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Unusual Items: 1836 Gobrecht Dollar, Judd-63 Name Below Base, Starless Obverse and Reverse

Extremely Rare, One of Only Three Known, The Farouk-Baldenhofer Specimen

1836 Gobrecht Dollar, Judd-631836 P$1 Name Below Base, Judd-63 Restrike, Pollock-63, R.8, PR62 NGC. Silver. Plain Edge. Die Alignment III (the center of Liberty’s head is opposite the right edge of the N in ONE). This extremely rare muling combines the Name Below Base, Starless Obverse dated 1836 with the Starless Reverse of 1838. Only three such pieces are known.

These rarities obviously have their story intertwined with that of the Name Below Base Judd-58 dollars. Much recent research has been conducted on those pieces, and it is now generally accepted that none were struck in 1836. No Die Alignment I pieces are known, and no records exist of these coins until the late 1850s. This would be the earliest date the Judd-63 dollars could have been struck, and it is generally believed that they were actually produced sometime between 1867 and 1878, a time period that would correspond with one of the tenures of Henry Linderman as Mint director.

An interesting recent discovery by John Dannreuther further underscores the late striking period for the Name Below Base dollars. These coins all show effacement of C. GOBRECHT F. from the base of the rock–a move that was clearly done so that it could be added again below the base.

The Judd-63 dollars were obviously produced for sale to collectors as there was no obvious need for a starless obverse and reverse combination. All known examples show the same diagnostics. The reverse shows die cracks through the tops of MERI, the base of LAR in DOLLAR, and the top of TE in UNITED. All examples also show a raised die spur on the right side of the D in UNITED.

Only three silver strikings of Judd-63 are known:

1. Anthon Sale (Bangs & Co., 10/1884), lot 117; Garrett Sale (Stack’s, 3/1976), lot 252; Clemente Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1994), lot 1057; L.K. Rudolf (Stack’s, 5/2003), lot 2092.

2. William C. Wilson; F.C.C. Boyd (most likely acting as an agent); Virgil Brand (2/12/1919); Farouk Collection (Sotheby’s, 2/1954), lot 2020; A.H. Baldwin & Co.; Received by the present consignor from W.G. Baldenhofer, 10/6/1956 (flip included). This is the plate coin in Breen’s Proof Encyclopedia (1977) and his Complete Encyclopedia (1988). The present specimen.

3. H.O. Granberg, the first numismatist to assemble a set of all 1836 Gobrecht dollar patterns, which were displayed at the 1914 ANS exhibit; Waldo Newcomer; Farouk Collection (Sotheby’s, 2/1954), lot 1717; A.H. Baldwin & Co. (Baldwin purchased both of Farouk’s Judd-63 Restrike Gobrecht dollars); Alfred Ostheimer (Lester Merkin, 9/1968), lot 329; Philadelphia 2000 Auction (Heritage, 8/2000), lot 6174. This is the plate coin above numbers 46 and 48 in the book United States Pattern, Trial, and Experimental Pieces by Edgar H. Adams and William H. Woodin (1913). This coin now a part of the Dr. Julius Korein Collection housed at the ANS.

This particular piece shows the deep, watery proof fields that are consistent with proof dollars struck after 1858. Light hairlining explains the grade, but in reality the coin appears finer than a PR62. The centers are generally much lighter in color, almost brilliant, than the margins which gradually deepen to rose-golden. Close examination with a loupe reveals a number of minuscule lint marks on each side. The only mentionable defect is mint-made: an irregular planchet flaw on the reverse below the right foot of the F in OF. This defect is just barely visible in the Breen texts.
From The Frank M. Stirling Collection. (#11239)

This coin is available in the upcoming Hertitage Long Beach Sale (Auction 1125) as Lot 943

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