Cent. *N-3. Small date. Curl point above inner r. curve of 8, date away from device, die file marks at TY; very faint crack from 3rd star to end of nose, another from rim through 5th star to end of coronet, a third from curls to 13th star to rim; these cracks appear to be constant, but only the first named is ever plain and that seldom. Reverse is the same die used on 1856 N-5 proofs and in the same state. Often warm rosy red like some of the 1856 coins mentioned, evidently from the same lot of planchets, and often slightly off center; sometimes with moderately high knife-rims. As weights are normal I hesitate to conclude that they were made later than 1857 though the possibility does exist that some may have been made in 1858 or '59 from leftover blanks. It might be of interest to begin checking weights on the coins with more pronounced knife-rims; any unusual deviants are probably on blanks surreptitiously made in the mint, at a time when large cents were no longer being minted regularly, i.e. restrikes. The N-3 is usually much exaggerated as to rarity, though it is actually in a class with the 1856 N-5. Three were in the Boyd and Gaskill remnants offered in the NN 51st sale, two in "Dupont". Homer Downing had several, two being lots 2223 and 2224 of the 1952 ANA Convention sale. The Patterson DuBois - "Eavenson" - Ryder: 948 - Landau: 173 coin reappeared as TAD: 198. And so on, far into the night. I would guess that over 80 survive. Possibly the odd delivery of Feb. 7, 1857, $2.38, may mean 238 proof cents. Record $2200, 1974 ANA: 369.
- *N-5. This is, on the contrary, a very rare coin and doubtless original. Small date, curl point midway between r. curves of 8, date away from bust, without the line through B found on N-2, without the die file marks down from earlobe of N-4, without the die file marks through TY of N-3. Rev.: Different from preceding. Faint line from between denticles to right upper corner of T in CENT. (1) Smithsonian, no. 1238 in Comparette's catalogue, from Mint collection proof set, Jan. 1857 -a valuable piece of evidence. (2) Morgenthau, June 1942 -H. C. Hines - Homer Downing-1952 ANA:2225 at a then astonishing $190, at the time a world's record price by a factor of nearly 100% for any 1857 proof large cent, even though the piece was a gem. The price was legitimate and the coin did change hands, though I do not know its present whereabouts. (3) Brand, Ryder:949. (4) "Dupont": 1028. (5) Philip G. Straus estate: 416, to D. N. (6) CSNA: 1966, privately to W. K. Raymond at $580. (7), (8) New Jersey Specialist. (9) The writer's example. (10) Philadelphia Estate. Others have been seen at various auctions, unattributed, or in private collections or dealers' bourse displays. Harold Bareford's has not been verified. Probably at least a dozen now survive.
- *Obv. N-4, reverse new with numerous striae pointing southeast. Brilliantly polished dies but given apparently .only one blow in the press. "Dupont": 1027 to D. N., TAD:199, Roy Rauch. Time of striking unknown; no duplicate reported. The reverse is not the same as that on the regular N-4 business strikes nor on either of the foregoing proofs.
Flying Eagle Cent. *Perfect date, no doubling; die file marks above NI, one joins left upright of I to rim. Borders narrow (rather than wide as on the 1858 patterns) but inner and outer rims are sharp. Top of D below E; small die defect joins crosslet of same E to upper serif, closed E in STATES (crosslet Joins upper serif), open E in AMERICA, but two dots join crossbar to upper stroke. Faint line slants down to r. below beak. Sometimes recut within U (at r.) and first A. Rev. As in 1856, higher or long leaf flanking C of CENT and extending above base line; closed E in ONE; no centerdot. Borders narrower at top obv. and upper left rev. (1) ANS. (2) Commodore W. C. Eaton, Phila. Estate. (3) Straus estate, NN 53: 123, offered with comment "only 5 seen." (4) Bell 11:515. (5) Private sale, 1964, $2150, possibly ex Pelletreau. (6) A piece seen in stock of Dan Brown (Denver). (7) "Durham":121, spot between ES. (8) 1973 GENA:167. (9) LM9/67:187, spot below 57. Less than a dozen seen in all. Specimens from other dies than described above are automatically subject to doubt, as are any with rounded borders or any touch of frostiness or granularity in fields. Struck about May 1857 in limited numbers.
Trime. *Heavy obv. striae pointing a little south of southeast. The extra outlines at southwest reentrant angle of star are thinner than on business strikes, as in 1856. In date 1 low, almost touches rim. Rev. Repolished and strengthened die of 1856. Slightly less rare than 1856. (1) ANS. (2) Newlin: 245, Garrett: 88, $4,000. (3) Essex Institute:315, $1,800. (4) Morgenthau 10/5/39:553, Phila. Estate. (5) Brand, Lichtenfels 11:1665, cleaned. (6) Wolfson:293. (7) Walton, Jay:384. (8) NN 57:330. (9) Golding:588. (10) Cass, "Empire":460. (11) Gardner: 1432. (12) 1975 ANA:96, ex lot 646 of a Mayflower sale. Others doubtless survive.
Half Dime. The only variety ordinarily encountered in proof is *V-3. Date well to left, shield point about over left upright of 1 or minutely left of its usual position is above tip of left serif), skirt pendant over r. tip of 5 (its usual position is from left corner to r. of center of top of 5), date placed almost centrally and slanting up, left base of 1 slightly left of center of dentil, and much nearer dentil than base of 7; full border dentils (very unusual for 1856-7 coins except proofs), heavy date with 5 closed (corner touching knob); from retouched hub - note dent on inner point of 3rd star, wavy baseline and stronger drapery) as on all later dies through 1858. Rev. Die file mark from rim to top of first A of AMERICA. (1) ANS. (2) Essex Institute:424, $1,050. (3) Garrett: 113, $1,300, KL.Y. (4) Walton:490, Jay:385, Scanlon: 589. (5) MacMurray: 1010. (6) Miles:457. (7) QS 11/76:1482. (8) One seen in the stock of Kenneth W. Lee, 1965. Others exist. The coin is in a rarity class with the trime. Newcomb 1:506, II:812, KS 3/65:536 and some other have not been available for attribution.