Click to enlargeJA1836-4/P3025

This is an obverse die trial, in white metal, from an earlier version of the 1836 Gobrecht seated dollar. It has minor variations in the drapery and especially the dentilation. The background shows the original grid guidelines used by Gobrecht to help him align the design. This grid background can be seen on many of the drawings, see figures 18-20 and pages 87-88 in the article "From the Drawingboard of a Coin Engraver" by Elvira Eliza Clain-Stefanelli published in the "ANA Centennial Anthology".

Only 2 examples are known and both are illustrated. The color example is ex 52 ANA, Bowers and Merena 8/83, Kagin 3/85 sale, Heritage 1/2002, Dr. Korein, ANS and is the Pollock plate coin. Remember to click on the thumbnail for an enlarged view. The other, shown below, is ex Lohr, 95 ANA, Stacks 1/99, Heritage 8/14.

As you can see from the illustrations, the splashers are breaking up and are possibly only held together by their paper backing. The preservation of these historic pieces should be of paramount importance to the owners.

Photos of both are courtesy of Heritage.

The Smithsonian has the original brass die as well as a striking on a square piece of lead as shown on page 160 of "The Beauty and Lore of Coins" by Elvira and Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli.