1792 Quarter Obverse & Reverse Die Trials
Featured in the August 2021 ANA Heritage Auction
The following coin was featured the August 2021 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago #1333.
Images Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com
1792 Quarter Dollar Die Trials
Judd-A1792 Eagle-on-Globe Design
Unique White Metal Splashers
Sold for: $180,000.00
1792 P25C Quarter Dollar, Obverse and Reverse Die Trials, AU53 PCGS / XF45 NGC. Following numismatic tradition that dates back to the 1882 Bushnell sale, this pair of white metal dies trials is offered together:
1792 Pattern Quarter Dollar, Obverse Dies Trial, Judd-A1792-1, Pollock-3001, R.8, AU50 PCGS. CAC. Ex: Simpson. 480.8 grains. A female head of Liberty faces right in a plain field with LIBERTY above and 1792 below. Uniface obverse struck in white metal. Deep steel-gray surfaces exhibit areas of lighter gray with scattered marks of little consequence.
1792 Pattern Quarter Dollar, Reverse Die Trial, Judd-A1792-2, Pollock-3004, R.8, XF45 NGC. Ex: Simpson. 432.9 grains. An eagle is perched on a globe with the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA within a border of 87 stars. Uniface reverse struck in white metal. NGC identifies this piece as 43% lead, 39% iron, and 16% tin. Steel and light gray surfaces host faint scratches that radiate from the center.
These patterns are called quarter dollars and are attributed to Joseph Wright, the designer and engraver who may have been chosen as the chief engraver of the Philadelphia Mint had he not succumbed to the yellow fever epidemic that swept the city in the late summer of 1793. Joseph Wright was the son of well-known portrait painter Patience Lovell Wright, and he was married to Sarah Vandervoort, who may have been the model for the obverse. Sarah also perished in the 1793 yellow fever epidemic. Author Monroe Fabian (Joseph Wright American Artist, 1756-1793) observes an "uncanny resemblance" between the portrait on the obverse and Mrs. Wright, who appeared in an unfinished family portrait that Joseph Wright painted shortly before his death.
In the past, these pieces have been called pattern cents or half eagles. A contemporary letter dated September 11, 1793, incidentally the delivery date of the 1793 Liberty Cap cents that Wright also designed, was located in the National Archives and specifically calls these "essays of a quarter dollar."
Ex: Charles Bushnell (S.H. and H. Chapman, 6/1882), lot 1765; S.H. and H. Chapman (5/1883); T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University (Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1981), lot 2354; Bowers and Ruddy (Rare Coin Review #39, page 10); Bowers and Merena (1/1999), lot 1011; Northeast Numismatics (Coin World, 7/29/2002); Southern Collection.