Nostalgia for young America was demonstrated throughout the sessions of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the November 2016 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo, where colonial and classic issues claimed the spotlight at the Baltimore Convention Center. The United States coins portion of the sale saw strong results, surpassing $6.5 million in total prices realized. This marked a wonderful conclusion to the 2016 auction season for Stack’s Bowers Galleries. All prices to follow include the 17.5% buyer’s premium.
The sale gained momentum quickly in Session One, starting with an impressive offering of Betts medals from the John Sallay Collection. Lot 1 featured a lovely and rare Treaty of Vaucelles medal in silver that elicited a final price of $12,925. Also from the John Sallay Collection was a beautiful gold Lord Anson Medal, Betts-382, offered in lot 25. With reflective Choice surfaces, it had garnered a high bid of $14,100 by the time the hammer fell. Lot 51, pedigreed to the legendary cabinet of Lucien LaRiviere before falling into Sallay’s custodianship, realized $12,337.
A gorgeous bronze example of the iconic “1781” Libertas Americana medal was showcased in lot 73, certified MS-63 BN by PCGS. One of just 100 to 125 known, this piece could be traced back to Richard Picker in April 1969 and resulted in a strong bid of $32,900. A lovely 1801 Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace medal of the large, popular silver shell format realized $37,600 in lot 83. One of the more remarkable offerings of the session was lot 89, a fabulous set of gold Lincoln medals compiled by famed numismatist Louis Eliasberg, Sr. The set contained 15 medals including a likely unique Lincoln Indian Peace medal, and brought a winning bid of $65,625.
Session Two featured the third part of the Twin Leaf Collection of Middle and Late Date large cents, featuring over 220 high-quality duplicates from this stunning collection. This installment offered many condition census examples and Rarity-5 varieties, but it was the exceptional Choice AU 1839/6 Modified Matron Head cent in lot 1119 that caused the most excitement. This Newcomb-1 example could be traced back nearly a century through the hands of such prominent numismatists as Henry C. Miller, Henry C. Hines, Abe Kosoff, and Roy Naftzger, Jr., and realized $18,800.
While 18th and 19th century issues attracted much enthusiasm throughout the sale, the Rarities Night session held Thursday, November 3 reaffirmed that the market for 20th century treasures is as strong as ever. Among an impressive presentation of Buffalo nickels, a breathtaking 1919-S graded MS-66 (PCGS) brought $82,250 while a 1924-S Buffalo nickel certified MS-66+ (PCGS) soared to $105,750. Lot 2149 featured another Gem from the San Francisco Mint, a stunning 1916-S Indian half eagle graded MS-66 (PCGS) that sold for $82,250. An incredible Matte Proof 1908 Indian eagle certified Proof-66 by PCGS and approved by CAC brought an impressive $79,312.
Classic issues in Rarities Night enjoyed equally aggressive activity, with key dates across all series commanding serious attention. A lovely VF-30 (PCGS) 1797 Draped Bust half dollar in lot 2084 realized $64,625. Lot 2133 showcased a gorgeous 1861-D gold dollar graded MS-60 (PCGS). Struck solely by the Confederate States of America, this is one of the most significant issues from the Dahlonega Mint. The final price realized was an astonishing $76,375. Lot 2153 offered an 1852-O Liberty eagle graded MS-60 by PCGS that has not been offered at public auction since Spink America’s October 1996 sale of the Byron Reed Collection where it set an auction record at $30,800. Listed as finest known by series specialist Doug Winter, this piece established a new threshold in the Stack’s Bowers November sale realizing an astounding $111,625. Lot 2165, a Liberty double eagle of the same date and mint, also graded MS-60 by PCGS and ranking among the finest of the issue, brought $51,700.
Session Seven featured the Early American coins portion of the sale, presented in cooperation with the Colonial Coin Collectors Club. This session opened with an impressive assemblage from the Carolina Colonial Coin Collection, featuring a nearly complete selection of colonial issues as outlined by the Red Book. Lot 5001 from this group contained a superior quality 1652 Oak Tree Shilling of the Noe-11 die pairing, graded EF-60 by PCGS. With a Rarity-6 rating and preservation matching that of the Boyd-Ford specimen, the shilling realized $9,987. Another important rarity from the Carolina Colonial Coin Collection was offered in lot 5008, a (1717) Pattern Rosa Americana Halfpenny certified SP-53 (PCGS). Traced back to the collection of Sylvester S. Crosby in 1883, this piece carries a Rarity-7+ rating, is one of just five known, and brought a $9,400 top bid. The highlight of the collection came about in lot 5068 with the offering of an incredible 1787 Immunis Columbia Copper graded AU-55 (PCGS) and approved by CAC. Pedigreed to both Richard Picker and Herbert Oechsner, enthusiastic bidders competed to a high bid of $23,500.
Of equal acclaim in the Early American coins session was a nearly comprehensive offering of Connecticut coppers from the Anderson-Gleckler Collection. Comprising nearly 300 distinct varieties, this collection represented a significant opportunity for Connecticut enthusiasts. An impressive VF-20 BN (NGC) example of the 1786 Miller 2.1-D featured in lot 5204 sold for $17,625. This collection included two fabulous pieces that were once under the custodianship of the Garrett Family. The first (lot 5211), an outstanding 1786 Miller 5.2-I certified AU-58 by PCGS and likely the finest known of the variety, saw spirited bidding up to $9,400. The second piece (lot 5365), an AU-53 (PCGS) example of the 1788 Miller 7-F.2 dies, the finest know of this Rarity-6 variety, realized $8,225.
Among other Early American coins, lot 5398 showcased a newly discovered example of a 1786 New Jersey copper struck from the elusive Maris 24-Q die pairing. Considered a Rarity-7+ variety, the offered specimen was certified VF-20 by PCGS and is a candidate for finest known; it sold for an astounding $82,250. Another exciting discovery could be found in lot 5432, where a Lewis Feuter and G-regulated 1723 Portuguese 4 Escudos was presented. This gorgeous countermarked Half Joe, discovered by a metal detectorist in the Peconic Bay of eastern Long Island, realized $39,950.
The Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the November 2016 Whitman Baltimore Expo witnessed strong participation across all sessions, and brought the firm’s 2016 auction season to a successful close. Enthusiastic bidding reinforced a demand for premium quality and fresh material throughout every segment of the market. All lot descriptions and images for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries November 2016 Baltimore Auction can be viewed online on the firm’s website, StacksBowers.com, or in the printed catalog. For more information call 949-253-0916 or email info@StacksBowers.com.