
  • PCGS AU-55 #34172313: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, January 25, 2018, Lot 36 – $7,931.25.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 66

Sheldon 66 features a new, single-use obverse (33) paired with Reverse II (“double eye”, not “two”), which we will see again in Sheldon varieties 67, 68, and 69. Sheldon 66 is the scarcest deployment, however. The obverse features a distant 1. Noyes and other describe the figures as being heavy or of the large type. Your typical example will feature a die break at the end of the pole. Although some will feature a perfect obverse die. Die break extends towards the hair. The reverse features a double leaf under the O. You will typically see a triple leaf here. The A and M in AMERICA are slightly larger. A is double cut. The fraction bar does not extend to the tip of the denominator. Six berries on the left and seven on the right. You may also notice some damage to the dies above the wreath and below the ribbon knot.

  • PCGS VF-30 #81233618: From “Old Virginia”; Lyman H. Low, March 1914, Lot 157; Ebenezer Gilbert; “The Dr. George P. French Collection”, B. Max Mehl, 1929 Fixed Price List, Lot 71; T. James Clarke, 1944; B. Max Mehl, 1944; Dr. William H. Sheldon April 19, 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., February 23, 1992; Eric Streiner, April 4, 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 2000; As PCGS VF-35 #13470595. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2068 – $54,625; ” The Daniel W. Holmes, Jr. Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 108; “The Paul Gerrie Collection”, Goldberg Auctioneers, February 2013, Lot 39; Jon Alan Boka. As PCGS VF-30 #81233618. “The Jon Alan Boka Collection of 1794 Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2016, Lot 5351 – $82,250. French-Husak-Boka on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 67, Head of 1795

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-67. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon-67. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

Rarity-3. Uses Obverse 34 and reuses Reverse II–the second of four varieties to use this reverse. Obverse credited to John Smith Gardner. The reverse features a double leaf under the O. You will typically see a triple leaf here. The A and M in AMERICA are slightly larger. A is double cut. The fraction bar does not extend to the tip of the denominator. Six berries on the left and seven on the right. You may also notice some damage to the dies above the wreath and below the ribbon knot. The obverse features a large circular curl at the bottom of Liberty’s hair. Liberty’s hair at the top ends just underneath the upright bar of the T. This variety will typically exhibit clash marks from contact with the reverse die. Notably a leaf image where Liberty’s hair and forehead meet. The face will also typically exhibit die cracks in the face, upper lip, and cheek.

  • PCGS MS-67RB #13470596: Major Sir Rowland Denys Guy Winn, M. C., 4th Baron St. Oswald; Christie, “The St. Oswald Collection”, Manson & Woods, Ltd.’s, October 1964, Lot 158 – $2,184; A. H. Baldwin & Sons, Ltd.; Dorothy I. Paschal; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R. E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; As PCGS MS-67RB #13470596. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2069 – $488,750. Husak Collection on insert; Flambeau Collection; Joseph O’Connor; Cardinal Collection; Stack’s Bowers, January 2013, Lot 13005 – $499,375. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS MS-64+BN #82418260: Stack’s, 1959; “The Frank H. Masters, Jr. Collection, RARCOA, May 1971, Lot 79; Dean Oakes; Heritage Auctions, January 2014, Lot 5120; As PCGS MS-64+BN #25600869. Heritage Auctions, April 2014, Lot 5510 – $38,187.50; Stack’s Bowers, August 2014, Lot 13028 – $35,250. Heritage Auctions, February 4, 2016, Lot 3015 – $28,200; As PCGS MS-64+BN #81610289. Heritage Auctions, October 3, 2016, Lot 3013 – $24,675. Recertified. As PCGS MS-64+BN #82418260. Heritage Auctions, February 2017, Lot 21338 – $25,850. Recertified; Heritage Auctions, January 12, 2022, Lot 3011 – $31,200. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS MS-62BN CAC #28173065: Stack’s, March 1959; “The Frank H. Masters, Jr. Collection”, RARCOA, May 1971, Lot 79; “The Oakes Collection of Large Cents”, Heritage Auctions, January 9, 2014, Lot 5120 – $25,850. Masters-Oakes on insert.
  • PCGS AU-55 #07666920: “The Richard C. Jewell Collection”, American Numismatic Rarities, March 8, 2005, Lot 1126 – $6,670; Greg Hannigan, 2008; Adam Mervis; Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2509 – $19,387.50.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 68

Rarity-5. Third deployment of Reverse II. Refer to the descriptions of the past two coins for the details. Obverse 35. This variety will feature a light to heavy diecrack bisecting Liberty’s face. Noyes points out five bulbous or braided locks. The date is punched tightly together.

  • NGC MS-62BN #2038647-004: J. Sanford Saltus, October 26, 1899; American Numismatic Society, December 15, 1950; “The Homer K. Downing Collection”, New Netherlands, August 1952, Lot 1700 – $340; Harold Bareford, September 13, 1985; Herman Halpern December 11, 1986; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; Dr. Allen Bennett; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2070; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 110; Greg Hannigan; As NGC MS-62BN #2038647-004. “The Adam Mervis Large Cent Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2014, Lot 2510 – $235,000. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS AU-58 #13470597: J. Sanford Saltus, October 1899; American Numismatic Society, December 15, 1950; “The Homer K. Downing Collection”, New Netherlands, 1952, Lot 1700 – $340; Harold Bareford, December 1985; Herman Halpern, December 1986; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; Dr. Allen Bennett; Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2007, Lot 2070 – $80,500. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • Extra Fine: B. Max Mehl, February 1931; George H. Clapp; American Numismatic Society.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 69

The final deployment of Reverse II. It is the first of two varieties two use Obverse 36. Here the lowest lock forms a small circle. There are five braided strands of hair. The 1 and 7 are double cut. Liberty’s hair at the top ends right below the bottom serif of the T. The reverse features a double leaf under the O. You will typically see a triple leaf here. The A and M in AMERICA are slightly larger. A is double cut. The fraction bar does not extend to the tip of the denominator. Six berries on the left and seven on the right. You may also notice some damage to the dies above the wreath and below the ribbon knot.

  • PCGS MS-65RB #32189887: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd.’s sale of English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., October 1964, Lot 161 – $2,296; Lester Merkin; Andrew M. Hain Collection, by sale, October 1977; Dennis E. Steinmetz; Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions, August 1980, Lot 942 – $37,000; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, via Stanley Kesselman; Eric Streiner, by sale, en bloc, via Stack’s; Jay Parrino; As NGC MS-65RB #957212-009. Foxfire Collection (Claude E. Davis, MD), by sale, via Richard Burdick, July 1994; D. Brent Pogue Family, acquired with the Foxfire Collection, en bloc, by sale, via Richard Burdick, October 2004. As PCGS MS-65RB #32189887. “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection, Part V”, Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5099 – $282,000.
  • PCGS MS-65BN #13470598: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd.’s sale of English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., October 1964, Lot 160 – $8,400; Spink & Sons, Ltd; Dorothy Paschal; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., 2001; “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, February 15, 2008, Lot 2071 – $109,250. Husak Collection on insert.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 70, Head of 1795

Rarity-2. Die crack between TY in LIBERTY advancing to Liberty’s portrait. Sheldon 70 features the second use of Obverse 36 and the first of two uses of Reverse JJ. Here the lowest lock forms a small circle. There are five braided strands of hair. The 1 and 7 are double cut. Liberty’s hair at the top ends right below the bottom serif of the T. L is far from the cap. There is typically a crack that runs through the T and Y, across the face, although perfect obverse strikes exist. The reverse features a double leaf under O- unusual – and a triple leaf under D in UNITED. The numerator rests on the bar. Six berries to the left and seven on the right.

  • PCGS MS-62BN #13470599: “The Dr. Edward Maris Collection”, H.P. Smith, June 1886, Lot 267 – $20; W.P. Titcomb; B.H. Collins, 1895; Dr. Thomas Hall, September 1909; Virgil M. Brand; B.G. Johnson, August 1945; James Kelly; Dr. James O. Sloss September 1958; R.E. Naftzger, Jr.; Abe Kosoff, October 1959, Lot 25 – $675; “The Louis Helfenstein Collection”, Lester Merkin, August 1964, Lot 5 – $1,900; R.E. Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, April 1992; Dr. Allen Bennett. As PCGS MS-62BN #13470599. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2072 – $32,200. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS AU-58: American Numismatic Rarities, September 18, 2005, Lot 45 – $9,200.
  • PCGS AU-55 #26487993: H.A. Sternberg; M.H. Bolender, March 1956, Lot 1578; Dorothy I. Paschal; Tom Morley; Julian Leidman; unknown intermediaries; Kurt R. Krueger, 1984 ANA Sale, Lot 3276; Anthony Terranova; Herman Halpern; “The Herman Halpern Collection”, Stack’s, March 1988, Lot 102; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; Early American Coppers sale of April 1989, Lot 45; Robert E. Matthews; Chris Victor-McCawley; W.M. “Jack” Wadlington. “The ESM Collection”, Stack’s Bowers, August 6, 2020, Lot 1012 – $9,600. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 71

R-2. Features Obverse 37 in its one-and-only use and Reverse JJ in the second of two marriages. The reverse features a double leaf under O- unusual – and a triple leaf under D in UNITED. The numerator rests on the bar. Six berries to the left and seven on the right. The obverse features a small circular curl at the bottom of Liberty’s hair. LIBERTY is evenly spaced. This example, as do many, but not all, has a clear clashed impression of AMERICA which is visible after LIBERTY on the image on your screen. There are three lap marks on Liberty’s face due to die damage. The top of Liberty’s hair extends 2/3rds of the way through the base of T. In later die states, circular die crack developes to the left of the pileus and across the tops of LIBE. This is a fairly common variety at R-2.

  • PCGS MS-65RB #32189851: William Strickland Collection; Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), by sale, 1834; Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1874; Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1893; Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell, by descent, 1919; Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C., by descent, 1957; “English, Foreign, and Important American Coins, the Property of Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C.”, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd.’s, October 1964, Lot 166 – $2,940; Baldwin’s; Dorothy Paschal and Dr. William H. Sheldon Collection; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, by sale, en bloc, April 1972; Walter J. Husak Collection, by sale, 2001; As PCGS MS-65RB #13470600. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 2008, Lot 2073 – $253,000. As PCGS MS-65RB #32189851. “The D. Brent Pogue Family Collection, Part V”, Stack’s Bowers / Sotheby’s, March 31, 2017, Lot 5100 – $199,750. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • NGC MS-63BN #3607721-001: “The Edouard Frossard Collection”, Edouard Frossard, October 1884, Lot 895; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; “The Garrett Collection”; John W. Adams, via private treaty sale, 1973; “The John W. Adams Collection, Bowers and Ruddy 1982 Fixed Price List, Lot 74 – $8,000; Bowers and Ruddy, Marketed in Rare Coin Review #46, December 1982 – $8,000; “As MS-65”. “The Brooks Collection”, Bowers and Merena, June 1989, Lot 11 – $15,400; Dr. Robert J. Bye; Stack’s, May 1997, Lot 381 – $17,600. As NGC MS-63BN #3607721-001. Heritage Auctions, October 27, 2014, Lot 98019 – $38,187.50. Pedigree research assisted by Heritage Auctions.
  • PCGS MS-61BN #13291630: “Colonel” E.H.R. Green; Burdette G. Johnson, May 29, 1942 – $15; Thomas L. Elder; Oscar J. Pearl; Numismatic Gallery’s Fixed Price List of 1944, Lot 84- $75; J; H. South; Stack’s, February 1951, Lot 343 – $55; I.M. Irving; Lester Merkin; unknown intermediaries; Stack’s, March 1986, Lot 1192 – $2,310; Andy Hain; “The Hain Collection”, Stack’s, January 2002, Lot 734; Superior, July 2003, Lot 209; Chris Victor-McCawley, January 2004; “The Dan Holmes Collection, Part I”, Goldberg Auctioneers, September 2009, Lot 114; “The Collection of Thaddeus A. Tatum III”, Stack’s Bowers, August 15, 2018, Lot 1022 – $16,800. Bland cc#6; Noyes cc#6, EAC grade XF40 – XF45. Dan Holmes Collection on insert. Reverse rotated 10 degrees counterclockwise. Pedigree research assisted by Stack’s Bowers.
  • PCGS AU-58: Stack’s Bowers, June 14, 2011, Lot 254 – $10,350.
  • PCGS AU-55 #25016599: Stack’s Bowers, August 3, 2017, Lot 2011 – $13,512.50.

1794 Liberty Cap Cent, Sheldon 72

A new obverse (39) and a new reverse (KK, which also sees use in NC-3). Obverse 39 features the head style of 1795–the only 1794 cent that does so. The lowest lock of hair does not curl but ends with a stub. LIBERTY nearly touches the head at the bottom of the T. Many examples of this variety exhibit die cracks, which progressively get heavier during its use. The reverse features a triple leaf under O and double leaf under the D. William Noyes describes the stems as drooping. Six berries to the left and seven to the right. The key here is the obverse folks. 20,021 examples of this variety is believed to have been struck on December 30.

This is the final collectible Sheldon variety of 1794 cent.

  • PCGS AU-53 #13470601: Virgil M. Brand, February 1941; B.G. Johnson; “The Homer Downing Collection,” New Netherlands Coin Company, 1952, Lot 1702 – $82.50; “The Elliot Landau Collection,” New Netherlands Coin Company, December 1958, Lot 110 – $140; Dorothy Nelson, Stack’s, February 1976, Lot 19 – $900; “The Jesse Iskowitz Collection,” Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions, August 1983, Lot 1160 – $2,200; “The Robert Matthews Collection,” Superior, May 1989, Lot 206 – $11,000; Dr. Allen Bennett, January 1998. As PCGS AU-53 #13470601. “The Walter J. Husak Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 15, 2008, Lot 2074 – $43,125. Husak Collection on insert.
  • PCGS AU50 #35500338: Adam Mervis; Heritage Auctions, May 9, 2024, Lot 3824 – $10,200. Mervis on insert.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1794
Denomination: One Cent (USD)
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 918,521
Alloy: Copper
Weight: 13.48 g
Diameter: 29.00 mm
Edge: Lettered: ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR + leaf
OBV Designer Joseph Wright
REV Designer Joseph Wright
Quality: Business Strike

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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