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    Description

    1796 16 Stars Half Dollar, VF25
    The Frontenac Specimen, O-102

    1796 50C 16 Stars, O-102, T-2, High R.5, VF25 PCGS. CAC. Amato-216. The light gray surfaces of this VF25 Small Eagle half dollar exhibit well-defined design features. Considerable detail is apparent on Liberty's hair strands, eye, and drapery folds, and the eagle's wing and tail feathers, the clouds, and palm and laurel wreath. The dentilation shows clearly over both sides and the devices are well-centered on the planchet. A thin diagonal toning streak from the tip of the right (facing) wing to the rim at 5:30 identifies the coin, as does a mark on the cloud beneath the left (facing) wing. The die crack from the rim through stars 1 to 4 that is seen on about one-third of the known surviving 1796 16 Stars specimens is absent on this piece. Housed in an old green label holder.

    Variety:
    O-102, High R.5. The 1796 16 Stars was the second obverse paired with Overton's Reverse A.

    Population Data (7/16):
    PCGS has seen four submissions in VF25 and 12 coins finer. The present coin was given a sticker by CAC as were two pieces grading higher.

    Commentary:
    The 1796 O-102 die marriage is the only one of the four Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollars to show 16 stars. Walter Breen (1988) writes: "... the 16-star die must have been completed either anticipating or following the the celebration at that time" (Tennessee's June 1, 1796 admission to the Union). Contemporary evidence in newspapers (such as an August 25, 1794 editorial in the Knoxville Gazette calling for statehood), along with the 1795 results of a census enumeration, suggest that the 1796 16 Stars obverse die was likely engraved several months prior to Tennessee's June 1, 1796 admission.

    Provenance:
    Paramount (8/1974), lot 98; Kensington Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 12/1975), lot 480; Frontenac Sale (Bowers and Merena, 11/1991), lot 3017.
    From The Hamilton Collection. (NGC ID# 24EA, Variety PCGS# 39262, Base PCGS# 6058)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Hamilton Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    10th-14th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,324

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato

    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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