Important Proof 1835 O-110 Half, PR641835 50C PR64 NGC. O-110, R.8 as a proof. This piece is from the same collection as the 1834 proof half dollar above, and also has a similar appearance with deeply mirrored fields and light cameo contrast beneath steel, gold, and blue toning. A few tiny marks above the date are the only pedigree markers.
The status of proof 1835 half dollars appears to be much the same as that of the 1834 half dollars. Crushed Lettered Edge (CLE) restrikes are known from dies that were not used to produce any business strikes. There are perhaps five or six such pieces known. In addition, there are only about five additional proofs recorded, each from a different pair of dies that were also used for business strikes, although there may be two proofs known from the O-101 dies.
Considerable census research must be undertaken early proofs of all denominations. The most recent comprehensive study available is Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of Proof Coinage, published 30 years ago. Many pieces listed by him as proof have been disproven in recent years, and many other proofs that are known today were not recorded by Breen.
For the half dollar series, the most valuable source of information today is Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars by Stephen J. Herrman. This record of auction results is updated twice a year, and includes recent sale information for all proofs. Combining this record with Breen's Proof Encyclopedia and pedigree notes included in auction catalogs over the past 30 years, a census can be compiled, although it is a time-consuming venture.
Walter Breen noted simply: "Compare T. James Clarke, NN47: 1277-8 (carelessly made); McPherson: 893, Cass, 'Empire': 1340 (original or restrike?); N.Y. State Specialist. That ex Krouner, 'Gentleman's Study Collection,' (Deutsch, 1969-70) is unlisted though deceptively similar to Overton 110." In addition, Breen discussed two examples of the CLE restrikes, the Smithsonian specimen and the specimen illustrated in The Fantastic 1804 Dollar. Today, we recognize that these two "specimens" are the same coin! A more recent record of the restrikes appears in the April 1997 catalog of the Eliasberg collection by Bowers and Merena.
Ex: Stack's (1/1998), lot 1203; George Byers Collection (Stack's, 10/2006), lot 1089. (NGC ID# 27SL, PCGS# 6219)
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The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato is the culmination of more than 10 years of research into the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar series, one of the most coveted type coins in American numismatics and one about which remarkably little has been written.
This work will be the premier reference for 1796-1797 half dollars for years to come. Institutions having an extensive numismatic library or coin cabinet will find it a valuable complement to their holdings, and catalogers charged with writing up specimens for auction can now have an indispensable source of background and pedigree information. Likewise, coin dealers seeking to purchase one or more '96 or '97 half dollars for a client or for inventory, and collectors who own, have owned, or desire to own one will want this important reference work for their libraries.
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