Extremely Rare 1838 Half Dollar
1838 P50C Seated Liberty Half Dollar, Judd-76A Restrike,
Pollock-82, R.8, PR66 NGC.
Pattern, Judd-76A, PR66
One of Two Pieces Believed Known;
Design. 193 grains. Medallic alignment. The obverse is similar to the adopted design with only slight differences. The reverse, however, is noticeably different, with a spread-winged eagle that holds four arrows and a laurel branch. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Pollock notes that the reverse design by Christian Gobrecht is based on a mica drawing (No. 39) reproduced in Elvira Clain-Stefanelli's article "From the Drawingboard of a Coin-Engraver" in the 1991 ANA Anthology. Ms. Clain-Stefanelli believed this reverse design was intended for the reverse of the quarter eagle.
Earlier editions of Judd stated that there were two variants of this design: a straight date and a curved date. The straight date is actually from the obverse that has LIBERTY incused (as seen here). The curved date is seen on Judd-76b, which was struck from an obverse die where LIBERTY is raised. The Judd-76a restrikes are believed to have been struck in the 1870s. Both show extensive reverse die rust. Only two pieces of the reeded edge variant are believed known. The USPatterns.com website lists two pieces, the Garrett-Bass specimen and the present Witham-Queller coin.
Physical Description. The fields on each side of this piece are bright and glassy with significant mirrorlike reflectivity. Both obverse and reverse (but especially the former) show a number of tiny lint marks that were struck into the coin at the time of manufacture. Light reddish-golden toning is seen over the surfaces, with deeper accents of russet and blue at the margins. A major rarity for the pattern collector. NGC Census: One in PR64 and one (this coin) in PR66, presumably corresponding to the pieces listed at USPatterns.com. PCGS Population: None. (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: Stewart Witham; Auction '81 (RARCOA, 7/81), lot 314.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 296U, PCGS# 11305)
View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]
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