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Rare 1872 Amazonian Silver Half Dollar Pattern, J-1200, Proof 66 NGC1872 50C Half Dollar, Judd-1200, Pollock-1340, Low R.7, PR66 NGC. A representation of Liberty is seated left on the obverse with her right hand outstretched and resting on the head of an eagle. Her left hand holds a sword, and that arm is propped up on a shield. Thirteen stars encircle the border and the date 1872 is below. The reverse depicts an eagle with spread wings and three arrows in its right talon. The left talon supports a shield, in front of which is an olive branch and over which is draped a ribbon inscribed with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is at the upper border and the denomination HALF DOL is at the lower border. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
The Amazonian patterns of 1872 are attributed to William Barber. Long considered one of the most beautiful designs in U.S. coinage history, the term "Amazonian" appears to have originated with the Lorin G. Parmelee Collection Sale of June 1890. The catalogers for that sale, H. P. Smith and David Proskey, apparently likened Liberty to the mythical female Amazonian warriors because of her warlike pose with sword and shield. No more than 12 examples of the present variety are believed extant, some of which have been owned by such numismatic luminaries as William H. Woodin, Harry W. Bass, Jr., King Farouk of Egypt, and Byron Reed.
This important Gem is the single finest certified 1872 Judd-1200 Amazonian Half Dollar at NGC and PCGS (10/02). Hazy apricot-gray toning drifts over both sides with blushes of lavender color at the left borders. We have no complaints about the sharp strike, and both sides are distraction-free save for an obverse spot in the field above the eagle's left (facing) wing that should be useful for pedigree purposes.
Ex: Robert E. Branigan Estate Sale (Bowers and Ruddy, 8/1978), lot 1859; William R. Sieck Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 7-8/1981), lot 224.
From the Harold Hoogasian Collection. (#61471) (NGC ID# 2A6C, PCGS# 61471)
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