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Marvelous 1882 Shield Earring
1882 50C Shield Earring Half Dollar, Judd-1700, Pollock-1902,
Low R.7, PR64 Cameo NGC.
Silver Half, Judd-1700, PR64 Cameo
Design. The Shield Earring design of George T. Morgan. A youthful Liberty faces right wearing a band with the usual inscription, the band compressing the back portion of her hair. She wears a shield-shaped earring, with stars six left, seven right, date 1882 below. On the reverse a perched, defiant eagle occupies the center, clutching an olive branch and arrows. The design is reminiscent of the Flying Eagle cent and Gobrecht dollar reverses, although facing right. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR are the peripheral legends. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. A second example in silver, this time the half dollar, of this remarkable design showing the prowess of a still young and relatively inexperienced George T. Morgan, Mint assistant engraver at the time and for long afterward. Morgan was apparently proud enough of this design to sign it, unusual in the pattern series: His tiny initial M appears on the truncation of the neck, near the hair. Three-piece sets of the quarter, half dollar, and one dollar were issued in both silver and copper. Today the design, along with the Amazonian and Schoolgirl patterns, is admired as among the most beautiful in the entire U.S. pattern series. Examples in silver are especially treasured. We believe that something under a dozen, perhaps 10 or so, examples of this pattern exist in all grades.
Physical Description. Silver-white in the centers, this near-Gem proof adds a complement of champagne-pink patina near the rims on both sides. Considering the remarkable eye appeal and relative lack of contact, we are surprised that NGC saw fit to grade this piece only PR64 Cameo, as we believe it to be considerably finer. A tiny lintmark between the chin and star 11 serves as a pedigree marker.
Census. The following census was expanded from information provided by USPatterns.com. Some entries, including the present specimen, may represent duplicate appearances of the same coin. We believe approximately 10 examples of this special design are extant.
1. The Smithsonian Institution, Inv. No. 1985.0441.2071.
2. Col. E.H.R. Green; 1952 ANA (New Netherlands, 8/1952), lot 4500.
3. Col. E.H.R. Green; B.G. Johnson; Jesse Taylor, private treaty transaction in 12/1944; 61st Public Auction Sale (New Netherlands, 6/1970), lot 89; Rare Coin Review No. 8 (David Bowers, 1970); Armand Champa; Rogers Fred; Fred-Ward Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/1995), lot 2286.
4. Gaston DiBello (Stack's, 5/1970), lot 402; Harry Bass Research Foundation.
5. Dr. J.H. Judd; Illustrated History of United States Coins (Abe Kosoff, 1962), lot 579; Florida Collection; Turoff (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1976), lot 1225; 1981 ANA-Sieck (Bowers and Ruddy, 8/1981), lot 253.
6. The Phillip Warner Sale (Hughes, 1/1980), lot 53; Great '80 (Hughes, 7/1980), lot 108; Novoselsky; Alhambra-Hanks, E-Fair Premier Sale (Heritage, 10/1999), lot 5769; Fixed Price List (Superior, 4-7/2000); Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 5/2004), lot 560.
7. New York Sale (New England Rare Coin Auctions, 3/1977), lot 1005; Amato Collection (New England Rare Coin Auctions, 7/1978), lot 1189; Platinum Night (Heritage, 1/2004), lot 2236; Southern Collection; Simpson Collection.
8. Anderson Dupont (Stack's, 11/1954), lot 2487; June Sale Part II-Bergin (Stack's, 6/1984), lot 1260.
9. F.K. Saab; Auction '81 (Stack's, 7/1981), lot 1696; ANA Midyear Convention (Heritage, 2/1985), lot 348.
10. Rarities Sale-Morris Evans (Bowers and Merena, 8/1998), lot 2098.
11. Randolph S. Rothschild Collection (Stack's, 10/2003), lot 1095; The present specimen.
Other appearances. These citations may be earlier appearances of the coins listed above, but the pedigree chains cannot be conclusively confirmed.
A. The Parmelee Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 252.
B. H.P. Smith (S.H. and H. Chapman, 5/1906), lot 1463; John Story Jenks (Henry Chapman, 12/1921), lot 5697; John H. Clapp Collection. (possibly the same as Parmelee).
C. Public Auction of Rare Pattern Coins (Edgar Adams, 2/1911), lot 187.
D. William Woodin's consignment to the 1914 ANS Exhibition.
E. King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 2008 (possibly the same as number 4, as Gaston DiBello was one of the few American collectors to attend the Farouk sale).
Provenance. Ex: Rothschild (Stack's, 10/2003), lot 1095.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 2AKM, PCGS# 62106)
View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]
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