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Obverse of 1839 Large Cent - Newcomb 4     Reverse of 1839 Large Cent - Newcomb 4


1839 LARGE CENT - NEWCOMB 4

Rarity: Common

Variety Equivalents: Breen 1872

Notes:
"Silly" Head.  This reverse die also appears on 1839 Newcomb 1 and 1839 Newcomb 9.

Images courtesy of John D. Wright

Recent appearances:
MS-63.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 85, plated, sold for $1,207.50  Named as was the Booby Head by pioneer Philadelphia dealer Ebenezer Locke Mason, both Booby and Silly Heads are decidedly elusive in such outstanding grades of preservation.

ANACS MS-61 Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 19, sold for $575.00, "..Silly Head...A couple microscopic marks on the cheek and a touch of light friction on the highpoints.  MDS.  EAC graded AU50."

MS60.  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach Coin Sale", May 27-29, 2001, Lot 1214, illustrated,  sold for $2,070.00

PCGS graded MS-64 Red and Brown and Del Bland graded AU-50.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 522, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Silly head. Newcomb-4, Rarity-2 With a line like planchet defect from the edge left of star one through 18 in the date. Mint State sharpness but cleaned and retoned to a medium chocolate brown and red, the color so natural in appearance that it is difficult to distinguish it from original mint red. Above the head is a microscopic scratch, at ER in LIBERTY is a darkish spot, on a denticle above the left side of the second S in STATES is a tiny nick and below CEN is a light fingerprint. The planchet defect appears to be a small crack in the planchet, located in the first two digits of the date to the rim left and below, this does not continue through to the other side. The color does appear to be faded mint red toning over to brown. Examination with a glass will note faint hairlines in the fields, and the reverse is a bit brighter in color than the obverse. Ex: James G. Macallister 7/2/45 as "Unc. Red" at $15.", sold for $661.00

Del Bland graded Fine-15.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, lot 523, not illustrated, where it was described as follows: "Silly head. Newcomb-4, Rarity-2 Sharpness of Very Fine 35 but between the date and star two are some nicks, on the jaw are other tiny ones too. On much of the reverse fine raised corrosion is evident. Cleaned and nicely retoned to a medium chocolate brown with some traces of a reddish color. As to the reverse, the fine raised corrosion is spread about from top to bottom, and this piece should be inspected by bidders. Ex: James G. Macallister 6/6/44 as "Unc." for $7.50.", sold for $25.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The Cent Book 1816-1839" by John D. Wright

Relevant collector organizations:
Early American Coppers Club