By James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
We are thrilled to present a rare mint error large cent among the many early American copper highlights in our March 2020 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo. This 1800 Sheldon-209 cent depicts an obverse brockage, leaving in an intaglio impression of the obverse die on the reverse side of the planchet.
As a class, brockages are quite rare on large cents and are typically limited to the Classic and Matron Head types struck from 1808 through 1835. Just a handful of brockages from the Draped Bust series are known, and this is the only example from the Sheldon-209 die(s). The Condition Census for conventional S-209s spans from a single Mint State example, the MS-65 RB (PCGS) Pogue specimen, followed by two AU coins and closing out on a trio of EF examples tied for fourth place. Graded AU-50 for sharpness, this piece is surely among these finest few.
It can be traced back to our historic May 1989 sale of the Richard Picker Collection of Brockages, where it was described as “Extremely Fine, or nearly so…with excellent glossy surfaces.” More recently, it was illustrated in Walter Breen’s large cent Encyclopedia (2000) in the Mint Errors section titled “Oops”. It is a significant survivor from these dies and one of the very finest errors of this type.
The surfaces are smooth and lightly glossed, with considerable luster remaining in the protected areas. The conventional obverse strike is slightly off-center towards three o’clock but is well defined. Clash marks behind Liberty’s hair and die swelling at TY of LIBERTY are both diagnostic of this S-209 variety. The reverse side is somewhat drawn towards nine o’clock and is accompanied by an extraneous lump of metal in the field at three o’clock. Intriguing and quite attractive, the surfaces display a rich medley of chocolate-brown hues. It is a dramatic blunder that will surely appeal to both mint error enthusiasts and early American copper specialists.
This unique S-209 Obverse Brockage cent will be featured in our March 2020 Baltimore Auction, which is highlighted by the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Parts VI and VII, the ESM Collection of Half Cents, and further rarities from the E. Horatio Morgan Collection. To consign your collection alongside these treasures or secure a copy of this exciting catalog speak with a numismatic representative today at 800-566-2580 or email [email protected]. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.