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    Richly Toned 1916 Walking Liberty Half Dollar
    Judd-1992 LIBERTY Right Pattern, PR55

    1916 50C Walking Liberty Half Dollar, Judd-1992, formerly Judd-1797, Pollock-2053, Low R.7, PR55 PCGS. The obverse is similar to the regular issue, but LIBERTY, with a tall T extending over the RY, is moved to the right obverse field, in back of the walking figure of Liberty and above IN GOD WE TRUST. The digits in the date are tall, tightly spaced, and thick. The reverse design is broadly similar to the regular issue, but there are many differences. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is spread out in a wider arc along the periphery, with periods before and after. The extra room is provided by the moving of HALF DOLLAR to a second inner arc above the eagle and below STATES OF A, and E PLURIBUS UNUM, in small letters, is moved to the bottom rim. There is no AW monogram by the tip of the eagle's tail. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
    The Judd-1992 half dollar pattern represents a detour from the competition-winning obverse design by creator Adolph A. Weinman. It shifts the word LIBERTY from above her head to her right. Roger W. Burdette comments on this change in Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921, starting on page 51, and after reprinting a pertinent letter from the artist, offers these words on the artistic merits:

    "Aesthetically, the revised obverse might have been superior to the original design, but for the thick, idiomatic lettering used for LIBERTY. Weinman was trying to squeeze the largest possible letters into the small space between the figure and the rim, and the T was a problem. The artist's solution was to extend the crossbar above, and over the R and Y creating a disproportionately large T. This allowed wider letters to be used, but made the T so prominent that it almost became the dominant visual element of the design: a viewer's eyes immediately focus on T rather than on the figure of Liberty."

    After Chief Engraver Charles Barber put his "touches" on the design -- and Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Adam Joyce undercut Barber in the name of art -- the Walking Liberty half dollar went into production with the word LIBERTY around the upper obverse.
    The Judd-1992 is unusual, not only as a 20th century pattern, but as a pattern that has survived in circulated or impaired condition more often than in the 60-70 Proof range. This high-relief piece too is lightly circulated, though considerable luminosity remains in fields richly toned gold-gray, peach, and violet. A touch of knife-rim at the margins points to the production difficulties encountered, not for the first time, when a fine artist of the early 1900s met the engraving department of the U.S. Mint.
    Ex: Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 1963.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 62290)

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2013
    9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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