Inspiring 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter is a Highlight of The Stephen Winthrop Collection in Our New York Americana Sale

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to present The Stephen Winthrop Collection, one of the anchors of our February 2015 Americana Sale. The collection focuses on U.S. type coins and commemoratives, with attention paid to quality. The proceeds of the sale of this collection are being donated to ALS research at Harvard University. Since being consigned to this sale, certain highlights have traveled the country as part of our display. This week’s article spotlights Mr. Winthrop’s 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, a gem PCGS-graded MS-65FH verified by CAC. When on display at Baltimore and FUN, many collectors asked to view this coin.

The 1916 Standing Liberty quarter had a mintage of 52,000 pieces, all struck at the end of the year. The design, one of the most beautiful of all U.S. types, featured a full length portrait of the goddess Liberty, holding a shield emblazoned with the American stars and stripes. Her gown is flowing as she steps forward through a break in a wall. She holds in her other hand an olive branch. The intricate nature of the design led to problems in striking, often leading to weakness particularly in the head details or in the rivets on the shield. The reverse depicts an eagle in flight. This was a short lived type, as part way through 1917 Liberty’s exposed breast was covered up with a layer of chain mail. The symbolism of the added armor coincided with America’s entry into the Great War in Europe (although numismatic lore attributed the change to the citizenry not wanting an exposed breast on circulating coinage). 

The MS-65 FH example in the Winthrop Collection is a beautiful gem, with hints of toning in areas, above average luster and only a few minute ticks noted for full accuracy. This example of a popular 20th century rarity is among the nicest in this grade. The Americana Sale is a week away. Make sure you make your plans to participate in this important numismatic auction event. You can view and bid on this and all the other items offered in our New York Americana sale at


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