R.8 1839 Capped Bust Silver Half
1839 P50C Capped Bust Half Dollar, Judd-99 Restrike,
Pollock-109, R.8, PR61 NGC.
Restrike, Judd-99, PR61
One of Only Two Examples Known
Ex: Woodin, Brand, Farouk, Judd
Design. The obverse is the regular Capped Bust half dollar die as used from 1836 through 1839. The reverse shows an eagle with its head turned right (facing), with olive branch in the left talon and four arrows in the right. The usual legends encircle the rim. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. The reverse design will be instantly familiar to students of U.S. coinage, as it is quite similar to that used on the short-lived twenty cent coinage of 1875 through 1878. The arrows and olive sprig are switched, and other minor details vary, but there is no mistaking the many identical elements. The obverse was also used on Judd-72, Pollock-75 of 1838. The weight of the Garrett-Bass-Simpson specimen is recorded as 192 grains, which would place it in the category of mid-19th century (or later) restrike. Saul Teichman of USPatterns.com calls these restrikes made for sale in the 1870s, as evidenced by the heavy die rust prominent on both sides.
Physical Description. The die rust on the present specimen is more prominent on the obverse, specifically a couple of arrowhead-shaped areas nearly at the rim at 12 o'clock, just above the front fold of the cap; just before Liberty's mouth and nose; on her jawline and the forecurl at the top of her bustline; and scattered along the lower periphery from the bust tip through the date area. The reverse displays more-scattered die rust, mostly around the peripheral letters but still fairly heavy. Deep rose and blue iridescent highlights appear on both sides.
Please note the incredible pedigree below for this specimen, one of only two examples known. The provenance reads like a textbook of the most important pattern collectors of the past century. Another unparalleled opportunity to acquire a pattern that will almost certainly not repeat for many years to come.
Census. Only two pieces are known.
1. William H. Woodin; Waldo Newcomer; Virgil M. Brand; Burdette G. Johnson; F.C.C. Boyd; King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 5/1954), lot 1734; Dr. J.H. Judd; Illustrated History (A. Kosoff, 1962), lot 120; Coronet Coin; Merkin (2/1971), lot 859, proof; Stewart Witham; Auction '81 (RARCOA, 7/1981), lot 329. The present specimen.
2. Édouard Frossard; Garrett-Johns Hopkins University (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1979), lot 367; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Research Foundation; Bass Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1999), lot 1157; Southern Collection; Simpson Collection. PR63 PCGS.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 297E, PCGS# 11426)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]
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