Images courtesy of the American
According to Breen, the 1866 "No Motto" Quarter Dollar is
"...a fantasy piece, struck in a set with the the half dollar [Judd
538] and silver dollar [Judd 540], long after authorization to adopt the new
design with motto (Act of March 3, 1865...). This set was made up for
the Mint's favorite druggist, Robert Coulton Davis.
Calling them transitional
pieces destroys the meaning of the term; the true transitionals are the 1865
coins with motto as adopted in 1866".
The set was kept intact
through the following chain of owners: H.O. Granberg - William H.
Woodin - Waldo Newcomer - F.C.C. Boyd - Wayte Raymond - Col. E.H.R. Green -
King Farouk - Sotheby's 1954 "Palace Collection", Lot 1798 -
[Breen says "again to Boyd"] - Edwin M. Hydeman - Abe
Kosoff's 1961 NASC Sale, Lot 1107 @ $24,500.00 - Lammot DuPont - Willis
The set was stolen in October,
1967 from the DuPont family mansion in Coconut Grove, Florida in an armed
robbery by five masked gunmen. The coins remained hidden until late
1999, when the Quarter Dollar was purchased over the counter by the Los
Angeles Coin Company in "a lot of junk and old electrotype Colonial
coins". Upon subsequent examination, the Quarter Dollar was
determined to be the long-lost DuPont coin and it was returned to a family
representative on December 10, 1999. The coin was shipped immediately
to the American Numismatic Association's Authentication Bureau, where the
coin was authenticated and photographed. As of this writing (March 12,
2000), the coin remains at the American Numismatic Association, along with
the 1866 "No Motto" Half Dollar (which was recovered shortly after
the Quarter Dollar in remarkably similar circumstances).
Sources and recommended
"United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces" by J.
Hewitt Judd, M.D.
"Walter Breen's Complete
Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen
Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977"
December 27, 1999
January 4, 2000