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High Condition Census 1879 Washlady Half
Judd-1597, PR66 Cameo, One Finer Certified
Sharply Struck and Delightfully Toned

1879 50C Washlady Half Dollar, Judd-1597, Pollock-1791, High R.6, PR66 Cameo NGC.
The Charles Barber Society Lady design, popularly called the Washlady, although it is an unfortunate misnomer. Liberty's lush hair is piled atop her head, with IN GOD WE TRUST above and stars seven left, six right. On the reverse a perched eagle holds an olive branch with seven leaves. Three arrows pass behind the wing. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR are at the rim, with the Latin motto in a wide inner arc above the eagle. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.

Commentary. notes that the Washlady moniker apparently takes its source from the April 1891 sale of the Doughty Collection by Harlan P. Smith and David Proskey, adding that it is considered "today to be one of the most beautiful designs" ever made by the U.S. Mint. Although not quite in the same league as the Amazonian, Shield Earring, or Schoolgirl patterns, the Washlady coinage is nonetheless truly attractive and quite desirable. The Washlady half dollars, as the population data below attest, have an added benefit: While still quite rare, they are somewhat more available than those Big Three patterns, and most of the survivors, when found, are attractive and high-grade.

Physical Description.
Mostly brilliant, the peripheries show occasional dappled shades of cinnamon, amber, and ice-blue. Both the strike and subsequent preservation are impeccable on this Premium Gem proof, with much field-device contrast and even more eye appeal. NGC Census: one PR63, two PR66, one PR66 Cameo (this piece), one PR67 Star Ultra Cameo. PCGS Population: one PR62, two PR64, one PR65, two PR66, one PR66 Cameo (10/08).

Ex: William Mitkoff.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 2AGM, PCGS# 61975)

View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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