1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1516, Pollock-1680, High R.7, PR67+ NGC. CAC. Design. The obverse features George T. Morgan's head of Liberty facing left inside a beaded circle. Thirteen stars are arranged in two arcs outside, six left and seven right. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above and the date below. The central figure on the reverse is an eagle with spread wings inside a beaded circle. The eagle's wing feathers are larger than on other varieties. The eagle is standing on a scroll inscribed IN GOD WE TRUST, with an olive branch and three arrows behind; unusually, the topmost and lowest arrowheads have a zigzag shape. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above and HALF DOLLAR is below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge. Commentary. A series of half dollar patterns in 1877 bear the now-famous head of Liberty that graced the Morgan dollars starting in 1878. All the patterns are very rare or even more elusive, the Judd-1516 included. This variety uses what Judd refers to as the "H reverse," similar to the G reverse but with larger and more abstracted feathers in the eagle's wings. Physical Description. Proof reflectivity is plain on both sides. Deep blue ring patina gives way to gold and rose interiors, the reverse showing a significant degree of silver as well by virtue of its thinner patina. That side also has more of a cameo effect. A degree of striking softness is visible on the hair over Liberty's ear and the eagle's upper legs, but the surfaces are impressively preserved under the toning and the all-around eye appeal is remarkable. A total of nine certification events appear in the combined NGC-PCGS population across all Cameo levels with an unknown but likely significant number of resubmissions. This is the sole finest example of the design, with the nearest rivals in grade a pair of PR66 pieces and a PR66 Cameo certified by NGC (3/13). From The Eric P. Newman Collection.
From Newman I (Heritage Auctions, 4/2013), lot 4012, realized $70500.00. Image and description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, https://ha.com.
|Eric P. Newman Collection, Part I