||August 2020 U.S. Coins Auction
||Charles Bushnell's 1829 N-6 Large Letters Cent
Tied for CC#1 in Noyes
Finest in Private Hands
1829 Matron Head Cent. N-6. Rarity-1. Large Letters. MS-66 BN (PCGS). CAC.
Design: Obv: A head of Liberty faces left with 13 stars around the border and the date 1829 below. She is wearing a coronet inscribed LIBERTY, her hair tied into a bun at the back of her head by a plain cord. Rev: A circular wreath encloses the denomination ONE CENT with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the border.
Weight Standard: 10.89 grams.
Diameter: 28-29 mm.
Die Variety: Newcomb-6. Obv: Large digit 1 in the date, the letter L in LIBERTY repunched, the adjacent letters IB joined at base. The 1829 N-6 represents the only use of this obverse die. Rev: Large Letters in the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, early die states with a strong, complete inner circle at the tips of the denticles. The 1829 N-6 also represents the only use of this reverse die.
Six die marriages correspond to the Large Letters Guide Bookvariety of the 1829 Matron Head cent: N-1, N-2, N-4, N-6, N-7 and N-8.
Die State: Noyes A/A. Obv: Perfect. Rev: Perfect.
Mintage for the Issue: 1,414,500 coins.
Estimated Surviving Population for the Die Variety: Rarity-1: More than 1,500 coins in all grades.
Strike: This is a sharply struck coin with all design elements fully rendered, the stars on the obverse have virtually complete radial lines. The impression is well centered with essentially full, uniform denticulation around both sides that is interrupted by softness at 4 o'clock on the obverse, 1:30 on the reverse, the result of a shallow planchet clip (as made).
Surfaces: Lustrous satin to softly frosted surfaces are rich in eye appeal. Both sides display light brown and steely-blue patina and retain abundant faded mint color in the protected areas, especially the reverse. The appearance is smooth and close to pristine, as befits the assigned grade. In addition to the aforementioned planchet clip, the only useful identifiers are faint hairline grazes in the left obverse field off of Liberty's chin and near the right obverse border after star 10.
Commentary: An extraordinary example of the type, date and variety, this coin's earliest known auction appearance was as lot 2690 in S.H. & H. Chapman's June 1882 sale of the celebrated Charles Ira Bushnell Collection. It was cataloged therein as:
"Uncirculated. Sharp impression, with deep serratures. Mostly bright red. Very rare."
Per the notations in the margin of the Bushnell catalog on the Newman Numismatic Portal, the buyer in that sale was Captain John W. Haseltine, and he paid $7.
Today, in the 21st century, this coin remains a celebrated example of the 1829 N-6 dies. Noyes grades it EAC MS-65 and tied for CC#1 with the example in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, which means that it is the finest survivor from these dies available for private ownership. An outstanding condition rarity worthy of the strongest bids.
Provenance: From the ESM Collection. Earlier ex Charles Ira Bushnell; S.H. & H. Chapman's sale of Charles Ira Bushnell Collection, June 1882, lot 2690; our (Stack's) Davis-Graves Sale, April 1954, lot 1705; Ed Urban; Lester Merkin's sale of September 1974, lot 297; R.E. "Ted" Naftzger, Jr,; Ira & Larry Goldberg's sale of the R.E. "Ted" Naftzger, Jr. Collection, February 2009, lot 223. The plate coin for the die variety in both the 1991 and 2012 editions of the Noyes large cent reference.
PCGS Population (all die marriages of the Large Letters variety): 2; 0 finer in this category.
PCGS# 36919. NGC ID: 225K.
Click here for certification details from PCGS.