By James McCartney, Numismatist & Cataloger – Stack’s Bowers ……
The Stack’s Bowers November 2017 Official Auction of the Whitman Coins & Collectibles Baltimore Expo promises to be a truly monumental event in both quality and quantity of offerings. This year’s auction will be highlighted by selections from the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation, the Alexander and Murray Hill Collections, and other important properties, along with a fantastic selection of Early American coinage presented in conjunction with the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4).
Also featured is an exceptional early half cent, traceable back over half a century to Stack’s offering of the Joseph L. Brobston Collection of U.S. Half Cents in January 1963. Struck in 1795 from the Cohen-2a dies, this coin’s appeal is obvious upon first glance, with rich mahogany-bronze patina and steel blue accents atop the highest points. The luster is fully intact and satiny, flooding the fields.
In his 1983 Encyclopedia on the denomination, Walter Breen suggests that this specimen might be the same as the John Mills-David Wilson example ranked seventh in his census, though an examination of the plates on the Newman Numismatic Portal has dispelled this notion. Even so, the present example sits in the mid-range of the condition census, approaching Mint State quality in many respects.
An old mark is seen in the right obverse field around the pole and truncation, but the surfaces are otherwise smooth and without notable imperfections. Nicely centered on each side, the denticles are full and the focal elements are sharply defined, especially on the reverse. The eponymous “punctuation” between the first two digits of the date is bold and accompanies similar scattered die chips and cracks in the peripheries. Early American copper specialists will be sure to recognize the significance of the present offering!
This handsome rarity from the early days of the U.S. Mint will be offered in lot 1005 of our November 2017 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, appearing alongside such treasures as a Mint State 1792 Silver Center cent from the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation and a Choice Mint State 1796 Stars quarter eagle from the Murray Hill Collection. Call us today at 1-800-458-4646 to secure your copy of this exciting catalog.