|1838 25C No Drapery MS66+ NGC. CAC. Briggs 2-B. Early this year, we were privileged to handle the unique proof 1838 No Drapery quarter that was struck from the Closed Claws reverse die. The die pair was also used to strike a limited number of business strikes, such as the Premium Gem Eric P. Newman specimen. This 1838 reverse is better described as "Close Claws" since the inside right facing talon is extremely close to the arrow feather, but does not touch the feather as it does on the 1839 Closed Claws reverse. There are clearly three different hubs for the No Drapery coins. Larry Briggs described the Closed Claws variety as "presently extremely rare" when he authored The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Quarters that was published in 1991. He discovered the first example of this variety early the previous year, and noted that only one other example was known to him. The unique proof was hidden away from 1957 until 2013, and never studied by the current generation of numismatists. A review of the Heritage Permanent Auction Archives suggests that about 5% to 10% of all 1838 No Drapery quarters have the Close Claws reverse. We believe that the Close Claws quarters were the first Seated Liberty quarters minted in September 1838 after the earlier Capped Bust design was discontinued. They are the true "first-year of issue" type coins and the Eric P. Newman specimen is the finest known. The Open Claws pieces were struck later in the year, and continued into 1839, when the third hub was introduced with the claws entirely closed. The rarity and importance of this piece cannot be overemphasized. A gorgeous example, this Premium Gem exhibits brilliant, satin mint luster with reflective obverse fields and lightly mirrored reverse fields. The central obverse is delicate gold with rich deeper gold, blue, and turquoise peripheral toning. Most of the reverse is light silver with a veil of peripheral gold and blue. This splendid specimen combines excellent eye appeal and rarity with numismatic significance. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $141,000.00 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.