William Barber's sailors head design similar to that used on 20 cent, half eagle and eagle patterns of 1875 and dollar patterns of 1876. This design was also used in 1877 on dime, quarter and dollar patterns.
The following examples are known.
1) Smithsonian (1985.0551.0644) - choice proof. To view an image of this coin, click here.
2) Doughty 4/1891, Reed-Durham Museum (P249) – ICG63RB illustrated above.
3) Lohr, Cox-Stacks 4/62 ?, 66 ANA, Coronet Coin FPL, Champa, Bass-HWBRF - gem proof mispedigreed in Pollock, the Bass Foundation inventory and the Bowers and Merena Sylloge of the Bass coins.
4) Judd, Numismatic Enterprises 2/66 ?, Kaplan, Champa-B/R 5/72, Sieck-81 ANA, Tangible Assets (Coin World ad 2/93),
Teletrade 3/3/93 as PCGS65RB, ANR 1/05 (not sold), Kagins - PCGS66RB
5) Stacks Inventory in 1988, Auction 88 at $5775, Superior 10/89 as PCGS63BN, Superior 5/90 as PCGS63BN, Superior 10/91 as PCGS64BN, B/M 8/96 (not sold) - PCSG64BN
6) Farouk-Sothebys 2/54, Bergin-Stacks 6/84 - cleaned, lacquered, same as last after rehabbing ?
7) Col Green, Dibello via BGJ 9/4/46 invoice, Stacks 5/70, Queller-Heritage 1/09 as NGC66BN, Simpson-Heritage 9/20 - PCGS65BN, Pollock plate.
The Numismatic Enterprises 2/66 coin is either #4 or #3; the Lohr, Cox-Stacks 4/62 coin may be #5 if it is not #3.
This design was also struck in silver J1501/P1654 with only 2 known.
For pedigree information on this and all 1877 half dollars, click here.
An obverse die trial of just the head of Liberty, struck in red wax, JA1877-2/P3422 is known as is a complete reverse die trial in lead JA1877-3/P3425.
Photo from the Byron Reed Collection; owned by the City of Omaha, Nebraska; on loan to The Durham Museum.