Archive for April, 2018

REVISITING THE DR. JOHN E. WILKISON COLLECTION OF GOLD U.S. PATTERNS, Part VI – 1873 to 1876

Posted on April 12, 2018 by 1 Comment

This installment of the Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection includes his gold Pattern coins dated from 1873 to 1876 inclusive.

471327

1873 $5 Judd 1337, Pollock 1481, Gold, Reeded Edge
PCGS PR66DCAM

Pedigree: Waldo C. Newcomer Collection – B.G. Johnson, sold privately on 7/19/1940 for $800 – F.C.C. Boyd Collection – Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection, traded in 1962 – Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection – Paramount International Coin Corp., sold privately on 4/9/1976 (as part of the intact Wilkison Collection) – A-Mark, 1978 – Bob R. Simpson Collection

This was the only gold Pattern coin of 1873.  Two examples are known of the 1873 $5 Judd 1337, both of which have traveled separate paths.  The example illustrated here is the actual coin owned by Dr. J. Hewitt Judd and Dr. Wilkison (see the pedigree above).  The other example appeared in an 1876 Haseltine sale (three years after it was made).  After wending it’s way through the Virgil Brand Collection, it ended up in the Egyptian King Farouk’s Collection.  Following the King’s abdication, the coin sold in Sotheby’s 1954 “Palace Collections” auction and his since disappeared from sight.  Akers wrote about a third example mentioned in Judd’s book, but that coin did not appear in Judd’s 7th edition and has since been discounted.

The obverse features a bust of Liberty facing right — distinctly opposite of the direction used on regular issue coins of the time.  The reverse shares the same reverse as the 1872 Amazonian $5 Gold Pattern (Judd 1240).

2040

1874 $10 Judd 1373, Pollock 1518, Gold, Reeded Edge
PCGS PR65+CAM

Pedigree: Louden Snowden (via William H. Woodin?) – W.W.C. Wilson Collection – F.C.C. Boyd Collection, sold privately in 1919 for $2,000 – Virgil Brand Collection (journal #90921) – Abe Kosoff, sold privately in the 1940’s for $8,000 – Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection, sold privately as an intact collection in 9/1973 – Paramount International Coin Corporation, sold privately on 4/9/1976 (as part of the intact Wilkison Collection) – A-Mark – Paramount (repurchased from A-Mark in 1978) – Paramount “Auction ‘79” 7/1979:184, not sold – Julian Leidman – Bowers & Ruddy 8/1981:2433, $90,000 – Ed Trompeter Collection – Superior 2/1992:137, $198,000 – Superior 2/1992:137, $198,000 – Superior 7/1993:695, $154,000 – Bob Cohen – Harlan White – Holecek Family Trust – Stack’s 10/2000:1621, $201,250 – “Southern” Collection – Bob R. Simpson Collection

In 1874, travelers to foreign lands faced the same problems with currency conversions that they face today, but there was no Internet with up-to-the-minute conversion rates, no credit cards with conversions taking place in the background, and no ATM’s for getting quick cash in another country’s currency.  Further, conversion rates depended on where the transaction was taking place: black market, banks, merchant shops, etc.  Judd 1373 was the answer for European travelers.  The back of the coin gave the weight (16.72 grams), the fineness (900 Fine or 90% gold) and the conversion rates for British, German, Swedish, Dutch, and French coins.  While this sounded like a good idea, and it certainyl would have been convenient to travelers, but the basic assumption had two major flaws: one, that the various currencies would remain stable forever; and two, that foreigners would accept the conversion rates.  If either of those assumptions failed — and they would — the coin would fail.  Needless to say, the concept and the design were never adopted.

The interesting about Judd 1373 is that it has a much larger diameter than a normal $10 gold piece.  Consequently, the planchet was thinner to equal the statutory weight.  This is often unclear from the images, but when laid side-by-side with a typical $10 gold piece of the era, the Judd-1373 appears surprisingly large.

Only two Judd 1373’s are known and Dr. Wilkison owned both.  He obtained the first example (this one) from Abe Kosoff in the 1940’s.  Though he did not need a duplicate, Wilkison obtained his second example in the mega-trade for Dr. Judd’s gold Pattern collection in 1962.

909

1874 $10 Judd 1373, Pollock 1518, Gold, Reeded Edge
PCGS PR65CAM

Pedigree: A. Louden Snowden – William H. Woodin – Waldo C. Newcomer, consigned the coin to Wayte Raymond in 1932 but it did not sell  – F.C.C. Boyd Collection – Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection – Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection, whose collection was sold intact in 9/1973 – Paramount International Coin Corporation, sold privately on 4/9/1976 (as part of the intact Wilkison Collection) – A-Mark, sold privately in 11/1978 – Paramount 7/1985:1306, $82,500 – Heritage 1/2010:2373, $1,265,000

Dr. Wilkison obtained this example in 1962 in a big trade with Dr. Judd.  Wilkison received 21 gold Pattern coins (including this piece) in return for a nearly complete run of Proof U.S. gold coins from 1858 to 1899, valued at $160,000 at the time.  It would be interesting to do an analysis to see how much those coins would be worth today and to see who got the better deal in the trade.

1598

1875 $5 Judd 1438, Pollock 1581, Gold, Reeded Edge
PCGS PR66DCAM

Pedigree: William H. Woodin Collection – Waldo C. Newcomer Collection – King Farouk of Egypt – Sotheby’s “Palace Collections” 2/1954:??? – Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection, whose collection was sold intact in 9/1973 – Paramount International Coin Corporation, sold privately on 4/9/1976 (as part of the intact Wilkison Collection) – A-Mark, 1978 – Paramount “Auction ‘84”  (in the set with the ten dollar Judd-1443) 7/1984:536, $83,600 – Ed Trompeter Collection – Heritage 5/2005:8336, $287,500 – Bob R. Simpson Collection

Judd 1438 is a prototype for a $5 gold piece.  The shape of Liberty’s coronet and the appearance of the bow in her hair has given rise to the nickname “Sailor’s Head” for this type.  The eagle on the reverse is reminiscent of that on the Twenty-Cent pieces and Trade Dollars.  Only two examples are known of Judd 1438.  Researcher Saul Teichman speculates that William Woodin obtained both pieces from A. Louden Snowden in return for the two $5o “Unions” (Judd 1546 and Judd 1588) that created such a scandal in 1909-1910.  The two Judd 1438’s parted ways for a time, but were reunited in the King Farouk Collection.  At the 1954 sale of the Farouk Collection, Dr. Wilkison purchased both.  Today, they are once again owned by one person, Bob Simpson.

466731875 $5 Judd 1438, Pollock 1581, Gold, Reeded Edge
PCGS PR65CAM

Pedigree: William H. Woodin Collection – King Farouk of Egypt Collection – Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection, sold intact in 9/1973 – Paramount International Coin Corporation, sold privately on 4/9/1976 (as part of the intact Wilkison Collection) – A-Mark, 1978 – Bowers & Ruddy 8/1981:2431, $45,000 – Bob R. Simpson Collection

8311875 $10 Judd 1443, Pollock 1587, Gold, Reeded Edge

Pedigree: F.C.C. Boyd Collection – William H. Woodin Collection – possibly Waldo C. Newcomer – Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection – Abe Kosoff “Illustrated History” 1/1962:480 – Dr. John E. Wilkison Collection, whose collection was sold intact in 9/1973 – Paramount International Coin Corporation, sold privately on 4/9/1976 (as part of the intact Wilkison Collection) – A-Mark, 1978 – Paramount “Auction ‘84” (in a set with $5 Judd-1438 7/1984:536, $83,600 – Ed Trompeter Collection – Heritage 5/2005:8337, $402,500 – Bob R. Simpson Collection

Judd 1443 is the $10 version of Judd 1581 and the designs are identical.  Two examples are known: the example illustrated above and a second example that appeared in the King Farouk sale in 1954 but has not reappeared since.

471328

1876 $20 Judd 1490, Pollock 1643, Gold, Reeded Edge – Unique

Pedigree: Capt. John Haseltine, sold prior to 6/1909 for $1,000 – William Woodin Collection – Waldo Newcomer Collection – King Farouk of Egypt Collection – New Netherlands, sold privately for $2,000 – Dr. John E. Wilkison – Paramount International Coin Corporation, sold privately on 4/9/1976 (as part of the intact Wilkison Collection) – Bob R. Simpson Collection

By itself, Judd 1490 looks like a regular Proof 1876 $20 Gold piece, but when compared with the regular Proofs of the year it is substantially different.  Both the obverse and the reverse were of the type adopted in 1877, so this is considered a transitional Pattern.  If the date of Judd 1490 is placed on a flat line, Liberty’s head appears to be facing directly to the left; on the regular 1876 Double Eagles, Liberty’s head is cocked unnaturally backwards if the date is oriented the same way.  On the reverse of the regular 1876 Double Eagles, the denomination is abbreviated “TWENTY D.”; on Judd 1490, it is spelled out “TWENTY DOLLARS” (as it was in 1877 and all subsequent years.

Judd 1490 is unique and currently resides in Bob Simpson’s collection.

In the next installment, we’ll look at Dr. Wilkison’s five gold Pattern coins of 1878.

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