1841 WB.102. Repunched '18' at Base. Brilliant Proof. An attractive coin for the green and gold toning near the rims, with frosty silver to the centers. A few hairlines are present which are the norm for Proofs of this period. Another appealing coin for the collector who demands rarity and Proof quality. Identifiable by a minor reeding nick just above and right of the fifth obverse star. Diagnostics include die file lines on the reverse above 'NI' of UNITED and evidence of die clashing in the lower right vertical shield lines. Recent offerings include two examples in 2005. Breen estimates that perhaps 5 are known in all.
The following is a Census of the 1841 Proof Half Dollars we could reasonably find.
1) Smithsonian Institution.
2) Very Choice Proof. James Kelly privately 1946; John Jay Pittman Collection (David Akers, May 1998, lot 1522 for $44,000).
3) Choice Proof. John G. Mills (Samuel H. and Henry C. Chapman, April 1904); Louis Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Merena/Stack's, April 1997, lot 1919 at $18,700).
4) Dr. Wilson Collection (New Netherlands, August 1952, lot 310 at $60); Elliot Landau Collection (New Netherlands, December 1958, lot 575); New York Specialist. Breen's plate coin in his Proof Encyclopedia.
5) The Present Specimen. Charles A. Cass ''Empire'' Collection (Stack's, November 1957, lot 1352 at $110); Reed Hawn Collection (Stack's, August 1973, lot 137); RARCOA's Session of Auction '81, lot 137 at $1,550; Stack's Session of Auction '90, lot 210 at $8,000.
6) Impaired Proof ''Extremely Fine'' Golding Collection (Stack's, June 1952, lot 232).
Other auction appearances of note that are likely part of the pedigree chains above: Amwest's Auction, July 1981. Brand-Lichtenfels Collection (Kreisberg and Schulman, February 1961, lot 2806, no plate). Tatham Coin Co., Burton Buckley, Douglas Weaver. W. L. Carson. H. P. Smith lot 675. Earle lot 2970.