Lord St. Oswald Collection - Christie’s 10/1964:144 - Reed Hawn Collection - Stack’s 8/1973:3 - Dr. George F. Oviedo Collection - Stack’s 9/1983:722 - William R. Orwen Collection - Stack’s 10/1999:341, $89,125 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1099, $199,750
Ron Guth: The 1795 Small Head Half Dollar is a distinctive type with an appearance much different from that of the "normal" 1795 heads. The length of the curls is shorter than usual, the truncation line is flatter and has an extra loop as if the portrait is a piece of statuary. Three different 1795-dated obverse dies qualify as Small Heads (Overton, 39-41): Obv. 15, 16, and 17. All are scarce to rare. Robert Hilt attributes all the Small Head obverses to John Smith Gardner.
PCGS (as of May 2011) has certified 49 examples of the Small Head 1795 Half Dollar, most of which are in Very Fine or lower grades. The PCGS Condition Census contains no Extremely Fine examples, only three About Uncirculated examples, and a single PCGS MS-62.
Sources and/or recommended reading:
Hilt II, Robert P. Die Varieties of EarlyUnited States Coins. Omaha: RTS Publishing Company, 1980.
Overton, Al. C. Early Half Dollar Die Varietes: 1794-1836. Edited by Don Parlsey. Escondido: D.L. Parsley, 1990.
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