Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1877 Sailor Head Half Dollar in Silver
    Judd-1501, PR64
    The Only Example in Private Hands

    1877 50C Sailor Head Half Dollar, Judd-1501, Pollock-1654, R.8, PR64 PCGS. CAC. Ex: Garrett-Simpson. Weight: 185.8 grains. Diameter: 30.5 mm. The obverse features a head of Liberty facing left, wearing a beaded coronet inscribed LIBERTY, with her hair tied in a bun with a ribbon. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST is above, with 13 stars in a 7x6 arrangement at the sides and the date below. The reverse depicts an eagle with outstretched wings and a shield on the breast, holding three arrows in one claw and an olive branch in the other. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is in an arc above the eagle, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around and HALF DOLLAR below. Struck in silver, with a reeded edge. The design was also struck in copper (Judd-1502). The Sailor Head design was by William Barber and resembles his earlier design for the 20 cent piece, half eagle and eagle patterns of 1875. This design was also used on dime, quarter, and dollar patterns in 1877. Judd-1501 is the only denomination of the 1877 Sailor Head design that was struck in silver, but silver-plated examples of the dime (Judd-1498) and quarter (Judd-1500) are known. has traced only two examples of Judd-1501 and the other specimen is included in the Byron Reed Collection at the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, out of reach of eager collectors. The present coin was once a highlight of the famous Garrett Collection and was purchased from coin dealer George Cogan as part of a set of 1877 pattern half dollars in 1883. It is possible Cogan acquired the coins directly from Chief Coiner O.C. Bosbyshell at the Philadelphia Mint.

    This spectacular Choice proof exhibits sharply detailed design elements throughout. The impeccably preserved surfaces are visited by mottled shades of lime-green, magenta, electric-blue, gunmetal-gray, and amber toning, with reflective fields underneath. The overall presentation is most attractive. This lot represents a landmark opportunity for the advanced collector to acquire one of the rarest issues of the pattern series. Population: 1 in 64, 0 finer (4/20).
    Ex: Possibly Chief Coiner O.C. Bosbyshell; George Cogan; T. Harrison Garrett purchased this coin on March 17, 1883; Robert Garrett: John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; Garrett Collection, Part I (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1979), lot 380; Mulford B. Simons; William R. Sieck Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 7/1981), lot 225; Morris Evans; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 8/1998), lot 2073; Southern Collection; Simpson Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2ADN, PCGS# 61836)

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

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    15th Friday
    Auction Dates
    3rd-8th Wednesday-Monday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    42 Days
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 105
    Auction Type
    Signature®:  Heritage Live®:After Internet bidding closes, live bidding will take place through Your secret maximum bid placed prior to the live event will compete against the live bids. To maximize your chances of winning, enter realistic secret maximum bids on our site. Many of our proxy bidders are successful at winning lots in these auctions, and usually below their secret maximum. You can also place last minute bids directly with us by e-mailing or calling 1-866-835-3243. (Important note: Due to software and Internet latency, live bids may not register in time, so enter realistic proxy bids.)

    Signature® Floor Sessions
    Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session. During the live auction event, bidding in person is encouraged, and Heritage Live includes streaming audio and often video during the event.
    Track Item