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    1916 Walking Liberty Half Pattern, PR63
    Judd-1992, Third Finest Known
    The 'LiberTy' Half Dollar

    1916 50C Walking Liberty Half Dollar, Judd-1992 (formerly Judd-1797), Pollock-2053, Low R.7, PR63 PCGS. Another marvelous Walking Liberty half dollar pattern, this Select proof example of the Judd-1992 is, like its Judd-1991 counterpart, certified in a PCGS green-label holder. Although apparently seven examples are in private hands, these get eagerly snapped up when they appear at auction, as these patterns represent the prototypes for a series near and dear to a multitude of collectors.

    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.

    An interesting story helps explain how circulated examples of this pattern issue are known, including two in the PR8 grade (not one often seen). As we wrote for the Queller example, "Noted pattern collector Rogers M. Fred, Jr. provided interesting insights into the manner by which various 1916 patterns entered circulation, in a letter originally quoted by Bowers in his 'Numismatic Depth Study' in Coin World, Oct. 9, 1974:

    "Living in Leesburg [Virginia] at the present time are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Robb, who are good friends of mine. Their son, Chuck, married Lynda Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson. Frances Robb (Mrs. Charles Robb, Sr.) is the daughter of Mr. [Robert Wickliffe] Woolley, who was director of the Mint in 1916 ... Mr. Woolley is dead now, but I knew him myself when we both lived in Washington in the 1930s and 1940s.

    "I have talked to Frances Robb many times about her father and coins, and she told me that in the 1920s her father's house was robbed. Among the things taken was a box containing coins. The thieves were not really interested in the coins as such, but since the robbery was of a general nature they took anything that had value and could be disposed of easily.

    "Mrs. Robb has said that her father had patterns of 1916 coinage in that box ... . The 1916 patterns are very similar in design to the regular issue and it is reasonable to assume that the thieves thought that the coins were just regular issues and simply spent them. This would explain how the coins got out of the Mint ... ."

    This piece is somewhat satiny and reflective, essentially as struck, obviously a coin that has never circulated or been mishandled in any way -- and making it one of only three such theoretically available between NGC and PCGS combined. Swirling die polish lines on both sides remind us of the texture of High Relief twenties and Wire Rim tens of a few years earlier. A single dark fleck appears in the center of Liberty's torso.

    Roster of Judd-1992 1916 Pattern Walking Liberty Half Dollars
    Only seven pieces are likely in private hands, as the first two Smithsonian pieces below are off the market. Roster is expanded from that at
    1. Proof. Smithsonian Institution, 1985.0551.0756.
    2. Proof. Smithsonian Institution, 1985.0551.0757.
    3. PR65 NGC. Morris Evans Collection (Rarities Sale, Bowers and Merena, 8/1998), lot 2100, $40,250; later, Kagin's, PR64 NGC; Kennywood Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 1/2005), lot 1180; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 6/2005), lot 7457; Baltimore ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2008), lot 2165, brought $115,000.
    4. PR64 NGC. King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 2026 (two pieces?); William Mitkoff (4/1974); James Bennett Pryor Collection (Bowers and Merena, 1/1996), PR63 PCGS, lot 329; Southern collection; Samuel Berngard and S.S. New York Collections (Stack's, 7/2008), lot 4250.
    5. PR63 PCGS. Robert Marks Collection, Part II (American Auction Association [Bowers and Ruddy], 11/1972), lot 1080; Superior (10/1990), lot 1888; Superior (7/1993), lot 469, $35,200. The present specimen.
    6. PR53 NGC. Anaconda Rare Coins (8/2003); FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 1631, bought in.
    7. PR58 NGC. Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 1963, realized $37,375.
    8. PR8 NGC. Superior (8/1991).
    9. PR8 NGC. Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2010), lot 2404, brought $21,850.
    From The Klamath Mountain Collection, Part II.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 62290)

    View all of [The Klamath Mountain Collection, Part II ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,426

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