Standing Quarter Patterns
Source for information and pictures courtesy of  Heritage Coin Auctions
"Here are photos of the only known surviving pattern design by Hermon MacNeil for the 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter. If there are any minted specimens out there they have yet to turn up. The photos are of his cast for the design.

On the upper step at the base of the wall are two dolphins, one on each side of Libertyís feet. The dolphins represent the Atlantic and Pacific oceans much as they did on the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition gold dollar designed by Charles Keck or Robert Aitkenís $50 gold piece. Above each dolphinís tail is a laurel branch symbolic of civil triumph; at the upper rim is the word LIBERTY in letters somewhat smaller and much sharper than on the first obverse.

The figure of Liberty differs completely from that on the first design, although she is still semi-nude. She now wears cross-laced sandals in the ancient Roman style and carries a shield embossed with an eagle. The shield covering is also more closely fit and less baggy. A long sash or ribbon engraved IN GOD WE TRUST connects the shield and her outstretched right hand ending near the laurel branch. There is no olive branch of peace, the whole new design being more militant and actively protective.

MacNeil was asked to expedite delivery of bronze casts and these were scheduled for delivery on September 9. From this point forward the mint should have made reductions and struck a few pattern pieces for von Engelken and others to examine. But from here to the end of the year official records are silent. No pattern coins are known. Do some exist, hidden in an old cigar box in Virginia or Tennessee?

Liberty is walking forward through a plain gate or portal. She holds a partially uncovered shield in her left hand; her right hand holds the end of a sash inscribed IN GOD WE TRUST. To left and right are branches of laurel, symbolic of triumph; below each is a dolphin symbolic of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. At the rim and encompassing all is a cable or chain design emphasizing unity and strength.

The graceful figure is in medium relief with somewhat soft modeling to her gown. Lettering is in strong relief, somewhat smaller than on the previous design. Motto letters are incuse and thin on the sash connecting hand and shield. Shield has 13 stars exposed surrounding an eagle. Artistís initial (M) appears below the dolphin on the right."

John Thill
Johnson County Numismatic Society

1916 Standing Quarter Patterns
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