1879 Washlady Set

1879 marked the first attempt since 1872 for a uniform set of silver coinage. The "Washlady" design represents Barber's attempt. Don Taxay says the design is by William Barber whereas Judd says it is by Charles Barber.

The Washlady name dates back to the April 1891 New York Coin and Stamp auction of the F.W. Doughty collection and was given by David Proskey. Apparently, the design was not well received at the time, as Liberty's hair and the way it was tied back was considered to be disheveled.

Over a dozen sets appear to have been made in both silver and copper and include the dime J1584/P1777, quarter J1590/P1783, half dollar J1597/P1791 and dollar J1603/P1798 as illustrated below courtesy of PCGS.

The only original set intact today is the silver one in the Smithsonian. The Garrett-JHU set was broken up and sold piecemeal with the half dollar selling in the B/R 11/79 Garrett I sale and the others in the B/R 3/80 Garrett II sale. The Simpson collection has assembled sets in both silver and copper and the Harry W Bass Jr. Research Foundation still retains an assembled set in silver with its assembled set in copper mostly sold off in the B/M 5/99 sale.

George Morgan created designs based on his now in production silver dollar. To view Morgan's set, click here.