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The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 23, June 7, 2020, Article 25

STACK'S BOWERS FRANCESCA SALE SELECTIONS

Here are a group of lots that caught my eye in the June 2020 Stack's Bowers Francesca collection sale. -Editor

Lot 100: George F. Robinson Medal

George F. Robinson Medal obverse George F. Robinson Medal reverse

"1871" (1873) George F. Robinson Medal. Bronze. 77 mm. Julian PE-27. Mint State.

Choice save for a few wispy handling marks and faint carbon flecks. Handsome medium brown patina throughout. This medal was struck to commemorate George F. Robinson, a soldier who was assigned to protect William H. Seward, the secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lewis Powell, a co-conspirator to John Wilkes Booth, attempted to assassinate Seward in his Washington, D.C. home. That very night President Lincoln had gone to Ford's Theater and was assassinated by Booth. Although Seward was attacked by Powell and suffered considerable stab wounds, he survived. Several of his children were also wounded, along with Robinson. These medals were issued with the obverse showing Robinson's bust left, the reverse with a wild scene of Seward in bed (still recuperating from a recent carriage accident) and Robinson defending against the knife-wielding Powell. The base of the reverse is signed in tiny letters G.Y. COFFIN DES. and PAQUET F. for famed medal engraver Anthony C. Paquet. It is believed that fewer than 100 of these were struck in bronze, and this example is one of the nicest that we have offered in recent sales.

A great medal commemorating a great historical event. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
"1871" (1873) George F. Robinson Medal. Bronze. 77 mm. Julian PE-27. Mint State. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-N4G82/1871-1873-george-f-robinson-medal-bronze-77-mm-julian-pe-27-mint-state)

Lot 178: C. E. Horns Counterstamp

C. E. Horns Counterstamp obverse C. E. Horns Counterstamp reverse

New York--Albany. C.E. HORNS / ALBANY / MILK / DEPOT / 101 GREEN STREET / ALBANY N.Y / PURE / COUNTRY / MILK / ONLY 4 CENTS / QUART on an 1855-O Arrows Liberty Seated half dollar. Brunk-Unlisted, Rulau-Unlisted. Host coin Good.

An impressive amount of information on this unlisted counterstamp, and each letter was stamped individually! All letters are crisp and clear, and host coin displays even steel gray toning.

Wow - that's some counterstamp. It took a lot of work. Very nicely done. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
New York--Albany. C.E. HORNS / ALBANY / MILK / DEPOT / 101 GREEN STREET / ALBANY N.Y / PURE / COUNTRY / MILK / ONLY 4 CENTS / QUART on a... (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-N4IPX/new-york-albany-ce-horns-albany-milk-depot-101-green-street-albany-ny-pure-country-milk-only-4-cents-quart-on-a)

Lot 202: 1786 Vermont Landscape Copper

1786 Vermont Landscape Copper obverse 1786 Vermont Landscape Copper reverse

1786 Vermont Copper. Landscape. RR-6, Bressett 4-D, W-2020. Rarity-2. VERMONTENSIUM. EF-45 (PCGS).

A handsome and appealing example of this perennially popular Landscape variety, this piece combines a warmly patinated reddish-brown reverse with a slightly lighter obverse displaying autumn and golden-brown. Both sides are generally well struck with most design elements boldly to sharply defined. The centering is quite good for the type, although the obverse border is through the base of the date, flush to the top of the letters VER in VERMONTENSIUM. On the reverse, the border is flush to the top of the word QUARTA, and the peripheral detail is also soft at the letters DEC in DECIMA. This also affects the letters NTE in VERMONTENSIUM on the obverse. Flan flaws are minor and include only a few thin, shallow fissures, the most prominent of which are on the obverse at and below the letters IU in the legend and on the reverse at the letter D in DECIMA. There is ancient carbon spot at the obverse border after the word VERMONTENSIUM, but otherwise we note only small, wispy handling marks that are inconspicuous to the unaided eye. There is no sign of the obverse crack from the lower border through the center of the date to the plow that characterizes late state examples of RR-6.

This is the popular "Floating Tree" variety of the Landscape Vermont copper, so named due to the fourth (from the viewer's left) obverse tree in the design: it floats in mid air and does not touch the mountain below. Writing in Mason's Coin and Stamp Magazine, April 1867, Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr. described two additional features of this obverse die:

"The tree to the extreme right does not touch the bank upon which it was intended to stand, but is perceptibly to its right...A third difference is the duplicate letter U in 'PUBLICA,' which the artist, it would appear, made to run too much inwards, so that he duplicated it in a more proper place, but neglected to erase the original. This is my theory--others may suggest a more plausible one."

I've always enjoyed the landscape coppers. Great piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1786 Vermont Copper. Landscape. RR-6, Bressett 4-D, W-2020. Rarity-2. VERMONTENSIUM. EF-45 (PCGS). (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-N4PAD/1786-vermont-copper-landscape-rr-6-bressett-4-d-w-2020-rarity-2-vermontensium-ef-45-pcgs)

Lot 306: 1862 Indian Cent

1862 Indian Cent obverse 1862 Indian Cent reverse

1862 Indian Cent. MS-68 (PCGS).

Here is a magnificent 1862 Indian cent, from the copper-nickel, Oak Wreath series of 1861 through 1864. The surfaces are essentially flawless, with subtle prooflike reflectivity in the fields and undisturbed frosty texture across the devices. A thin die crack is noted at the tip of Liberty's bust and through the left reverse wreath, but the devices remain nicely defined for the issue. The attractive surfaces are golden-tan with subtle accents of deeper bronze patina throughout. A small area of dark toning on Liberty's hair ribbon will help in tracing this superior piece through future cabinets.

With 28,075 pieces struck, the 1862 has the second highest mintage of this short series. Examples of the 1862 are readily available in most Mint State grades up through MS-65, but they become exponentially more elusive approaching Superb Gem condition. In Ultra Gem MS-68 condition, the present piece is an incredible rarity. In fact, this is the sole finest 1862 cent graded by PCGS or NGC, and is tied with the very finest known across the entire Indian cent series. It is an ideal candidate for a high-end PCGS Registry Set of Indian cents or 19th century type coins. It simply cannot be improved upon.

Combined PCGS and NGC Population: 1; none finer for any Indian cent issues.

A gorgeous high-condition coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1862 Indian Cent. MS-68 (PCGS). (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-N4FQP/1862-indian-cent-ms-68-pcgs)

Lot 1005: 1797 Draped Bust Silver Dollar

1797 Draped Bust Silver Dollar obverse 1797 Draped Bust Silver Dollar reverse

1797 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. BB-73, B-1a. Rarity-3. Stars 9x7, Large Letters. VF Details--Cleaned (PCGS).

This is a well centered example with full, overall broad denticulation encircling the borders. Essentially untoned, the silver gray surfaces exhibit a glossy texture that explains the PCGS qualifier. Bowers-Borckardt 73 is the sole die marriage associated with the Stars 9x7, Large Letters Guide Book variety of the 1797 silver dollar. It ranks in the middle for scarcity among the three known die pairings of the issue. Q. David Bowers (2013) estimates that 1,300 to 2,100 BB-73 dollars are extant in all grades, VF examples such as this particularly desirable for those building a type set on a budget. BB Die State III.

A solid type coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1797 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. BB-73, B-1a. Rarity-3. Stars 9x7, Large Letters. VF Details--Cleaned (PCGS). (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-N4LVL/1797-draped-bust-silver-dollar-bb-73-b-1a-rarity-3-stars-9x7-large-letters-vf-details-cleaned-pcgs)

Lot 1226: 1814/3 Capped Head Left Half Eagle

1814-3 Capped Head Left Half Eagle obverse 1814-3 Capped Head Left Half Eagle reverse

1814/3 Capped Head Left Half Eagle. BD-1, the only known dies. Rarity-4+. MS-62 (NGC).

Offered is an attractive and significant Mint State example of this scarcer Capped Head Left half eagle. Vibrant yellow-gold in color with remarkably smooth fields on both sides. The devices are sharp for the issue, and there is considerable evidence of clashing around the central elements and a trace of planchet adjustment near the rims. Very attractive and heavily lustrous, this is among the most desirable survivors known.

The second issue in the Capped Head Left half eagle series of 1813 to 1834, the 1814 is an overdate with only a single die pairing known. The obverse was initially intended for production in 1813, but was not used and was subsequently overdated for use in the following year. The reverse die also struck the 1813 BD-2 variety, as well as the exceedingly rare 1815. Although federal records report a mintage of 15,454 half eagles during calendar year 1814, the scarcity of this date relative to the 1813 suggests that many of those coins may have been struck from the earlier-dated dies. The mintage for the 1814/3 as an issue may be as low as 10,000 coins (per John W. Dannreuther, 2006). The 1814/3 is far scarcer than the 1813 and we believe that fewer than 150 coins are extant in all grades, perhaps as few as 100.

A beautiful early gold piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1814/3 Capped Head Left Half Eagle. BD-1, the only known dies. Rarity-4+. MS-62 (NGC). (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-N52FJ/18143-capped-head-left-half-eagle-bd-1-the-only-known-dies-rarity-4-ms-62-ngc)

Lot 1247: Proof 1903 Liberty Head Half Eagle

Proof 1903 Liberty Head Half Eagle obverse Proof 1903 Liberty Head Half Eagle reverse

1903 Liberty Head Half Eagle. Proof. Unc Details--Altered Surfaces (PCGS). The Philadelphia Mint struck 154 Proof half eagles in 1903, one of the more generous totals for the type. Most of these coins seem to have been distributed to contemporary collectors, this being one of the more frequently encountered Proof Liberty Head fives in today's market. All classic U.S. Mint Proof gold coins are rare in an absolute sense, however, especially relative to the demand that they enjoy among today's numismatists. The present specimen offers a lot of "coin" for the assigned grade, and it is worthy of a close look and solid bids.

A great low-mintage piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1903 Liberty Head Half Eagle. Proof. Unc Details--Altered Surfaces (PCGS). (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-N51C2/1903-liberty-head-half-eagle-proof-unc-details-altered-surfaces-pcgs)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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