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1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. Class I Original. BB-304. Proof-68 (PCGS).

Original Lot at Stack's Bowers

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Stack's Bowers Auction August 2021 ANA U.S. Coins Auction Aug-2021 The Sultan of Muscat-Watters-Brand-Childs-Pogue 1804 Dollar Class I Original, The First Specimen Presented The Finest Known Example of "The King of American Coins" 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. Class I Original. BB-304. Proof-68 (PCGS). There are rarer coins, but in the federal series there are none that challenge the fame, tradition, and glory given to the 1804 silver dollar. In 1941 B. Max Mehl called it "The King of American Coins," and it still commands that numismatic throne. Over a long period of years it has been our pleasure to have handled most of the 15 1804 dollars in existence. Eight Class I dollars are known, one Class II (in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution), and six of the Class III. Each of our past offerings has created a sensation. The ownership of an 1804 dollar places the buyer in a Pantheon of numismatic fame. It is an honor to once again present the Sultan of Muscat-Watters-Brand-Childs-Pogue 1804 dollar in one of our catalogs. This legendary coin -- the finest known 1804 dollar -- first appeared in our (Bowers and Merena's) April 1999 sale of the Walter H. Childs Collection, where it set a new world record price as it became part of the fabulous D. Brent Pogue Collection. It is our pleasure to offer this coin in the current sale on behalf of the Pogue family, who chose to retain it as a family treasure when it was featured in our May 2016 Pogue Collection Part IV sale. History of the Class I 1804 Dollar No offering of an 1804 silver dollar would be complete without a background story, as its history is filled with colorful figures and fascinating stories of the inner workings of the Mint in early to mid-19th century America. Though Mint records show a silver dollar mintage for 1804 of 19,570 pieces, these were all probably dated 1803. It was common practice at the early United States Mint to record annual mintages, but it was also common to use leftover, previously dated dies into the following calendar year, typically until the die steel gave out. The fact that only 15 Draped Bust 1804 dollars have ever come to light since the first notice of them appeared in print in 1842 -- with certain others first appearing in collections after 1858 -- gives testimony to the unreliability of the 19,570-piece mintage figure for 1804. After 1803, no dated circulation strike silver dollars were forthcoming from the Mint until 1,000 Gobrecht dollars were struck in 1836, followed by smaller numbers of that design in 1838 and 1839. In 1840 the new Liberty Seated design was introduced, marking the first year since 1803 that silver dollars were struck in significant quantity. The story of the 1804 dollar was the subject of much speculation until 1962 when Eric P. Newman and Kenneth E. Bressett's book The Fascinating 1804 Dollarwas issued by Whitman. In 1999 a detailed study by Q. David Bowers titled The Rare Silver Dollars Dated 1804 and the Exciting Adventures of Edmund Robertsadded to the information. Other numismatic scholars have contributed valuable research and expanded the story along the way. We now know that on November 11, 1834, the Department of State made a request for special sets of coinage of the realm to be made for presentation purposes to monarchs on the far side of the world. Detailed histories of two deliveries, one to the King of Siam and the other to the Sultan of Muscat, are given in the above-mentioned books. It was desired to include one of each authorized denomination: the half cent, cent, half dime, dime, quarter, half dollar, silver dollar, quarter eagle, half eagle, and eagle -- which were to be struck in Proof finish for inclusion in the specially made boxed sets. Most of these denominations were being made currently, and thus it was a simple matter to add 1834-dated Proofs. A search of mintage records revealed that silver dollars and eagles had last been minted in 1804. In order to make the sets accurately reflect history, Mint engravers prepared dies of the old designs for those two denominations. Many of the eagles struck in 1804 actually bore that date, and in 1834 the Mint still had on hand an unused obverse die for this denomination from the period 1800 to 1804 (it was missing only the final digit in the date). This die was refinished, and the final digit 4 was added to ready it for coinage. Whereas the eagles struck in 1804 display a Crosslet 4 in the date, however, the die used in 1834 displayed a Plain 4, indicative of the change in style over the intervening 30 years. Credit for discovering the origin of the obverse die used to strike the 1804 Plain 4 eagles in 1834 goes to John W. Dannreuther. Interestingly, and as discovered by Bryce Brown and Bill Nyberg, the reverse die that the Mint used to strike these coins is an unused half dollar die leftover from 1806. Regarding the silver dollar, in 1834 it was not realized that the dollars minted in 1804 had featured an earlier date. Thus, in 1834 the first 1804-dated dollars made their debut. Whether the dies for the 1804 dollar were made in 1834 or slightly earlier is a matter of debate. R.W. Julian suggests that they may have been prepared in 1831 in anticipation of a resumption in dollar coinage prompted by an increase in the United States' import of silver from the Orient. With the United States now importing more silver than it exported, Mint Director Samuel Moore requested that the ban on silver dollar coinage that had been in place since the early 19th century be lifted. Approval was forthcoming from President Andrew Jackson and the Treasury Department in the form of authorization to resume dollar coinage on April 30, 1831. According to Julian, the Mint prepared four obverse dies and two reverse dies using most of the same device punches used for original Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle dies from before 1804. The first two obverse dies were dated 1802 and 1803, after which the top curl of Liberty's hair broke off the device punch for the bust. This broken punch was then used to create the dies that were dated 1804 and (much later) 1801. The two reverse dies, which Newman and Bressett have designated Reverse X and Reverse Y, differ in the placement of the lettering in the words STATES OF along the upper obverse. On Reverse X, the letter E in STATES is over a cloud, while on Reverse Y it is over a space between two clouds. Absent from all six of these dies was the denticulated border of the pre-1804 dies, the borders instead consisting of the beaded design current in the 1830s. The Mint's intent may have been to use these newly created dollar dies to strike a number of patterns in preparation for the resumption of coinage on or after April 30, 1831. Or the intent may have been to have two die pairs ready for regular issue production, with two more obverse dies in reserve. In the end, however, the increase in silver imports proved temporary and the plans to resume dollar coinage in 1831 came to an end before any coins (patterns or otherwise) were struck. Opinions vary, with some numismatists asserting that the dollar dies were not prepared until the need arose in 1834 after the Mint received the Department of State's request for special presentation sets. If so, then why the first two obverse dies prepared were fully completed with the dates 1802 and 1803 is curious. The Mint's need in 1834 was for 1804-dated dollars, so on the surface it seems to make little sense for the engravers to date the first two obverse dies (intact hair curl) 1802 and 1803, and then date the third (broken hair curl) 1804. All three of these obverse dies display similar date logotypes that were obviously prepared to mimic the style on the original Draped Bust dollars dated 1800 to 1803. In any event, the Class I 1804 dollars were struck before the 1802- and 1803-dated Proofs, as confirmed by the progression of reverse die states (all three were struck from Reverse X). Apart from the bust, the fourth obverse die -- that eventually dated 1801 -- remained unfinished until a much later date, as evidenced by the radically different style of stars and date logotype. The Proof 1801 coins were likely struck around the same time as the Proof 1803 specimens. Other opinions concern the second reverse die, Reverse Y per Newman and Bressett's designation. Diverging from the Julian theory, some researchers believe that this die was produced in the late 1850s concurrent with the desire to create additional specimens for the numismatic trade. Returning to 1834, the Mint used the 1804-dated obverse and Reverse X to strike the silver dollars included in the special sets of coinage requested by the Department of State. These are the coins that numismatists now refer to as the Class I 1804 dollars. In further keeping with the design of the coins that the Mint believed had actually been struck in 1804, the old Castaing machine was used to add edge lettering to the planchets before striking. This edge lettering, however, was slightly crushed when the coins were struck with the close collar in use at the Mint in 1834. Indeed, the edge is among the technical aspects of the 1804 dollars that places the striking of the Class I examples in the mid-1830s. Before Eric Newman and Ken Bressett undertook their research project on 1804 dollars, even the most basic fact relating to 1804 dollars -- the question of when they were struck -- was not entirely settled. Independent of their inquiry into the 1804 dollar's documentable history, Newman and Bressett studied the coins themselves, knowing that what is written in metal can reveal truths that go unsaid on paper. Among their findings were the "raised flat border and dentilation" common to all 1804 dollars, "a style first adopted at the U.S. Mint in 1828." The size of the dies and the crushed edges both pointed to production in the age of the "collar die device [that was then] under development for the new Mint in the 1833-36 period," as does the weight standard of all Class I specimens, which conforms to the 416 grain pre-1837 standard. William E. DuBois, the keeper of the Mint Cabinet and an assistant assayer at the Philadelphia Mint, coauthored a work in 1842 with fellow assayer Jacob R. Eckfeldt entitled A Manual of Gold and Silver Coins of All Nations, Struck Within The Past Century. It was intended as a cambist, a guide for bankers and merchants, but became one of the first standard references for American coin collectors. Illustrated by the ingenious medal ruling machine invented by photographic pioneer Joseph Saxton, the Eckfeldt and DuBois Manualwas the very first work to depict a genuine 1804 dollar. Mixed in with more commonplace coins on Plate II, it is described perfunctorily in the text, with no mention of its interest or rarity. The image caught the attention of Matthew A. Stickney, one of the preeminent collectors of the age. In May 1843, Stickney traveled from his home in Salem, Massachusetts to Philadelphia to visit the Mint Cabinet, where he successfully obtained an 1804 dollar in trade for himself. He was offered another by DuBois less than two months later. In a letter dated July 12, 1843, DuBois said of the second offered example: "this I was obliged to take out of the cabinet, where there happened to be a duplicate. It is out of the question to get a piece struck from dies earlier than 1837, since they are of a different standard, both weight & fineness, and as planchets are made." This letter provides further evidence that all Class I 1804 dollar were struck before 1837, and that while restrikes could be struck for some rarities, the differences mentioned precluded such production of new 1804 dollars. Exactly how many Class I 1804 dollars were struck during the 1830s is unknown, but given the special nature of these coins and the fact that their rarity was appreciated from an early date, the extant population of eight specimens probably represents the entire mintage. Although these coins have often been referred to as the "original" 1804 dollars, that term is inaccurate since they were not struck that year. They are also not "restrikes" since the first 1804-dated dollars were produced in 1834. The Class I 1804 dollars, along with the Proof 1801, 1802 and 1803 coins, are most accurately described as novodels, a term borrowed from Russian numismatics that refers to coins struck from newly created, backdated dies. On board the sloop USS Peacockwhen she departed New York Harbor on April 23, 1835, were four of the special coinage sets requested by the Department of State, each of which included a Class I 1804 dollar. Two of these gift sets, one boxed in red leather, the other in yellow leather, were delivered by Edmund Roberts, special envoy of President Andrew Jackson. One set was presented to the Sultan of Muscat in October 1835 (see below). That now known as the King of Siam set, which we (Bowers and Merena) offered in October 1987, was presented by Roberts in April 1836. The other two sets, intended for the emperors of Cochin-China and Japan, were never delivered as Roberts became sick and died in June 1836, before completing his mission. The sets were presumably returned to the Department of State when the Peacockreturned to the United States in November 1837. The four additional Class I 1804 dollars (ie., those not included in diplomatic Proof sets) were retained by Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt and included in the Mint Cabinet when the collection was formed in 1838. Three of those were eventually dispersed by the Mint, at least one in trade for other objects for the Mint Cabinet collection, while the fourth remained in that collection and now resides in the Smithsonian Institution. These eight pieces make up the entire known population of Class I 1804 dollars. By name these are the Sultan of Muscat specimen, King of Siam specimen, Stickney specimen, Dexter specimen, Parmelee specimen, Mickley specimen, Mint Cabinet specimen, and the Cohen specimen. Several of these Class I 1804 dollars are permanently impounded in or on loan to museum collections. History of the Class II and Class III 1804 Dollars After 1857, interest in coin collecting blossomed in America. The U.S. Mint was an active player in the marketplace, producing medals and medallic coins, today called "patterns" (although they were never intended as trial or experimental pieces), to sell or trade for items lacking in the Mint's cabinet. As the fame and market value of the 1804 dollar grew, certain Mint personnel retrieved the obverse used to strike the Class I specimens in the 1830s and paired it with either the unused reverse die from that earlier decade, or a new Heraldic Eagle dollar reverse die created in the late 1850s. Regardless of when it was produced, this is Reverse Y and, with the single 1804-dated obverse, it was used to strike several brand new 1804 dollars to meet collector demand. These coins were produced unofficially, circa 1858, by George J. Eckfeldt and his son Theodore Eckfeldt. As related in an interview with Philadelphia dealer S.K. Harzfeld in 1880, Mint Superintendent A. Loudon Snowden, nephew of James Ross Snowden, mint director from 1853 to 1861, stated: "About this period an old employee of the mint, a relative of one of the first and most valuable officers of the mint, who had charge of dies in the engraver's department, was discovered by the sales made by an erring son to have taken impressions from 1804 and some other dies." Both George and Theodore were relatives of Adam Eckfeldt, "one of the first and most valuable officers of the mint" referred to by Snowden, who was chief coiner at the time the Class I 1804 dollars were produced. George Eckfeldt was a foreman in the engraving department at the Philadelphia Mint in 1858, obviously the person "who had charge of dies" therein. The "erring son" was Theodore, a night watchman at the Mint. The clandestine activities of the Eckfeldts circa 1858 were reported to Mint Director James Pollock in a letter of November 1861 from the Boston Numismatic Society concerning, "abuses which have of late years been practiced at the Mint, whereby numbers of pattern pieces, and coins from dies of former years, have been freely struck, and disposed of by employees of the Mint to dealers who have sold them at great prices. Two years since, members of this society were offered specimens of the dollar of 1804...two of which had been sold for $75 each." Robert Coulton Davis was tasked with securing the recently struck and distributed 1804 dollars. They were easy to identify for, unlike the Class I specimens from the 1830s, they were coined with a plain edge. At least two of these were returned to the Mint according to the May 1868 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics, which suggested, "it is perhaps not generally known that in 1858, certain dollars of 1804, re-struck from the original dies, without the collar, and therefore having plain edges, found their way out of the Mint...both were on solicitation returned to their source." William E. DuBois, curator of the Mint Cabinet at the time, later claimed that five specimens were struck, of which three were destroyed in his presence. One, struck over an 1857 Swiss shooting thaler, stayed in the Mint Cabinet and is the only surviving Class II 1804 dollar, readily identifiable as such by its plain edge. The fifth plain edge coin may have been recycled and turned into a Class III specimen. Having discovered the fatal flaw that revealed their dishonest plan, all further 1804 dollars distributed by the Mint had lettered edges, though the edge device was applied after striking, as the process that had created the distinctive crushed lettering of the Class I specimens had apparently been forgotten. These lettered edge coins are known as the Class III 1804 dollars, of which six are known. All were struck from the single 1804-dated obverse and Reverse Y, the same die pairing used for the Class II plain edge coins. As above, at least one of these Class III coins may have started out as a Class II, and some authorities even claim that all Class II and III examples were coined at the same time, circa 1858. Proponents of this theory suggest that the remaining Class II coins had their edge lettering applied at the Mint after Henry R. Linderman became Mint director in April 1873. Linderman was certainly more agreeable to "restrike" and other unofficial activity than his predecessor James Pollock, and a number of famous restrikes, fantasy pieces and other rarities are believed to have been produced during his tenure. These include the aforementioned Proof novodel dollars dated 1801, 1802 and 1803, closely related to their more famous 1804-dated brethren, and sharing the now-cracked Reverse X of the Class I 1804 pieces. Most of the Class III dollars first traded hands in the 1870s, however, and none are traceable before 1875, suggesting that they may have been struck later than 1858. Six coins comprise the total population of the Class III 1804 dollars, half of which are in institutions: the American Numismatic Society, the American Numismatic Association, and the Smithsonian Institution, whose example was the property of Mint Director Henry R. Linderman. Mint officials created elaborate guarantees of authenticity to cover the tracks of their activities, even as their unofficial practices were well known. For the Class III 1804 dollars, this included jostling with other coins, use as pocket pieces, or other handling to give them the appearance of having been lightly circulated -- in other words, coins used in commerce since 1804. Most of the pieces were initially marketed by two Philadelphia dealers with close private connections to the Mint -- William Idler and Captain John W. Haseltine. Despite their troublesome origins, these manufactured rarities were soon highly valued as collectibles. In time they found their way to leading numismatists, including an example to T. Harrison Garrett, who in the late 19th century had the largest private coin collection in America. We were proud to offer the Berg-Garrett specimen of the Class III 1804 dollar in our March 2020 auction of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part VII. The Sultan of Muscat-Watters-Brand-Childs-Pogue Class I 1804 Dollar American Foreign Policy Turns to the Pacific As related above, the Class I 1804 dollars were created with royalty, not coin collectors, in mind. Since the end of the War of 1812, the foreign policy of the United States of America sought a more global perspective, realigning the Eurocentric strategies of the first decades of the American republic to place the United States' thriving economy in a position to compete internationally. The United States first reached out to Asia before the nation's boundaries ever reached the Pacific. The Empress of Chinaleft New York on February 22, 1784, just five weeks after Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris and officially ended the Revolutionary War. The ship returned in May 1785, stuffed with cargo from Canton, setting off an era of exploration and trade with the nations of the Pacific Rim that would reach its denouement when Commodore Matthew G. Perry signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan in March 1854. American interests in the Pacific and Indian basins expanded dramatically during the first decades of the 19th century, as whalers struck riches with harpoons in the South Pacific, furriers carried pelts across the North Pacific, and American-flagged ships were frequent guests in ports from Smyrna to Singapore. On the farthest shores of the Indian Ocean, the Omani Empire was blossoming. From the capital at Muscat, a city in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultan mastered the trade of a vast region, regulating entry to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, the two Indian Ocean byways to the riches of the Ottoman Empire. The Horn of Africa was controlled by the Sultan, including the international island-city of Zanzibar, the seat of the slave trade on the east coast of Africa, but also a major supplier of spices, foodstuffs, ivory, and gum copal, a resinous substance with a variety of uses. While much of Africa and India fell to European colonizers, the Sultanate remained independent, assisted by a powerful navy and friendly diplomacy, trading freely but profitably with all who arrived in peace. In 1827, Edmund Roberts, a trader from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, arrived in Zanzibar. At its outset, Roberts' first visit to the city was neither pleasant nor profitable. American traders had little track record trading in Zanzibar, and Roberts found himself on unequal footing with men from other nations. A Frenchman intervened and wrote a letter of introduction for Roberts to meet the Sultan of Muscat himself, who happened to be in Zanzibar at the time. Q. David Bowers' aforementioned book length treatment of Roberts' travels, The Rare Silver Dollars Dated 1804 and the Exciting Adventures of Edmund Roberts, notes that the Sultan "suggested that a treaty be arranged between Muscat and the United States." Roberts "offered his assistance in conveying the Sultan's wishes to the appropriate officials in Washington." Roberts returned to Portsmouth. Fatefully, his kinsman Levi Woodbury was appointed Secretary of the Navy by Andrew Jackson in 1831. Intercession with Woodbury yielded an appointment as "special agent" of Jackson's administration in January 1832. Roberts was given the government's imprimatur to return to Muscat and other nations of the Indian Ocean basin. Aboard the warship USS Peacock, Roberts returned to the Indian Ocean on behalf of the United States. He arrived in Muscat on September 18, 1833, and presented the Sultan with gifts including cloth, sweetmeats, a gold watch set in pearls, and more. Roberts was forced to decline the Sultan's offering of "two stud horses and two mares of the true Arabian breed." Upon departing on October 7, 1833, Roberts was given a letter from the Sultan to President Andrew Jackson, "whose name shines with so much brilliancy throughout the world." The Sultan extended offers of friendship and commercial consideration, affirming the desirability of a treaty of friendship and commerce and guaranteeing the United States status as a favored trading partner. Roberts had succeeded in establishing a relationship with the Sultan of Muscat, but work remained: a treaty would need to be signed and ratified on a subsequent visit. Planning for the next visit began soon after Roberts' return to the United States. Roberts Returns to Muscat The following September, in 1834, Secretary of State John Forsyth began discussing the arrangements with Roberts. "Although you mention in one of your letters that you had not promised to the Sultan of Muscat any additional presents," Forsyth wrote to Roberts on September 26, "it may be proper, and may be expected in conformity with usage, that some gifts should be made on that occasion." In the same letter, Forsyth asked Roberts for gift suggestions "without requiring any large expenditure of money." Newman and Bressett discussed Roberts' October 8 response, which "pointed out that United States' presents are cheap, inadequate, and insulting from an Asiatic point of view and that such actions make America appear provincial instead of important." Roberts had an idea of a gift that would make the opposite impression. "I am rather at a loss to know what articles will be most acceptable to the Sultan, but I suppose a complete set of new gold & silver & copper coins of the U.S. neatly arranged in a morocco case & then to have an outward covering would be proper to send not only to the Sultan, but to other Asiatics." Just over a month later, on November 11, 1834, Secretary of State John Forsyth wrote to Samuel Moore, the director of the United States Mint: "The President has directed that a complete set of the coins of the United States be sent to the King of Siam, and another to the Sultan of Muscat. You are requested, therefore, to forward to the Department [of State] for that purpose, duplicate specimens of each kind now in use, whether of gold, silver, or copper. As boxes, in which they are to be contained, may be more neatly and appropriately made at Philadelphia, under your direction, than they could be here, you are desired to procure them, if it will not be too much trouble, and have the coins suitably arranged in them before they are sent on. They should be of as small a size as is consistent with the purpose in which they are intended; and should be of wood, covered with plain morocco. The color of one should be yellow, and the other crimson." On December 18, 1834, Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt issued a bill to Samuel Moore in the amount of $43.83, covering the total face value of the sets prepared for the King of Siam and Sultan of Muscat. This total includes two quarter eagles for each set at their face value of $2.50. R.W. Julian, who illustrated the Eckfeldt bill in his January 1970 article in The Numismatist, suggested that the duplication may represent a specimen of each design type of quarter eagle struck in 1834, though the Old Tenor type, with motto, was then current. In modern times, a gold Andrew Jackson inaugural medal in gold has been added to the King of Siam set, fitting neatly into the quarter eagle-sized (18 millimeter) space that was empty when the set was rediscovered in 1962. It may be that one of these medals was what was intended, rather than a duplicate quarter eagle of a different type. The two sets intended for the King of Siam and the Sultan of Muscat were apparently delivered to the Department of State by John Forsyth's December 20, 1834, deadline. Edmund Roberts received the final, detailed instructions for his mission to Asia in late March in a letter from Secretary Forsyth dated March 20, 1835. Before March was over, Forsyth decided to have two more sets produced, for presentation to the leaders of Cochin-China and Japan. These were delivered within a few days of April 17, 1835, and the USS Peacockleft New York shortly thereafter. Edmund Roberts carried four Class I 1804 dollars with him. The specimen offered here was one of them. From New York, to Rio de Janeiro, across the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, and into the Indian Ocean, Roberts traveled with his precious cargo. Landing at Zanzibar on September 1, 1835, he was once again in the realm of the Sultan of Muscat. Within a month, the harbor at Muscat itself was in sight, and on September 30, 1835, the treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and the Sultan of Muscat was signed. The next day's events called for an exchange of gifts, as was "universal custom amongst the nations of Asia, to make gifts to each other on all occasions of friendly intercourse; and in negotiating treaties," as the Peacock's ship surgeon, Dr. William S.W. Ruschenberger, noted in his memoir of the trip. Ruschenberger listed "a variety of articles…presented to the Sultan by the United States, amongst which were a sword and attagan [also called a yatagan, a Turkish short sword], with gold scabbards, and mountings, Tanner's map of the United States, an American flag" and other items, including "a set of American coins." The next day, as feasts were enjoyed at the palace in Muscat, the set of coins presented to the Sultan disappears from the historical record. Edmund Roberts and the others aboard the Peacockand her escort, the schooner USS Boxerleft Muscat on October 10, with three more presentation sets still tucked away for safekeeping. On April 6, 1836, Roberts met with the King of Siam, presenting him with his very own United States Proof set, encased in yellow leather. That set, too, would disappear from the historical record, resurfacing nearly intact in 1962 as one of the greatest surprises in American numismatic history. Nothing more would ever be heard of the other two sets, prepared for dispersal in Cochin-China and Japan. Illness abbreviated the visit at Cochin-China (modern Vietnam), and no record of any exchange of gifts is recorded by Dr. Ruschenberger. The illness among the American delegation spread, and three weeks later, on June 12, 1836, Edmund Roberts died off the coast of China. The visit to Japan was cancelled, and Commodore Edward P. Kennedy of the Peacockdirected that "the presents be forwarded to the United States by the first vessel directed to the State Department" on June 30, 1836. The not-yet-presented Proof sets, with their 1804 dollars, likely returned to the United States. Over the decades that followed, the wealth and influence of the Sultan of Muscat declined. After Said bin Sultan died in 1856, his empire was divided among his sons, one of whom presided over Zanzibar, another ruled Muscat and Oman. One of the sons may have inherited the set of coins the Sultan received from Edmund Roberts. Whoever had possession of the set, they kept the coins in pristine condition. By sale, or trade, or gift, the coins left Muscat. About a decade after the Sultan died, this 1804 dollar and several other pieces from the original Proof set turned up in England. They next surfaced in the cabinet of Charles A. Watters, a wealthy Liverpool merchant. From Muscat to Liverpool The story of this coin's arrival in Liverpool is obscure. Two sources have placed the dollar in the hands of Mr. Eschwege, a pawn dealer in Liverpool, but this information appears inaccurate. Leonard Forrer, the longtime British numismatist, wrote to Charles Green in 1945 that "to the best of my recollection and belief, it was said that [Watters] had purchased it from a Mr. Eschwege of Liverpool…I believe that on inquiry from Mr. Eschwege he could not recollect from whom he had bought the coin, and alleged that it had turned up in an odd lot in Liverpool, which would not be at all surprising." A few decades later, in 1962, Eric Newman sat down with Forrer's contemporary Fred Baldwin, the dean of London numismatists of that era. Newman related in 1964: "Baldwin knew Watters well and had seen the 1804 dollar in his possession almost 60 years before [1962]. Baldwin explained that Watters bought the 1804 dollar for six shillings from Maurice Eschwegge, a money changer, pawn broker, and coin dealer at 47 Lime Street, Liverpool." Newman also recounted Baldwin's story that "Phineas T. Barnum, the great American showman, tried relentlessly to buy the coin from Watters for a spectacular exhibit in America." None of these stories line up with provable facts about Eschwege and Watters' acquisition. By 1879, Watters' ownership of the 1804 dollar had been acknowledged in print, about the same time he told Jeremiah Colburn by letter: "I bought it about the years 1867 or 1868 but cannot say where or from whom with any certainty." If purchased in one of the years Watters included in his letter to Colburn, Maurice Eschwege's first breath was still three to four years in the future. Born in 1871, he still hadn't entered the pawn business in 1891, the year P.T. Barnum died. When the census taker showed up at Eschwege's parents' door in 1891, he left the space for young Maurice's occupation blank, though his younger brother Michael was listed as "pawnbroker assistant." A decade later, at the time of the 1901 census, Michael's lot in life hadn't changed much: he was still a pawnbroker assistant, though now living with his brother in Liverpool. Maurice, however, was listed as "Manager / Pawnbroker." He may have followed his father, Simon, into the business. Simon, a German émigré, was listed in the 1871 London census as "jeweller & fancy warehouseman," the 1881 Lancashire census as an "importer of fancy goods, textiles" and in the 1891 Lancashire census as "jeweller." Simon's London business, an import firm established with his brother Charles, failed in February 1874. He likely removed to Liverpool to reinvent himself soon thereafter, and he could have run a pawn counter in his fancy goods and jewelry shop. However, by the time the Eschwege family arrived in Liverpool with toddling Maurice in tow, this coin was already comfortably at rest in the Watters cabinet and had been for several years. Watters told Colburn in June 1879 that about the time he acquired the 1804 dollar, "I obtained a small collection of American silver coins in London and it may have been amongst them." Independent of the discovery of new documentation, this is as close as modern scholars can get to knowing the owner of this dollar who preceded Charles Aloysius Watters. After Colburn's correspondence, other letters from the United States followed. Philadelphia dealer Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr. was apparently the first American to have seen it in July 1878. A year later, Watters told Mason: "I have had several letters from America respecting this dollar, and an offer of $200 for it, I however declined it, having no desire to part with it at present." Glendining and Co., a London auction house, was selected to sell "the property of C.A. Watters, Esq, Liverpool" in two sales. The first, held in May 1917, focused on Watters' extensive and well-known collection of English coins. The second sale, held on June 14 and 15 of the same year, included Watters' collection of coins of the Isle of Man, which incorporated scholar Philip Nelson's entire collection of Manx coins, along with coins from other British possessions, and some Greek and Roman pieces. The second day's sale offered mostly American coins and medals, beginning with a 1652 New England shilling that had come from the famous Nelson cabinet. The following 138 lots ranged widely in quality and rarity, a hodgepodge that included an 1855 $50 Wass, Molitor gold piece, an 1836 Gobrecht dollar, and a lot of 22 circulated three-cent silvers. Watters was a collector of substantial means, dying in 1932 with an estate worth in excess of £13,000, but his American cabinet was a miscellany, formed with neither completion nor condition in mind. The announcement of the sale made at the 60th annual meeting of the American Numismatic Society in January 1918 detailed many of Watters' numismatic specialties but didn't even mention that any American coins were sold. Lot 227 stood out, earning more description over its three and a half lines of text than any other lot sold that day: "AR Dollar, 1804, excessively rare, in perfect condition, considered one of the finest specimens known. See plate. Shows the same slight flaw in die at the top of the letters in Liberty as the Parmelee specimen." On its own, such a coin would stick out prominently in a collection like Watters'. But in the next few dozen lots, among the holed 1807 quarter, the Proof coins of the 1880s and 1890s, and the large lot of circulated nickels, were coins that arranged like a constellation around the Watters 1804 dollar, forming something together that was greater than the sum of their parts. Lot 240 included eight half dollars, all of which were graded "fine," dated from 1836 to 1846, but for one: "1834, proof." Lot 246 offered 10 quarter dollars, an assortment from 1836 to 1856 that included a single New Orleans Mint issue and all graded "very fine" but one: "1834, proof." Lot 254 was an unspectacular dozen half dimes, including a 1795 called "good," 10 pieces from 1829 to 1834, including several duplicates, called "very fine," and another half dime that seemed not to belong: "1834, a proof." While the gold was nowhere to be seen, clearly Watters owned most of an 1834 Proof set. If he owned the dime, cent, and half cent that went with it, they were unappreciated and mixed into other lots, namely lot 250 (nine dimes, including an 1834), lot 278 (23 cents from 1821 to 1839) and lot 283 (20 half cents from 1809 to 1857). What Watters had acquired, probably in London about 1867, was the remains of a set of United States coins distributed in 1834 by the United States Department of State. Watters had purchased what was left of the set given to the Sultan of Muscat on October 1, 1835. The Sultan of Muscat Dollar Returns to the United States The Watters 1804 dollar brought £330, or $1,600, purchased by Henry Chapman of Philadelphia. Then a veteran of more than 40 years in the coin business, Chapman likely remembered the letters about the Watters 1804 dollar that were published in Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr.'s house organ in 1879 and 1885, when Mason tried unsuccessfully to acquire Watters' prized dollar. The price at the 1917 Watters sale was high enough to indicate that Chapman was not the only knowledgeable bidder, but his underbidders are unknown. Chapman kept the coin for just over a year, making delivery to Virgil Brand on the 370th day, June 20, 1918. The coin was entered into the Brand ledgers as #86957. Though Brand owned hundreds of thousands of rare coins, from all nations and eras, this coin was the only 1804 dollar his enormous collection ever included. Exactly eight years to the day after purchasing this coin, Virgil Brand died. When the estate was initially divided in 1933, the dollar descended to his brother Armin, but at some point over the next decade, it was traded to Virgil's other brother, Horace. Many of Armin Brand's coin were sold off over the next decade, principally through Burdette G. Johnson, though those that remained unsold descended to his daughter, Jane Brand Allen and were eventually sold after her death in 1981. Horace Brand's share of his brother's estate traveled a more circuitous route, as Horace tried his hand at coin dealing, consigned parcels to dealers across the country, and even cataloged auction sales. In 1939, divorce proceedings began between Horace and his third wife, Erna, who was 30 years his junior. The divorce was granted in September 1940, but their division wasn't complete: Horace had not followed through on delivering Erna her share of her late ex-brother-in-law's coins. In late 1941 or early 1942, Horace Brand and his former wife agreed to consign the Sultan of Muscat 1804 dollar to Chicago dealer Charles E. Green, better known in the numismatic world by the nom-de-coin of R. Green. The first initial was borrowed from his wife, Ruth, who was a co-owner of the business. Green first offered Virgil Brand's 1804 dollar in the pages of The Numismatistin April 1942, describing it as "a world-famous coin from a world-famous collection, the most popular and most sought-after coin of the entire United States series…perhaps the finest condition of any piece known, light blue, evenly colored, a perfect proof." It found no buyer for the duration of World War II. In August 1945, apparently tired of being numismatic business partners, 83-year-old Horace Brand and ex-wife Erna sold Virgil Brand's prized 1804 dollar to Green for $3,150. Nearly 20 years had elapsed since Virgil's passing. Within two months of its acquisition by Charles and Ruth Green, the Sultan of Muscat 1804 dollar found a new home, where it would remain for more than a half century. The sale didn't require the Greens to travel the coin show circuit, or print a catalog, or even visit the post office. All they needed was an elevator. From the R. Green company office on the 10th floor of the Board of Trade Building on Jackson Boulevard in Chicago, the new owners were directly overhead, on the 37th floor, in the offices of C.F. Childs & Co. Billed as "the oldest house in America specializing in government bonds," the Greens had long used the Childs firm to vouchsafe their liquidity in numismatic advertisements. Further, the chief executive of C.F. Childs & Co., Charles F. Childs, had inherited his father's magnificent coin collection. The Childs Family collection was begun in the late 19th century, as Walter H. Childs of Brattleboro, Vermont filled a cabinet with elegant copper and silver coins. Few gold coins were added due to their expense, but once the family tasted greater success in Chicago, Charles F. Childs began remedying some of the gaps among higher denomination issues in the collection. The Green firm assisted in this regard, and the two families developed a trusted rapport. Acquiring a coin as expensive as the Sultan of Muscat 1804 dollar was not an easy decision for Childs. He vacillated. He sought out other advisors. With his inaction hanging in the air, Green offered the coin to Louis Eliasberg, and Eliasberg agreed to purchase the coin if the other interested party passed. Charles F. Childs was talked into the purchase by his son, F. Newell Childs. Green wrote up the paperwork, and title passed to the Childs family on October 2, 1945. The coin was described as a "beautiful blue proof, I believe the finest condition of any known original 1804 dollars." The price was $5,000, and the invoice was marked paid in full. Charles F. Childs sent a six-word telegram to his son, then serving in the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C., confirming the transaction: "You bought it. Mailing you story. CFC." Three successive generations of the Childs Family cherished this coin, nestled into the cabinet of Walter H. Childs, their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The collection was gifted to the youngest Childs, Charles F. Childs II, in 1952, when he was eight, young enough that his father continued to act as caretaker. In 1999, the Childs family consigned the coin for sale, along with the rest of their family's coin cabinet. Their 1804 dollar had not been offered at auction since 1917, when it first emerged from the cabinet of Charles A. Watters of Liverpool. In the meantime, the Sultan of Muscat-Watters-Brand-Childs 1804 dollar had been largely forgotten. When B. Max Mehl appended a list of 1804 dollars and their provenances to his reprint of the Haseltine Type-Tablein 1927, he omitted the Watters coin, though his Mehl's Numismatic Monthlyhad published a lengthy remark upon it 10 years earlier. In 1953, as Walter Breen was quickly becoming known as the latest up-and-comer in the field of numismatic research, he wrote extensively upon the history of the 1804 dollars in his monograph Proof Coins Struck by the United States Mint 1817-1921, including the story of the presentation sets prepared for the King of Siam and the Sultan of Muscat. He enumerated 13 different specimens among the three classes and their provenances. This coin was again forgotten. The King of Siam specimen, with its remarkable Proof set, had not yet been rediscovered. Between its acquisition in 1945 and its eventual consignment to auction, only members of the Childs family and their appointed numismatic consultants, Kenneth and Phillip Bressett, saw this coin. Ken Bressett was, along with Eric Newman, a co-author of The Fantastic 1804 Dollar. "My fascination with the 1804 dollar started over 75 years ago when I chanced upon an old copy of a promotional piece sent out by Texas coin dealer B. Max Mehl to stimulate sales of his Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia," Ken recalls. Before research for The Fantastic 1804 Dollarbegan in earnest in 1959, Ken had a chance to study the Mickley-Appleton coin, then at the Massachusetts Historical Society, as well as the Class I and Class II specimens at the Smithsonian Institution. As the project ramped up, Ken sought out the other specimens of the 1804 dollar, including this one. "During the period of research for the book, I found the opportunity to locate and examine most of the other known specimens of the legendary coin. One was rumored to be in Chicago. The piece had been sold by dealer R. Green in 1945. I was fortunate to have known Ruth Green for many years, and asked her one day if she would introduce me to the owner so that I could see the coin. Within a few months arrangements were made for me to visit the present owner, F. Newell Childs, who was the son of the man who had originally purchased the coin. The meeting was one of the most enjoyable and fortunate ever for me, and the beginning of a lasting friendship with years of sharing information and knowledge between the two of us." On one memorable visit to see Newell Childs, Ken recalled that at lunchtime, Mr. Childs "casually placed [the 1804 dollar] on top of the china cabinet where, he said, no one would think of looking for it." After several weeks, "Newell called me to say that he could not find the dollar…I asked if he had checked the top of cabinet." After rediscovering the coin in its hiding place, it was returned to the vault, "never again seen by anyone aside from his son Fred until being consigned to Bowers and Merena Galleries in 1998 for auction in 1999." The 1999 Walter H. Childs Collection Sale If you had opened a Guinness Book of World Recordsin 1998, an 1804 dollar was listed as the world's most valuable coin. Sold in 1997, the Stickney-Eliasberg Class I 1804 sold for $1,815,000, becoming the second coin to bring over $1 million at auction. In 1989, the million-dollar mark was nearly reached by another 1804 dollar, the Class I Dexter specimen, which sold for $990,000 that year. When the news that the finest known 1804 dollar would be auctioned was announced in July 1999, the numismatic community pulsed with excitement. The Professional Coin Grading Service graded the coin Proof-68. In a July 8, 1999 press release, PCGS founder John Dannreuther commented that "it's a 100% original coin, as perfect an early Proof coin as one could imagine…obviously the subsequent owners have treated the coin with the distinction befitting its title, 'the King of Coins.'" "Because the Childs example was the finest 1804 Silver Dollar in existence, there was considerable speculation as to what it may bring," recalled PCGS CoinFacts founder Ron Guth in Coin Collecting for Dummies. "The buzz was that the Childs 1804 Silver Dollar would bring at least $2,000,000 and possibly as much as $2.5 to $3 million." Guth listened in southern California to a live simulcast of the auction, held in New York City. "The coin quickly broke through $2,000,000, then $3,000,000, and in less than two minutes sold" for its final price, $4,140,000, a new world record for any coin. Ambassador Fuad Mubarak Al-Hinai, the representative of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the modern-day monarch of the nation of Oman, watched from the gallery. Physical Characteristics of the Sultan of Muscat-Watters--Brand-Childs-Pogue Class I 1804 Dollar When the Sultan of Muscat first opened the set of American coins presented to him by Edmund Roberts on October 1, 1835, this coin was undoubtedly the one that first caught his eye. Larger than any other American coin yet struck, it was placed squarely at the center of its plush crimson morocco leather case, its mirrored surfaces perhaps reflecting the colors of the blue velvet, bright gold, and red copper that surrounded it. Those surfaces remain mirrored today, not in the manner of a modern Proof, but majestically and profoundly reflective. The portrait of Liberty captures the spirit of America in the 1830s, her eyes wide open and peering upward, her profile expressing both seriousness and welcome. When Said bin Sultan first saw this coin, it was likely brilliant white, a gleaming circle of silver. After decades in its case, and years of careful preservation in the cabinets of Virgil Brand and the Childs family, superb toning has gathered on its surfaces. Light blue dominates, boldest in the right obverse field and above Liberty's head, while gold frames the peripheries and covers the left obverse field. The effect is that of Liberty peering into a blue sky with a golden sunrise behind her. The reverse mingles pale gold and light blue, the gold perhaps clearest at arm's length though the azure shades emerge further under well-lit scrutiny. The importance of ensuring that the die faces and planchet were clean, well-polished, and reflective before striking is evident from the abundance of lintmarks seen on both sides. They are scattered across the fields and were left in the deepest recesses of the die in a concerted effort to produce the most magnificent coin the U.S. Mint's technology allowed: below star 1, in the field above Liberty's hair bow, hidden amidst her hair, close to her profile and throughout the right obverse field, above the bottom serif of the digit 4 in the date, around the olive branch, within the shield, amidst the reverse stars and legends. The arc of a single incuse lathe line crosses Liberty's shoulder, drapery, and chest, evidence that the planchet was polished not just by hand, but also mechanically. The results of these efforts remain bright today. The strike was forceful enough to raise the high relief of the central devices on both sides. The dangling curl beside Liberty's ear is fully outlined if not completely struck. On the reverse, the eagle's feathers are crisp and the shield is boldly rendered, offering an image of strength to oppose the softer allegory of American liberty. Peripheral design elements did not emerge from the coining press as well resolved. Only stars 6 and 7 show nearly full centers, and several are almost flat. Liberty's lowest curl, left of the date, is ill-defined, as is the high wave of hair below the letters RTY in LIBERTY and the drapery at the tip of the bust. On the reverse, the olive branch and the talon that grips it displays incompleteness, as does the tip of the eagle's tail and the wingtip at left. Only reverse stars 6, 11, 12, and 13 show central detail, and the cloud below the letter O in OF appears flat. Two circles of natural planchet roughness were not struck firmly enough to be obliterated below star 1. Beyond these peripheral elements, the denticles and raised rim are distinct and rendered in fine relief, framing the designs and providing the outer limit to the luster that ranges across the surfaces. There was not a single dollar die created at the United States Mint between 1803 and 1831 at the earliest. The central punches for the dies remained in storage, but over that interval the punches decayed. The portrait of Liberty is peppered with rust pits, most concentrated along the line dividing her drapery from her shoulder but seen all over her lower neck and chest. Two small patches of die rust are seen outside star 9. On the reverse, light rust is present in the small field below the letters NUM in UNUM and clustered close to the outside of the eagle and shield device. Light lapping lines extend outward from the upper right of the shield and downward from the right wingpit, likely remaining from efforts to remove some of this oxidized surface before the punch was applied. All genuine 1804 dollars show cracks on both the obverse and reverse dies, a witness to issues the Mint faced in hardening these handcrafted dies. An obverse crack begins above star 6, arcing above the tip of star 7 and intersecting the upper left serif of the letter L in LIBERTY. Another arc crack begins there, almost imperceptibly higher than the crack from above star 6, continuing above the L and then through the tops of all remaining letters in LIBERTY. On the reverse, a crack that begins at the upper right serif of the letter N in UNITED crosses through the tops of ITED and ends at the tip of the adjacent wing. A short, raised lapping line is seen between the tops of the letters ES in STATES. The rim is square but uneven on a microscopic scale, revealing the handcraft involved in manufacturing a collar especially to produce the handful of 1804-dated dollars coined in 1834. The edge lettering imbued onto the planchet by an edge mill was crushed by the collar at the moment of striking, as also seen on the Crushed Lettered Edge half dollar essays dated 1833 through 1835 and discussed in detail in our description for lot 3079 of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part III. As stated above, the edge is among the technical aspects of the 1804 dollars that places the striking of the first 1804 dollars, known as Class I or Originals, in the mid-1830s. Roster of Class I Original 1804 Dollars The foundation of this roster is credited to Q. David Bowers in the 1993 edition of his reference Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States, our (Bowers and Merena's) cataloging of the Stickney specimen for the April 1997 Eliasberg Collection sale, and work presented in Heritage's June 2018 Long Beach Signature Auction catalog, lot 4003, in which the Mickley specimen of the Class I 1804 dollar was offered. Provenance information was also checked against the census listed on the PCGS CoinFactswebsite (accessed May 2021). 1 - PCGS Proof-68. The Sultan of Muscat Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; U.S. Department of State, c/o Edmund Roberts; Sayyid Sa'id-bin-Sultan (Sultan of Muscat), as part of a cased presentation set; unknown intermediaries; Charles A. Watters of Liverpool, England; Glendining & Co.'s sale of the Watters Collection, London, May 1917, lot 227; Henry Chapman; Virgil Brand; Brand estate; Armin W. Brand; Horace Louis Philip Brand; Ruth and Charles Green; Charles Frederick Childs; F. Newell Childs; Charles Frederick Childs II; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Walter H. Childs Collection, August 1999, lot 458; Mack and Brent Pogue; offered in our (in conjunction with Sotheby's) sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part IV, May 2016, lot 4020. The present example, and the finest known 1804 dollar. 2 - PCGS Proof-67. The King of Siam Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; U.S. Department of State, c/o Edmund Roberts; King Ph'ra Nang Klao (Rama III) of Siam, as part of a cased presentation set, in which it is still included; David F. and Philip Spink, who acquired the set privately during the 1950s; Elvin I. Unterman, via agent Lester Merkin; our (Bowers and Merena's) King of Siam Sale, October 1987, lot 2209, unsold; Stack's, as agent for the owner; Rarities Group (Martin Paul) and Continental Rarity Coin Fund I (Greg Holloway); Superior's Father Flanagan's Boys Home Sale, May 1990, lot 3364; Iraj Sayah and Terry Brand; Superior's January-February 1993 Auction, lot 1196; Spectrum Numismatics; private western collection; Goldberg Coins, privately, November 2005, to Steve Contursi and private collector. According to traditional numismatic wisdom, sometime during the 19th century the King of Siam set passed to Anna Leonowens, known as Anna of Siam and memorialized in the musical The King and I.David Spink purchased the set from two elderly ladies in England who were reported to be her descendants. There is no evidence to support this connection. 3 - PCGS Proof-65. The Stickney Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; Matthew Adams Stickney, May 9, 1843; Henry Chapman's sale of the Matthew Adams Stickney Collection, June 1907, lot 849; Col. James W. Ellsworth; Wayte Raymond; William Cutler Atwater; Atwater estate; B. Max Mehl's sale of the William Cutler Atwater Collection, June 1946, lot 213; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg estate; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, April 1997, lot 2199; Spectrum Numismatics; Larry H. Miller; our sale of the Larry H. Miller Collection, December 2020 Auction, lot 1094. 4 - PCGS Proof-65. The Dexter Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries, possibly S.H. and H. Chapman; Adolph Weyl's 46th Auction, October 1884, lot 159; S.H. and H. Chapman; S.H. and H. Chapman's Chapman Sale, May 1885, lot 354; Scott Stamp & Coin Company; James Vila Dexter; Dexter estate; H.G. Brown; Lyman Low's sale of the H.G. Brown Collection, October 1904, lot 431; William Forrester Dunham; B. Max Mehl; B. Max Mehl's W.F. Dunham Collection sale, June 1941, lot 1058; Charles M. Williams; Abe Kosoff and Sol Kaplan; Harold L. Bareford; our (Stack's) sale of the Harold L. Bareford Collection, October 1981, lot 424; RARCOA (Ed Milas); Leon Hendrickson and George Weingart; RARCOA's session of Auction '89, July 1989, lot 247; American Rare Coin Fund, Ltd. (Hugh Sconyers); Northern California collector; Superior's Baltimore '93 Auction, July 1993, lot 551, unsold; Northern California collector; Superior's May 30-31, 1994 U.S. Coin Auction, lot 761; Harlan White; private southeastern collection; our (Stack's) 65th Anniversary Sale, lot 1167; Mack and Brent Pogue; our (in conjunction with Sotheby's) sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part V, March 2017, lot 5045; Kevin Lipton and John Albanese; Bruce Morelan, via Legend Numismatics; Legend Rare Coin Auctions' sale of the Bruce Morelan Collection, October 2020 Regency Auction 41, lot 25. 5 - ICG Proof-64. The Parmelee Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; "an aged lady" who gave the coin to her son; E. Harrison Sanford; Edward Cogan's sale of the Sanford Collection, November 1874, lot 99; Lorin G. Parmelee; New York Stamp & Coin Company's sale of the Lorin G. Parmelee Collection, June 1890, lot 817; Byron Reed; Omaha City Library; Western Heritage Museum (now the Durham Museum). 6 - PCGS Proof-62. The Mickley Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; Henry C. Young, a teller at the Bank of Pennsylvania; Joseph J. Mickley; W. Elliott Woodward's sale of the Joseph J. Mickley Collection, October 1867, lot 1676; William A. Lilliendahl; Edward Cogan; William Sumner Appleton; Massachusetts Historical Society, 1905; our (Stack's) sale of the Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, October 1970, lot 625; Chicago collection; Reed Hawn, via Stack's; our (Stack's) sale of the Reed Hawn Collection, October 1993, lot 735; David Queller; Heritage's sale of the Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars, April 2008 CSNS Signature Auction, lot 2089; Greensboro Collection; Heritage's sale of Greensboro Collection, Part IV, August 2013 Rosemont Signature Auction, lot 5699; Heritage's sale of "An Important New York Collection," June 2018 Long Beach Signature Auction, lot 4003. 7 - Impaired Proof. The Mint Cabinet Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; Mint Cabinet; National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution. 8 - Proof-30. The Cohen Specimen.Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; Edward Cohen, passed over the counter at his exchange office in Richmond, Virginia, circa 1865; Col. Mendes I. Cohen, Baltimore, Maryland; Edward Cogan's sale of the Colonel Mendes I. Cohen Collection, October 1875, lot 535; Henry S. Adams; Edward Cogan's sale of the Henry S. Adams Collection, November 1876, lot 356; Lorin G. Parmelee; Henry G. Sampson; Major William Boerum Wetmore; S.H. and H. Chapman's sale of the Major William Boerum Wetmore Collection, June 1906, lot 208; S.H. and H. Chapman; Thomas L. Elder; James H. Manning; B. Max Mehl's sale of the James H. Manning Collection, May 1921, lot 778; Elmer S. Sears; B. Max Mehl; Lammot DuPont; Willis H. DuPont; unknown thieves, recovered in Zurich, Switzerland, April 23, 1993; donated to the American Numismatic Association Museum. Roster of Class II 1804 Dollars 1 - Proof. The Mint Cabinet Specimen.Ex Mint Cabinet, circa 1858; National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution. Roster of Class III 1804 Dollars 1 - Choice Proof. The Linderman Specimen.Ex Mint Director Henry R. Linderman; Linderman estate; Lyman H. Low's sale of Henry R. Linderman Collection, June 1887, lot 40, unsold; Scott Stamp & Coin Co.'s sale of the Henry R. Linderman Collection, February 1888, lot 40; James Ten Eyck; Ten Eyck estate; B. Max Mehl's sale of the James Ten Eyck Collection, May 1922, lot 394; Lammot DuPont; Willis H. DuPont; unknown thieves, recovered March 16, 1982; American Numismatic Association, on loan; National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution. 2 - Proof. The Idler Specimen.Ex William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine; Capt. John W. Haseltine and Stephen K. Nagy; H.O. Granberg; William Cutler Atwater; William Cutler Atwater estate; B. Max Mehl's sale of the William Cutler Atwater Collection, June 1946, lot 214; Will W. Neil; B. Max Mehl's sale of the Will W. Neil Collection, June 1947, lot 31; Edwin Hydeman; Abe Kosoff's sale of the Edwin Hydeman Collection, March 1961, lot 994, bought in; on consignment to or owned by Abe Kosoff; World-Wide Coin Investments, Ltd. (John Hamrick and Warren Tucker), sold by private treaty to the following; Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, Inc.; Continental Coin Galleries (Kent M. Froseth and Chuck Parrish); Mark Blackburn; Larry Demerer; Superior Galleries, agent for Dr. Jerry Buss, Los Angeles sports team owner; Dr. Jerry Buss; Superior's sale of the Dr. Jerry Buss Collection, January 1985, lot 1337; Aubrey and Adeline Bebee; American Numismatic Association, on loan 1985-1991, subsequently donated by Mr. and Mrs. Bebee; American Numismatic Association Museum. 3 - PCGS Proof-58. The Adams Specimen.Ex Captain John W. Haseltine; Captain John W. Haseltine's "Centennial Coin and Curiosity Sale" I, March 30, 1876, lot 194, Haseltine himself seems to have been the buyer (bidding on his own coin); Phineas Adams; Henry Ahlborn; John P. Lyman; S.H. Chapman's sale of the Lyman Collection, November 1913, lot 16; Waldo C. Newcomer; B. Max Mehl, on consignment from Newcomer; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; "Colonel" Green estate; A.J. Allen; F.C.C. Boyd; Numismatic Gallery (Abe Kosoff and Abner Kreisberg), on consignment from Boyd; Percy A. Smith; B. Max Mehl; B. Max Mehl's Golden Jubilee Sale, May 1950, lot 804; Amon G. Carter, Sr.; Amon G. Carter, Jr.; our (Stack's) sale of the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Family Collection, January 1984, lot 241; John Nelson Rowe III, agent for the following; L.R. French, Jr.; our (Stack's) sale of the L.R. French, Jr. Family Collection, January 1989, lot 15; Rarities Group, Inc. (Martin Paul); National Gold Exchange (Mark Yaffe); Heritage Rare Coin Galleries; Indianapolis collection; unknown private collection; David Liljestrand; unknown Midwest collection: David Liljestrand; National Gold Exchange and Kenneth Goldman; Legend Numismatics (Laura Sperber); Phillip Flanagan; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Phillip Flanagan Collection, May 2001, lot 4303; Donald H. Kagin; our (Bowers and Merena's) Baltimore ANA Auction of August 2003, lot 2026; West Coast collector, via Kevin Lipton; Heritage Rare Coin Galleries; East Coast collector; Heritage's CSNS Signature Sale of April 2009, lot 2567; John Albanese. 4 - PCGS Proof-55. The Berg Specimen.Ex Captain John W. Haseltine; O.H. Berg; Captain John W. Haseltine's sale of the Berg Collection, May 1883, lot 568; George W. Cogan, agent for T. Harrison Garrett; T. Harrison Garrett; Robert and John Work Garrett, by descent; Robert Garrett interest to John Work Garrett, transfer completed 1921; John Work Garrett; The Johns Hopkins University; our (Bowers and Ruddy's) sale of the Garrett Collection for The Johns Hopkins University, Part II, March 1980, lot 698; Pullen & Hanks (William Pullen and Larry Hanks), later in combination with Santa ("Sam") Colavita; Sam Colavita, who purchased the interest of Pullen & Hanks; Pullen & Hanks' Long Beach Collector Series I Sale, February 1982, lot 1076, unsold; Sam Colavita; Mike Levinson, acquired in trade for eight acres of land in El Paso, Texas; Pennsylvania private collection; our (Bowers and Merena's) Harry Einstein Collection sale, June 1986, lot 1736; Rarities Group, Inc. (Martin Paul); American Coin Portfolios (Dan Drykerman), agent for the following; Mrs. Laura Sommer; private Southern California collector; our Chicago ANA Auction of August 2014, lot 13146; D. Brent Pogue; our sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part VII, March 2020, lot 7304. 5 - Proof-40. The Davis Specimen.Ex Captain John W. Haseltine, as custodian (conjectured); William E. Dubois, curator of the Mint Cabinet, sold through Captain John W. Haseltine; Robert Coulton Davis; Captain John W. Haseltine; George M. Klein; W. Elliot Woodward's 95th Sale, May 1888, lot 1940; J. Colvin Randall, agent for R. Coulton Davis (who had owned the coin earlier); R. Coulton Davis; R. Coulton Davis estate; Captain John W. Haseltine; John M. Hale; John M. Hale family; R.H. Mull; Parke-Bernet Galleries' George Singer Collection sale, May 1950, lot 221; Mrs. Fullerton, agent for her father, Henry P. Graves; Henry P. Graves; Henry P. Graves estate; our (Stack's) Davis-Graves Sale, Part I, April 1954, lot 1333; Ben H. Koenig; our (Stack's) Fairbanks Collection sale, December 1960, lot 576; Samuel Wolfson; our (Stack's) sale of the Samuel Wolfson Collection, Part II, May 1963, lot 1394; Norton Simon; James H.T. McConnell, Jr., via Stack's. 6 - Proof-40. The Driefus-Rosenthal Specimen.Ex unknown intermediaries; W. Julius Driefus; Isaac Rosenthal; Col. James W. Ellsworth, via Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Oliver C. Bosbyshell; Wayte Raymond; Farran Zerbe, via the Guttag Brothers; Chase National Bank Collection, which became known as the Chase Bank Money Museum, in later times as the Chase Manhattan Bank Money Museum; American Numismatic Society. Concluding Remarks No overview on American numismatics is complete without a mention of the 1804 dollar, and the 1804 dollar's story is incomplete without notice of the sets of coins made in the name of diplomacy for the King of Siam and the Sultan of Muscat. Hyperbole is barely required to suggest that every general reference published on United States coins for the last 150 years has mentioned this precise coin. Before this coin was even known, before its current existence was rumored on the left side of the Atlantic, W. Elliot Woodward was the first to recount the story of this coin's creation and presentation in the pages of the American Journal of Numismaticsin 1867. "Some time during the administration of President Jackson, a present was received from the Imaum of Muscat, and our government, wishing to make a proper return to that magnate, caused, amongst other things, a set of coins to be made for him… "It may interest numismatists to know that the one sent to Muscat is no longer to be found. The enthusiasm with which coin collecting is pursued may be illustrated by stating the fact that a gentleman of New York City caused an investigation to be made in the palace of the Imaum in 1865, and learned that the dollar was not there, and had not been for a long time." Woodward, a renowned bibliophile, had likely heard of the set of coins made for the Sultan of Muscat from the memoir of Dr. William S.W. Ruschenberger, published in 1838 about his time aboard the USS Peacock. Doubt followed Woodward's words. The extremely rare 1804 dollar the sumptuous set was said to contain was generally evoked with disbelief, an aspect of the tale that veered too close to fantasy to ring with truth. In 1962, before the announcement of the discovery of the King of Siam set, Newman and Bressett had written a chapter for The Fantastic 1804 Dollarcalled "The Diplomatic Gift Delusion." But proof of Woodward's comments arrived housed in a yellow leather box. The display of the King of Siam set at the 1962 American Numismatic Association quieted all doubters, and, after a hasty rewrite, Newman and Bressett's research has held up to scrutiny ever since. Legendary beyond the insular world of numismatics, no other American coin has caused as many empty inkwells as the 1804 dollar, inspiring several full length books and countless articles and commentaries. Its creation required the best efforts of the United States Mint, its delivery essentialized the summed power of the United States Department of State, and its first American auction offering set a world record that would be trumpeted in headlines around the world. It owes its existence to a single historic instance of the desire to make a good first impression. It was minted to transcend its basic purpose as an article of money, serving instead as a tool to communicate sophistication and power, peace and strength. From the moment the ingot of silver that would become this coin first felt the tug of the rollers, this coin was produced to be not only an object invested with the hopes of American diplomacy, but also a gift fit for a king. This lot includes a treasure trove of literature and correspondence detailing various aspects of the numismatic and other history of the Sultan of Muscat-Watters-Brand-Childs-Pogue 1804 dollar. These include, among other items: a photocopy of the 1834 letter from the Department of State ordering Mint Director Dr. Samuel Moore to produce and forward to them Proof sets for presentation to the King of Siam and Sultan of Muscat; the April 4, 1879 letter from Charles A. Watters to Jeremiah Colburn regarding this coin, as referenced above; a copy of the 1917 Glendining & Co. catalog of the Charles A. Watters Collection; numerous letters to and from Ruth Green, the ANS, Spink & Son, Ltd., Horace and Erna Brand, C.F. Childs, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., and Abe Kosoff that date to the period of time when the Greens owned this coin and were attempting to sell it; a copy of the R. Green ad for the 1804 dollar from the April 1942 edition of The Numismatist; copies of The Fantastic 1804 Dollarand The Fantastic 1804 Dollar: 25th Anniversary Follow-upby Eric P. Newman and Kenneth E. Bressett signed by the authors, the former addressed to the Pogue family; Mack and Brent Pogue's handwritten log dated August 30, 1999, on multiple pages from a note pad from The Peninsula Hotel, New York, that detail his activities and interactions on the day he purchased this coin from the Childs Collection sale; Mack Pogue's bidder card (#376) from the Childs Collection sale and the invoice from Bowers and Merena for the coin; congratulatory letters from Fred Childs and Q. David Bowers to Mack and Brent Pogue dated September 6 and 8, 1999 after their purchase of this coin; copies of the relevant editions of Coin World, Numismatic News, COINage, Rare Coin Review, and The Australian Coin & Banknote Magazinereporting on the then record-setting sale of this coin for $4.14 million in the Childs Collection sale; and a custom-made Capital Plastics holder for this coin detailing its provenance from 1835 through its acquisition by Mack and Brent Pogue. These important supporting items are available to the winning bidder upon request to Stack's Bowers Galleries upon the close of the auction. Provenance: From the D. Brent Pogue Collection. Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; U.S. Department of State, c/o Edmund Roberts; Sayyid Sa'id-bin-Sultan (Sultan of Muscat), as part of a cased presentation set; unknown intermediaries; Charles A. Watters of Liverpool, England; Glendining & Co.'s sale of the Watters Collection, London, May 1917, lot 227; Henry Chapman; Virgil Brand; Brand estate; Armin W. Brand; Horace Louis Philip Brand; Ruth and Charles Green; Charles Frederick Childs; F. Newell Childs; Charles Frederick Childs II; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Walter H. Childs Collection, August 1999, lot 458; Mack and Brent Pogue; offered in our (in conjunction with Sotheby's) sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part IV, May 2016, lot 4020. PCGS# 6907. Click here for certification details from PCGS. 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PCGS Set Registry

This coin is currently in the Set Registry inventory of [email protected] and is featured in one or more sets, including thomasbenjamin42435.

Coin Details

PCGS # Service Cert # PCGS Pop PCGS Pop Higher PCGS Price GuideSM Value
6907 PCGS 03459822 1 0 $8,750,000.00
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Other Auction Appearances

Date Price Firm Sale Lot
Aug-1999 $4,140,000.00 Bowers & Merena Walter H. Childs Sale 458