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Lot 0075
1859 Indian Head Cent. Problem Free. First year of the Indian Head Cent. Variety 1, Copper-nickel composition with the laurel wreath reverse, the only year of that variety. Mint: Philadelphia. Mintage: 36,400,000. Obverse of the Indian Head cent were based on the features of Longacre's daughter Sarah; the tale runs that she was at the mint one day when she tried on the headdress of one of a number of Native Americans who were visiting, and her father sketched her. However, Sarah Longacre was 30 years old and married in 1858, not 12 as in the tale, and Longacre himself stated that the face was based on a statue of Venus in Philadelphia on loan from the Vatican. He did often sketch his elder daughter, and there are resemblances between the depictions of Sarah and the various representations of Liberty on his coins of the 1850s. These tales were apparently extant at the time, as Snowden, writing to Treasury Secretary Howell Cobb in November 1858, denied that the coin was based "on any human features in the Longacre family". The pattern coin had the laurel leaves in the reverse wreath in bunches of five leaves; the issued 1859 cent has them in bunches of six. Cents dated 1858 with the adopted reverse (with six-leaf bunches) are known, were most likely struck in 1859, and are extremely rare.

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1859 Indian Head Cent, Type 1 Copper-Nickel Cent, First

Estimate $20 - $30Sep 30, 2017