Setting a new world record for the most valuable numismatic cabinet ever sold, and perhaps a new world record for any holding of collectibles in any field, the D. Brent Pogue Collection netted total sales of $106,720,432.25 over the course of five auction events held from 2015 to 2017 by Stack’s Bowers Galleries of Santa Ana, California and Sotheby’s. Tonight’s fifth auction yielded sales of $21,402,213.75, highlighted by the Dexter specimen of the legendary 1804 dollar, which brought just under $3.3 million. The Pogue Collection, assembled by father and son Mack and Brent Pogue over the course of more than three decades, focused on the highest quality United States coins dated from 1793 to 1840.
Outside of the famous 1804 dollar, one of the most legendary rarities in any American collecting field, the sale was led by the finest known specimen of the 1811 half cent, graded MS-66 RB (PCGS), which brought $998,750 in fevered bidding. A Sheldon-13 1793 Liberty Cap cent graded AU-58 (PCGS) and featured on the famous 1869 Levick Plate, brought $940,000, making it the most valuable circulated cent ever sold. The two 1793 Liberty Cap cents included in tonight’s auction brought a combined $1.316 million, more than 65 million times their face value. The total face value of the cents in the sale, the highest quality group of early United States cents ever sold in a single auction, was $1.42. They brought a total of $12,026,653.75, nearly 8.5 million times their value as pocket change.
Other highlights included one of four known Original Proof 1852 half cents, graded Proof-65 RD (PCGS); considered the finest of the four, the Pogue specimen brought $493,500. A gem MS-65 (PCGS) 1801 dollar, once the property of Col. E.H.R. Green and Amon Carter, sold for $399,500, and an 1802 Restrike dollar in Proof-64 (PCGS) realized $352,500. Early date cents brought extremely strong prices, including those dated 1794 (the finest known 1794 Head of 1793 at $540,500 and the finest known Sheldon-24 “Apple Cheek” in magnificent PCGS MS-67 RB at $446,500), 1796 (the stunning 1796 Sheldon-84 Liberty Cap in PCGS MS-66+ RB at $705,000 and the highest graded 1796 Draped Bust cent, certified as MS-66+ BN by PCGS, at $329,000), 1799 (the finest known of the date, graded MS-61 BN by PCGS, at $540,500), and 1804 (also the finest known of the date, graded MS-63 BN by PCGS, sold for $540,500). The 1823 Newcomb-2 cent graded MS-66 BN (PCGS) brought a new record for any example of the Matron Head type, realizing $376,000. That record was tied just a few minutes later when the finest known 1839/6 cent, graded MS-65+ BN (PCGS), brought the same sum.
The auction was strong beyond the most notable and most expensive pieces. An 1817 15 Star cent in MS-65 BN (PCGS) sold for $76,375, only slightly more than an 1824 N-2 graded MS-66 RB (PCGS) that brought $70,500. The same price was paid for the finest known 1826/5 cent, graded MS-66 BN (PCGS), while an 1831 N-3 in MS-66+ RB (PCGS) stunned onlookers at $105,750, a new record for the date. A MS-66 RD (PCGS) 1852 N-22 wowed those present as it sold for $94,000, leading all late date cents sold. The most expensive Liberty Seated coin sold in the sale was the MS-65 (PCGS) 1839 No Drapery half dollar, from the Lawrence Stack Type Set, that found a new home at $141,000.
“The Pogue Collection sale was a phenomenal success. Part V surpassed our highest estimates by more than $3 million, and dozens of coins set new world records for examples of their date,” said Stack’s Bowers Galleries President Brian Kendrella.