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Obverse of 1839 Large Cent - Newcomb 5     Reverse of 1839 Large Cent - Newcomb 5


Rarity: Very Common

Variety Equivalents: Breen 1873

One of the "Booby Head" varieties; identified by the unnatural way the hair curls around the back of the truncation.  This obverse die also appears on 1839 Newcomb 10, with which this variety is easily confused.  This reverse die also appears on 1839 Newcomb 7 and 1839 Newcomb 12.

Images courtesy of John D. Wright

Recent appearances:
NGC MS-64 Brown.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 274, "Newcomb-5, Booby Head", sold for $1,150.00

MS-63 Brown.  Ex - Stack's "The Marvin Taichert Collection of U.S. Type Coins", May 9, 2001, Lot 60, plated, sold for $1,725.00 Ex Bowers and Merena sale of June 13, 1988, lot 674

MS-62.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 86, plated, sold for $862.50  Named as was the Silly Head by pioneer Philadelphia dealer Ebenezer Locke Mason, both Booby and Silly Heads are decidedly elusive in such outstanding grades of preservation.

MS60.  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach Coin Sale", May 27-29, 2001, Lot 1215, illustrated,  sold for $2,070.00

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

Relevant collector organizations:
Early American Coppers Club