||March 2021 U.S. Coins Auction
||The Finest Known 1802 Sheldon-239
1802 Draped Bust Cent. S-239. Rarity-3. MS-64 RB (PCGS).
A simply beautiful 1802 cent, the clear finest known of this uncommon variety. A rather famous coin, having been owned by generations of large cent titans as well as being plated to illustrate the variety in Sheldon's 1949 Early American Cents and 1958 Penny Whimsy, and Noyes' 1991 United States Large Cents 1793-1814. One previous owner was Henry C. Hines, noted dealer and collector of large cents during the first half of the 20th century with a respected eye for quality. He described this coin as being a candidate for "the most perfect 1802 cent." Given its bold luster, superb strike, immaculate surfaces, and choice color, it's no great stretch to think so.
Full cartwheel luster dominates each side and illuminates generous mint color in the fields and recesses of the devices, the original copper-red only slightly mellowed to golden-tan. Medium brown patina on the devices and exposed areas of the fields, nicely blending with the brighter mint color to create a lovely overall appearance. There are absolutely no marks, spots, or flaws to detract from the exceptional quality. The strike is bold throughout and just about perfectly centered. Adding to the intrigue of this special coin is the late state of the dies, showing numerous die cracks on each side and strong clash marks at the lower reverse. The die deterioration on display does not take away from the beautiful presentation of the design, and only adds to the character of this enchanting early cent.
Obviously a significant coin for the advanced collector of large cent die varieties, no other specimen comes close to the luster, mint color, and surface preservation of this piece. A noteworthy example of the 1802 date as well, being one of only 5 coins awarded an RB color designation at PCGS. A fabulous piece that will enhance even the highest quality large cent cabinet. This is only its second auction appearance in over a century of documented ownership, and interested bidders are encouraged to not let this opportunity pass them by.
Provenance: Ex David Proskey; Henry C. Hines; Dr. William H. Sheldon, April 1972; R.E. Naftzger, Jr., February 1992; Eric Streiner, July 1992; Tom Reynolds; Goldberg's sale of the Tom Reynolds Collection, January 2016, lot 269.
PCGS# 36327. NGC ID: 224E.
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