SIGNIFICANT AMERICAN RARITY – BROWNING PLATE COIN
Browning 1 ~ Reverse with Curled Base 2 in 25C, as on all Original strikes. (Restrikes ca. 1859 or later, designated as Browning 2, all are from a reverse with a Flat Base 2 in 25C.) Date with 1827 punched over 1823. The digits 1, 8, and 2 all show repunching, while vestiges of a 3 are visible about the 7.
In all of American Numismatics, few issues can compete in rarity with 1827 Original Quarters. While currently overshadowed and outpublicized by marquis rarities such as 1913 Liberty Nickels and 1804 Draped Bust Dollars, original strike quarter dollars of 1827 remain one of the greatest and most desirable of all American silver coins.
The Mint Report for 1827 shows 4,000 quarters struck for circulation. However, as there are no surviving examples of a non-proof 1827 Quarter, undoubtedly all 4,000 quarters struck in 1827 were made with dies dated for previous years, probably all 1825. (The Eliasberg specimen, grading VF, was noted as a possible business strike, However, it is now widely considered to be a circulated proof striking.) While the actual mintage for Original Proofs is not known with any degree of certainty, today nine different specimens are documented. Walter Breen hinted at a mintage of 12, a number that is sometimes repeated, but this number is nothing more than a pure guess. Additionally, in his revision of A.W. Browning’s “The Early Quarter Dollars of the United States”, Breen’s roster includes ten documented survivors. However, his #7 and #9 are the same coin.
This 1827 Capped Bust Quarter, the Parmelee/Stack specimen, is mostly light gold and olive-tan in color, the obverse somewhat translucent. The surfaces show a mesh of fine hairlines, evidence of an old cleaning, typical of nearly all of the surviving examples. Strike is also typical, with most of the stars exhibiting some weak or missing radials, while stars 12 and 13 are nearly flat. The pedigree markers that define this as the Parmelee/Stack specimen are faint, yet decisive, including a contact mark on Liberty’s nose, visible on the Parmelee plate, a thin, shallow scratch to the left of Liberty’s chin, a dull spot in the field immediately above her cap, and two tiny contact marks near the lower left point of star 13.
Of the nine known Original 1827 Capped Bust Quarters, this coin appears to be among the crowded middle of the full census.
PCGS Certification #50052511
- Joseph J. Mickley [Noted by Breen as from Mint at face value in 1827 with Garrett, Pittman, and Norweb specimens. Dismissed by Moulton as a “marketing ploy”.]
- Graves & Weston (after 1857) [per Karl Moulton]
- William S. Appleton (1867) [per Karl Moulton]
- George F. Seavey (W.H. Strobridge 6/1873: lot 471)
- Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Coin & Stamp Co. 6/1890: lot 975 to Samuel H. Chapman) [Sale to Chapman per Karl Moulton. Obverse plate match per photo provided by Rory Rea.]
- (Thomas Elder 12/1923: lot 1420) [per Karl Moulton, noting “mis-attributed as a restrike.]
- Edward Howland Robinson Green (1942 to Burdette G. Johnson, St. Louis Stamp & Coin) [per Karl Moulton]
- Burdette G. Johnson (1944 to dealer Charles E. Green, later to James A. Stack) [per Karl Moulton]
- James A. Stack (Stack’s 3/1975: Lot 29 @ $50,000, to Paramout) [“to Paramount” per Karl Moulton]
- Dan Drykerman [per Karl Moulton]
- “The Somerset Collection” (Bowers and Merena 5/1992: lot 1172 as Proof-63 “beautifully toned in medium golden and sea green on the obverse, with light gold on the reverse”)
- Private New England Collection
- Private Midwest Collection