1871 50C Half Dollar, Judd-1109, Pollock-1245, R.7, PR64 Red Cameo NGC....
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Judd-1109, R.7, PR64 Red Cameo
Design. A seated Liberty faces left, wearing an Indian Princess headdress and a flowing robe. Her left hand rests atop a globe wrapped with a scroll bearing the word LIBERTY in raised letters, while holding a spear and Liberty cap in her right hand. Two flags--one bearing 13 stars--are in the background with the date 1871 in exergue. The periphery is free of stars or legends. The reverse is that of the regular-issue half dollar. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Pollock, in his United States Patterns and Related Issues, explores the origin of this obverse design:
"Although Longacre's Indian princess motif did not appear on any patterns prior to 1870, the design is known to have been conceived by him no later than 1852. Cory Gillilland in her 'Bullion Coins: A Nineteenth Century Proposal,' illustrates Longacre's circa 1852 sketches for this motif. The obverse design, illustrated on p. 22 of the article, is almost identical to that featured on the 'Indian princess' pattern pieces produced in 1870 through 1873, after Longacre's death (in 1869)."
The USPatterns.com website opines that William Barber implemented Longacre's Indian Princess design. Although this motif was never adopted for use on regular-issue U.S. coinage, a similar style of Liberty is found on the U.S. Trade dollars minted between 1873 and 1885.
Physical Description. Amazingly preserved red coloration blankets both sides of this near-Gem proof, although a few small scattered carbon spots and a fingerprint are observed on the obverse and likely preclude a higher grade. These minor issues are redeemed by appealing cameo contrast throughout. In fact, the current offering is the only piece that has been granted the Cameo designation by NGC as of (11/08). Pollock (1994) documented the weight of this specimen at 162.8 grains, with a diameter of 1.197 inches. NGC Census: 1 in PR64 Red and Brown Cameo, 3 numerically finer. PCGS Population: None in PR64 regardless of designation, 2 finer, neither of which are cameos (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: River Oaks Sale (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1976), lot 978; Lloyd M. Higgins, M.D. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 1/1988), lot 701.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (PCGS# 71368)
Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)