1877 50C Sailor Head Half Dollar, Judd-1501, Pollock-1654,...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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1877 Sailor Head Half Dollar in Silver
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.
The Only Example in Private Hands
USPatterns.com 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.
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