Ex Jimmy Hayes Collection, Stacks, October 1985, lot 73, where it was catalogued “Choice Brilliant Proof.” Struck from polished dies and exhibiting extremely sharp detail on the highest parts of the hair and the eagle’s breast feathers. Undoubtedly one of the presentation pieces made for influential vistors and others under the administration of Mint Director Henry DeSaussure, many of which found their way to Europe. While this piece traces its provenance back to U.S. collector J. Colvin Randall, circa 1880, Randall made a number of trips across the Atlantic to make acquisitions for his collection. Since there is no record of a “Proof” or specimen 1795 Draped Bust Dollar in America prior to the Randall Sale in 1885, it is quite possible that he acquired the coin abroad. The Lester Merkin specimen, illustrated in Walter Breen’s Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins was one such piece. Presumably, it was in England from sometime around the year of issue until its appearance in America in the 1970’s, nearly 180 years later.
Ex. Garrett Collection, Bowers & Ruddy, lot 680, March, 1980; earlier from the J. Colvin Randall Collection, W. Elliott Woodward, lot 12, July, 1885
Read the story of the 1795-98 DRAPED BUST SMALL EAGLE DOLLAR