Images courtesy of Sheridan
Known examples (7
1. PCGS AU-50. The E.T. Wallis/Louis Eliasberg Specimen. Attractive
peripheral toning. First described by E.T. Wallis, owner of the
California Stamp Company, in the October 1930 edition of The Numismatist.
In 1952, Al Overton "rediscovered" the piece in the Pratt
Collection, selling it the next year to Louis Eliasberg for $1,500.00. Sold in the
April 1997 Eliasberg Sale (Bowers & Merena, Inc.), lot 1735, to Donald
Kagin and Andrew Lustig for $209,000. Resold circa June 1997 to Dr.
Juan XII Suros for a reported $250,000+. Sold by Superior Galleries
in the Juan XII Suros Sale to Jay Parrino & Don Kagin for
2. Fine 15 or better. The Ed Johnson/Stewart Witham Specimen.
Acquired by Ohio coin dealer
Ed Johnson in the early 1940's as a "punctuated date."
Sold May 18, 1966 to the prominent numismatist and half dollar collector
Stewart P. Witham. Witham sold his collection in 1983. The
whereabouts of the coin are now unknown. Witham was the cofounder of
the Bust Half Nut Club, holding holding BHNC membership No. 1.
3. Choice Very Fine. The Charlton E. Meyer, Jr. Specimen.
The second finest known and
pictured on the cover of the 1990 edition of Overton's Early Half Dollar
Die Varieties, 1794-1836. Al Overton located the coin in 1962.
Sold that year to Empire Coin Co. Empire, Empire placed the coin in the
cabinet of Hazen B. Hinman. It reappeared in Paramount's Century
Sale, May 1965 (bought in?), then in Bowers & Ruddy's Rare Coin
Review, 1973-1975. Sold to Gloria Meyer for her husband's collection
in 1975. Meyer owns the only complete collection of regular issue
Capped Bust Half Dollars, by date and die variety.
4. Good 6, repaired. The Al C. Overton Specimen.
Located in 1963 or 1964 by Ed Shapiro;
to Dan Messer, 1964 or 1965; then to John Cobb of Mountain View, CA in
1965. Cobb sold his collection to Steve Markoff in 1969.
Overton immediately bought the coin, placing it in his collection after
commissioning the repair of the gouge on the reverse. To Donald and
Bonnie Parsley upon Overton's death in 1972; to Sheridan Downey, as part
of the "Overton Collection," in April 1993; to the purchaser of
the Overton Collection in July 1993.
5. Very Fine-20. The
Floyd & Betty Farley Specimen. Discovered in 1967 or 1968 and authenticated
by Stewart Witham and Donald Taxay. Sold March 1968 to its current
owner, Floyd Farley.
6. NGC Very Fine-20. The Alfred E. Burke Specimen.
Acquired by Philadelphian Al Burke in
1965 as a mis-attributed 1817 "Punctuated Date" (Overton
103). Identified as an
1817/4 in 1973 or 1974. Following Burke's death in January 1997, the
coin was consigned by his widow to Sheridan Downey and sold to Donald
Parsley in a sealed bid offering, April 1, 1997 for $135,000.00. Parsley is the son-in-law of Al Overton and edited the 1990
(3rd ed.) revision of Overton's reference book on Bust Half Dollars.
7. Fine-12. The
Leonard Elton Dosier Specimen. Purchased in 1976 by Milton
Silverberg from an upstate New York collector. Authenticated by
ANACS and its existence revealed to the collecting public in 1985.
Sold to Sheridan Downey 1988, then traded to Elton Dosier. Dosier
passed away March 23, 1997. John Crowley acquired the coin for
$90,860.00 in Sheridan Downey's Mail Bid Sale No. 22, October 1998.
It sold again at the Atlanta 2001 ANA to John Tidwell of California for
$116,771.00. This coin is all early die state, lacking the
obverse die break that quickly led to the retirement of the die. The
Dosier specimen is generally conceded to be the most "original"
of the 7 known specimens, exhibiting smooth surfaces with natural deep gray
Sources and/or recommended
courtesy of Sheridan
Al C. Overton, "Early Half Dollar Varieties 1794-1836"
E-mail correspondence from
Sheridan Downey on April 18, 2000