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1876 Pattern Dollar, PR65 Red and Brown
Sailor Head, Judd-1465, Pollock-1616
High R.7, Only One Certified Finer

1876 $1 Sailor Head Dollar, Judd-1465, Pollock-1616, High R.7, PR65 Red and Brown NGC. CAC. The obverse features the "Sailor Head" of Liberty, with pearl beads on the coronet, the motto above, date below, an arc of seven stars on the left, and six on the right. An open laurel wreath surrounds the denomination on the reverse, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above, and E PLURIBUS UNUM below. Struck in copper, with a reeded edge.
A bill proposed by Representatives Richard Bland and William Kelley passed the House of Representatives in 1876, providing for the resumption of silver dollar coinage on a large scale. In response, Chief Engraver William Barber prepared a series of patterns for the prospective coinage, featuring different versions of his beautiful "Sailor Head" design. On August 11, 1876, Superintendent Pollock sent a specimen of Judd-1465 to Mint Director Henry Linderman for consideration as a possible design for the silver dollar. Linderman was enthusiastic, saying, "...altogether this Head of Liberty may be regarded as equal if not superior to any heretofore prepared at the Mint." The sponsoring bill was defeated in the Senate, and silver dollar coinage was delayed until 1878, when the famous Morgan dollar design made its debut.
Judd-1465 is a very rare issue, as lists six coins on their roster of known specimens. One of those coins is impounded in the Mitchelson Collection, at the Connecticut State Library, and thus unavailable to collectors. Another specimen has been silver plated. This coin is probably tied for second-finest known with the former Bass Collection example, which is also graded PR65 Red and Brown by NGC. A single specimen has been certified as PR66 Red and Brown by NGC, and PCGS has graded only one specimen of Judd-1465, that in PR64 Brown (11/12).
The coin offered here is a spectacular Gem, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements and especially well-preserved surfaces. The deeply mirrored fields retain much of their original red color, mixed with pleasing shades of medium brown. Eye appeal is exceptional. This coin was off the market for many years before it recently surfaced, as it was part of the Magnolia Collection, offered by Spink Smythe in May 2011. The consignor of the Magnolia Collection was an elderly collector who reportedly stopped collecting seriously in the 1970s. Census: 2 in 65 Red and Brown, 1 finer (11/12). (NGC ID# 26WW, PCGS# 71787)

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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