February 2014 Americana Lot #2002

Le Parker Meridien New York
2/6/2014 6:00:00 PM2/6/2014 5:00:00 PM
  • PCGS

Price Realized: $211,500.00


Extremely Rare and Desirable 1792 Copper Disme Pattern
One of a Dozen or So Known

Obv: A bust of Liberty with flowing hair faces left with the date 1792 below and the inscription LIBERTY PARENT OF SCIENCE & INDUS. around the border. Rev: A small spread wing eagle is centered in the field with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the border and the denomination DISME below. This is a highly attractive mid grade example with handsome copper brown patina blanketing both sides. There is plenty of bold striking detail to the central devices, and all peripheral lettering is boldly outlined and discernible except for isolated softness along the right obverse and left reverse borders. The obverse is overall smooth with no significant abrasions in the prime focal areas, while a series of small, ancient handling marks in the lower reverse field are commensurate with the grade. 

As we said in our New York Connoisseur's Collection sale "the 1792 disme is one of America's most famous issues, a piece of singular importance to collectors of early American issues, dimes, and patterns. The silver pieces are appreciably rare and appropriately costly; only three exist. The copper dismes are nearly as rare, with about 15 examples known of the reeded edge variety, the worst of which is currently encapsulated Poor-1! Three plain edge specimens are known, listed as Judd-11, including the defaced but very high grade piece that turned up at the 2004 ANA Convention and ended up in a prominent West Coast cabinet. Three of the reeded edge pieces are permanently impounded, including the example in the National Numismatic Collection, the worn piece in the Byron Reed Collection in the City of Omaha, and Eric Newman's example which we are pleased to hear will be entering  new home at Washington University devoted to the study of coins and currency. This leaves only about a dozen examples (including the awful one) that could be owned by modern collectors, with many of them in good long-term homes."

The 1792 copper disme ranks high with the other 1792 pattern issues in terms of importance, as Jefferson himself that this denomination would be prudent, valued at one half of a pistareen, and this would be a major part of his decimal coinage base. Many collectors have never even seen an example of this rare issue as they so seldom come up for auction. Nothing could top the historical significance of these 1792 issues as they were the very first coins struck, before the Mint was even opened, as part of a start up overseen by Jefferson, Rittenhouse and Washington himself. This American classic example of the prized 1792 copper disme is destined to be a centerpiece of a world-class collection.

Estimate: $0.00 - $0.00
PCGS# 11026.
Pedigree: From Superior's Gainsborough Collection II Sale, February 1997, lot 2646; Superior's May 2001 Auction, lot 1046; and our (ANR) New York Connoisseur's Collection sale, March 2006, lot 37.
PCGS Population: 1; 7 finer (Mint State-62 finest).