Estimated grade. SAILOR HEAD OBVERSE/SPREAD WING “20 CENT STYLE” EAGLE REVERSE. Dr. Wilkison owned two examples of this pattern.
David Akers (1975/88): Description: Obverse. Head of Liberty facing left wearing a coronet inscribed LIBERTY. The hair is tied back tightly behind the head. Below the bust is the date, 1875, and surrounding the head are 13 stars. This is the so-called "Sailor's Head" design. Reverse. Small eagle with upraised wings holding three arrows in its right talon and an olive branch in its left. E PLURIBUS UNUM is in very small letters directly above the eagle's head. Below the eagle is IN GOD WE TRUST on a scroll. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above the eagle near the border. Below the motto is the denomination FIVE DOLLARS.
Comments: Robert Coulton Davis knew of this pattern because he included it in his pattern listing that appeared in the May, 1886 volume of The Coin Collector's Journal. Unfortunately, Davis did not indicate who owned the piece(s) and there are no early auction records that would establish pedigrees for either of the two known specimens prior to the owners named in the Adams and Woodin pattern book.
At the time of the publishing of the Adams and Woodin book in 1913, one specimen was owned by Virgil Brand of Chicago and the other by William Woodin. Boyd never owned this pattern and neither did Judd. Since Waldo Newcomer of Baltimore was Woodin's best customer and ended up with many of Woodin's best patterns, it is certainly likely that he owned at least one of the two specimens and possibly both, but since I cannot say so for certain, I have not included Newcomer in the known pedigree of either piece.
The only auction appearance of this pattern was in the Farouk sale where both of the specimens were offered. Dr. Wilkison purchased both of them from that sale for 160 Egyptian Pounds each, or approximately $459.20 apiece. In 1973, Dr. Wilkison sold the two pieces to Paramount International Coin Corporation along with 41 other gold patterns.