US Coins

'Indian Princess' a pattern collector favorite

An 1842 Seated Liberty, Small Date quarter dollar graded Proof 64 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. sold for $88,125 and was the top lot at Heritage’s March 3 to 6 auctions held during the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in the auction firm’s hometown of Dallas. The rarity previously brought $126,500 when offered at Heritage’s April 19, 2008, Central States Numismatic Society auction and is one of just six confirmed examples. In total the auction brought more than $8 million.

Here is one of three other lots that caught my eye.

The Coin:

1871 Indian Princess dollar pattern, Proof 66 brown

The Price:


The Story:

The U.S. Mint stayed busy in the 1870s producing a wide variety of patterns, both to test new designs, compositions and even denominations, and also to provide treats for collectors and satisfy collector demand in the marketplace.

One of the more handsome designs of this era is the “Indian Princess” design, with a seated Liberty similar to the one seen in the contemporary Seated Liberty design introduced in the 1830s, but wearing an Indian headdress and sitting on a more complex arrangement of items including a flag, a globe, and grain.

Heritage writes, “Implemented by William Barber after James Longacre’s death, this Indian Princess design is a favorite among pattern collectors and available in a number of metals, edges, and reverse types.”

The design was struck in a high relief, providing more of a medallic appearance than often seen, and this example — listed as Judd 1148 and Pollock 1290 in the references to the pattern series — is struck in copper. Graded Proof 66 brown by PCGS, it sold for $9,987.50.

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