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January 2003 Americana Catalog.

Lot# 1328

1789 and Liberty Cap. Cobb 1, WHB-unlisted (unknown to Albert in 1949), RAU.WI.26 (incorrectly plated as WI.27), DeW.GW1789.42, R/F-unlisted. Extremely Fine. Brass. 105.1 gns. 33.8mm. Original shank. Single piece. Magnificent, rich golden yellow orange in color with iridescent purple highlights in places. Back dark, as expected. A gorgeous piece of undoubted museum quality. Cobb's descriptive label on the back. Liberty cap on a pole like the type on the Half Cents and Large Cents, the pole dividing 1789 in the middle. Lovely engraving work with a wonderful, antique feel. Of the highest rarity: Albert did not rate it in 1976. Cobb knew of only one in 1963, but added a second in his 1964 update, which had been bought by Massachusetts collector Helen Richmond from a Florida button dealer. Cobb believed it dated to 1789. Albert listed it in 1976 under ``Unauthenticated Specimens,'' probably because he had never seen one. The piece he plated does not look like Cobb's and may have been Richmond's. His only comment at the time was ``The device is engraved on a plain Colonial button'', indicating that he thought the button, at least, was of the 1789 period. We note that Albert also listed the unique 1789 Washington profile piece in the Smithsonian as ``unauthenticated,'' even though it had been put into the Mint Collection by Adam Eckfeldt in 1838 and described by Snowden in 1861. Cobb recorded the following comments about this piece: ``Albert: `Probably the only one known like it. In a class with the Profile with date (Smithsonian) WHB No.1 in the Smithsonian Institute collection;' DeWitt: ``I really think it is a tremendous item.''' {cp8}(SEE COLOR PLATE)