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    Description

    Unique 1877 Half Union Hub Impression in Lead

    1877 $50 Reverse Hub Trial For the Half Union, Judd-Appendix A, Unlisted in Pollock, Unique(?), PR60 Uncertified. Lead. Irregularly square, measuring 43 x 41.8 mm. In 1854, influential California merchants requested the mint strike round $50 gold coins similar to the $20 in a letter to Treasury Secretary James Guthrie. California Senator William M. Gwin prepared legislation authorizing both $50 and $100 pieces. In 1877, William Barber engraved dies for two obverses and a single reverse for the $50 denomination only. This unique reverse hub trial is an incuse impression of Barber's famous half union. It only has the eagle, scroll, arrows, and laurel branches of the design, lacking the glory of rays, motto, and outer legends. This unique piece first appeared in the collection of Philadelphia coin dealer Stephen Nagy, one of the "Mint insiders," a member of a numismatic dynasty that included William Idler and Captain John Haseltine. In 1958, it appeared in Abe Kosoff's ANA Sale in Los Angeles.
    Trial strikes such as this are one of the rarest items in all of numismatics, and they are of the greatest importance as they trace the progress of the artist's design before it was complete, and hub impressions were made long before the first full scale patterns could be struck. This piece shows some chalking of the surface, but the overall impression is bold. A very valuable piece of mint history and an early chapter in the development of the 1877 fifty dollar patterns.
    Ex: Stephen Nagy; 1958 ANA (Kosoff, 8/58), lot 2032, flip accompanies.(#61890)

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 61890)


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2004
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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