1859 50C J-249 PR (PCGS# 12000)

Lemus Collection Queller Family Part II

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1859 P50C Half Dollar, Judd-249, Pollock-288, High R.7, PR63 NGC. Design. The Paquet Liberty Seated with Fasces obverse. A homely, disproportionate Liberty is seated on a rock, shield at her lowered right (facing) hand and holding the top of a fasces in her left hand. An olive branch and three arrowheads lie--curiously so--under the shield. Thirteen stars encircle the rim. On the reverse, a cereal wreath encloses a large fraction 1/2 on two lines, with DOLLAR on a third line beneath. Struck in silver with a reeded edge. Commentary. We use the expression "curiously so" in the design discussion above, because the engraver, Anthony Paquet, chose to have an olive branch and three arrowheads lying on the ground under Liberty's shield, appearing nearly crushed. Was Paquet trying to make some kind of statement? Heritage cataloger Mark Van Winkle, as quoted in Pollock, has examined an example that shows dramatic repunching on the digits 185 of the date, and with significant die rust on the reverse around the 2, and on the rim between 12 and 2 o'clock and 6 and 8 o'clock. This may well be common to all these pieces, as it is present on this coin also. USPatterns.com comments that these pieces were probably also struck in the 1860s or 1870s as fantasy pieces for collectors, and estimates that less than a half-dozen are known. Physical Description. The brightly reflective fields serve as a backdrop to the golden-rose color seen over each side. Deeper blue accents surround the margins. A few slight contact marks explain the grade. NGC Census: 1 in PR63 and 1 in PR64. PCGS Population: None (12/08). Provenance. Ex: Stack's private treaty transaction (9/1985). From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two.
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