Obverse 1: Proof Die, Medium Date, Upward Slope
Reverse A: Proof Die
Obverse 1 Reverse A
Comments: Kam Ahwash originally states in his encyclopedia that, "This variety was struck from the regular hub and not a revision to the previous hub (No Drapery) used. This came about by vigorously lapping the working die in which the excessive polishing removed not only the extra drapery at the elbow, but many other areas of drapery, as well as making the stars appear smaller." Ahwash goes on to describe the reverse die as, "Dies lapped - denticles not joined - all the roughness that is generally present around the leaves and ribbons have been polished out, except for slight traces around the right and left ribbon bows. Proofs and impaired proofs only." Unfortunately, Kam Ahwash's observations were made from an impaired proof; the only available specimen to him at that time as per following images.
Ahwash Plate Coin - NGC PF53
During March 2001, John McCloskey published an alternate opinion as to the origins of the 1841 No Drapery proof after receiving a high quality picture of the Eric P. Newman specimen. The picture from the Gobecht Journal, Issue #80, is presented here by kind permission of John McCloskey.
In the Gobrecht Journal article, John McCloskey presents the following commentary and opinion as to the origin of the 1841 No Drapery variety, "The design shown on the 1841 No Drapery dime does not appear on any other coins in the dime series. I believe that mint officials studied impressions made from this design and decided that some modifications would be required before the new design could be used in the Seated dime series. I believe that the master hub for this was modified or that a new master die was prepared from the existing hub for this design. I believe that this new master die was modified by adding some drapery folds under the arm on the left to make it appear that the gown extended out behind the arm. I believe that drapery folds were then cut into the master die below the arm and the leg. The intent again would be to make it appear that the gown extended out behind the arm to reduce the separation of the arm from the rest of the seated figure. I believe that this modified design was then used to prepare the hub for the With Drapery obverse that was used for nearly twenty years in the Seated dime series. The denticle count for this new With Drapery obverse was 132, the same as the denticle count on the 1841 No Drapery Obverse."
In addition, John offers, "The theory that the 1841 No Drapery obverse was an intermediate design for the With Drapery obverse is supported by some key features in this design. Specifically the two vertical line segments on the shield above the E (in LIBERTY) and the short pole segment between the index finger and the cap are sharper than the same features on the other coins of the period. These features are even stronger on the 1841 No Drapery obverse than they are on the proof coins of the period. The strength of these features indicates that the transfer process used to produce the With Drapery hub weakened the design in these areas so that it would no longer contain the fine detail projected on the 1841 No Drapery obverse.
Two specimens are known; the Ahwash plate coin graded NGC PF53 and the Eric P. Newman dime graded NGC PF67+; the featured plate coin.
Plate Coin: Images courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, NGC PF67+
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