Two Coins Break Million-Dollar Barrier, Total Surpasses Pre-Distress High Estimates
Santa Ana, CA – Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and negative indicators, rare coins continued to shine at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2020 Auction in California. Nearly three years after Part V of the D. Brent Pogue Collection hit the market, the most valuable coin collection ever sold cemented its grip on the record books with more than $15 million in additional sales in the most recent session. To date, the coins from the Pogue Collection have realized a total of $122,012,480. Originally scheduled to be held in Baltimore, the auction was moved to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries headquarters in Santa Ana following the cancellation of all public events in the state of Maryland. With most bidders participating online, the 420 lots realized 104% of their presale high estimates, which were determined well before recent economic difficulties. (All prices include the buyer’s fee.)
While the Pogue Collection is renowned for its superb-quality pre-1834 coins and legendary rarities, the Pogue VII sale featured collections that showed the remarkable breadth and depth of the Pogue holdings. While red-letter issues like the Berg-Garrett 1804 Draped Bust Dollar and the finest-known 1854-S Liberty Head Half Eagle reached seven-figure heights, the superbly preserved and spectacularly toned Pogue Washington Quarter set brought multiples of estimate, Barber Quarters reached dizzying heights, and even Eisenhower and Susan B. Anthony Dollars achieved exceptional prices. Collectors also competed over the Pogue “lowball” set, with the world’s worst examples of some types bringing multiples of what well-preserved examples regularly bring.
The two leading lots were among the most famous rarities in the entire realm of United States coinage. Leading all sales was the finest-known example of the legendary 1854-S Liberty Head Half Eagle, the first $5 gold coin struck at the San Francisco Mint. Pedigreed to the Eliasberg Collection, the PCGS AU58+ Pogue coin is the best example of the three confirmed to still exist. It realized $1.92 million after 38 years off the market. An example of the “King of American Coins,” the Berg-Garrett Class III 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, brought $1.44 million. It was graded PCGS PR55.
Leading all sales was the finest-known example of the legendary 1854-S Liberty Head Half Eagle, the first $5 gold coin struck at the San Francisco Mint. Pedigreed to the Eliasberg Collection, the PCGS AU58+ Pogue coin is the best example of the three confirmed to still exist. It realized $1.92 million after 38 years off the market. Click image to enlarge.
An example of the “King of American Coins,” the Berg-Garrett Class III 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, brought $1.44 million. It was graded PCGS PR55. Click image to enlarge.
At $408,000, the famous “Little Princess” 1841 Proof Liberty Head Quarter Eagle from the Pogue Collection set a new world record for the type. Pedigreed to the Eliasberg and Bass collections, the Pogue specimen is graded PCGS PR64CAM and is considered the finest in private hands.
Also setting a new world record, the finest-known example of the key date 1878-S Liberty Seated Half Dollar brought $288,000. Graded PCGS PR66, its long provenance includes several Stack’s and Bowers and Merena auctions dating back to 1961, led by such legendary names as R.E. Cox (1962), Fairfield (1977), Robison (1982), and Quellar (2002).
Another world record was set by the finest-known 1854-S Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, formerly in the F.C.C. Boyd and Harry W. Bass, Jr. collections. Graded PCGS AU50, the low-mintage rarity brought $384,000, surpassing a 15-year-old record for the date.
Among other lots, a PCGS MS66RB example of the key date 1796 With Pole Draped Bust Half Cent brought $336,000. A Gem Proof 1833 Capped Bust Dime rarity with a provenance to the 1890 Cleneay sale, graded PCGS PR66, brought $108,000, far surpassing pre-sale estimates. Despite being plentiful in low grades, the finest-certified 1853 Arrows and Rays Liberty Seated Quarter is elusive enough in PCGS MS67 to merit a final price of $72,000, more than 50% higher than initial estimates. The Eliasberg-Pogue 1907-S Barber Quarter , graded PCGS MS68, blew by its $20,000-25,000 estimate, selling for a record $72,000. Two Liberty Seated Dollars brought six-figure sums, including the 1863 in PCGS MS67 at $108,000 and the 1866 in PCGS MS66+ at $132,000.
Highlights among gold coins included the superb 1855 Type II Liberty Gold Dollar, perhaps finest of the short-lived design type at PCGS MS67+, which sold for $120,000. A Type II Indian Princess Small Head Gold Dollar dated 1854, graded PCGS MS66+, far surpassed expectations at $87,000. The 1879 Flowing Hair Stella $4, graded PCGS PR66CAM, brought $264,000. A pair of 1820 Capped Bust Half Eagles, each graded PCGS MS65+, yielded $174,000 and $180,000 . The stunning Norweb-Bass-Pogue 1845-D Liberty Head Half Eagle in PCGS MS65, the finest-known survivor of the issue, far surpassed estimates at $96,000. The finest-surviving 1911-S Indian Head Half Eagle , acquired by John Jay Pittman at the legendary 1954 King Farouk sale, was graded PCGS MS66 and brought a very strong $90,000. A pair of Liberty Head Eagles each passed the $200,000 barrier: an 1848-O in PCGS MS66 ($240,000) and an 1852 in PCGS MS66+ ($288,000). A 1907 Indian $10, Wire Rim, Periods, brought $240,000 in PCGS MS67, while a Rounded Rim, Periods example of the date in the same grade brought $576,000. A remarkable PCGS MS68 1908-D Indian $10, the Clapp-Eliasberg coin, brought $204,000.
Superb Gem double eagles starred among later lots. A pair of MCMVII (1907) Saint-Gaudens High Relief $20s each soared to six-figure results: a Wire Rim in PCGS MS67+ at $222,000 and a Flat Rim in PCGS MS68+ at $456,000. Liberty Head Double Eagle highlights began with San Francisco Mint issues: an 1854-S in PCGS MS65 brought $132,000 and an 1857-S from the SS Central America in PCGS MS67 sold for $96,000. A PCGS MS67 1875-S $20, considered the single finest-known Type II Liberty Double Eagle, brought $432,000. A remarkable Gem 1869 $20, PCGS MS66, sold for $204,000. The finest-graded 1909/8 Saint-Gaudens $20, PCGS MS66+, sold well at $108,000, while the Morse-Duckor-Pogue 1927-S Saint-Gaudens $20, the single finest-graded by PCGS at MS67, brought $264,000. The Panama-Pacific $50s surpassed estimates. Both the Octagonal (at $138,000) and the Round (at $192,000) were graded PCGS MS65.
The PCGS PR65 1879 Schoolgirl Dollar, Judd-1608, led all patterns at $144,000. A Morgan Pattern 1877 Half Dollar, Judd-1520, realized $96,000 in PCGS PR65 and a beautiful Judd-1698 “Shield Earring” Quarter Dollar Pattern of 1882, graded PCGS PR65+, brought $78,000. A modern pattern, the PCGS SP67+ 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar with SMS finish, was bid to $60,000.
Key-date coins of all series performed well. The Eliasberg 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent, PCGS MS66RB, more than doubled its high estimate at $8,400, and a Gem 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent in PCGS MS65RB also more than doubled its estimates with a $32,400 sale price. An PCGS MS67FB 1916-D Mercury Dime, tied for finest certified, surpassed expectations at $204,000. The PCGS MS66 1896-S Barber Quarter, tied for finest certified, brought $96,000 and the PCGS MS67+ 1901-S Barber Quarter realized $180,000. The PCGS MS65 1918/7-D Overdate Standing Liberty Quarter blew by estimates, selling for $90,000. The 1919-D Standing Liberty Quarter is a major condition rarity in Superb Gem grades, pushing the Pogue PCGS MS66+FH to a final price of $114,000. A beautiful 1932-S Washington Quarter in PCGS MS66 brought $43,200 against its $20,000-25,000 estimate.
The PCGS-graded Pogue Washington Quarter set won accolades for both Superb Gem grades and spectacular toning. Despite most coins being estimated in the few hundreds to few thousands of dollars, collectors bid the coins well beyond those levels. Some of the biggest differentials between estimate and final price included the MS67 1934 ($6,000 vs. $400-500), MS67+ 1938-S ($4,080 vs. $600-750), MS66 1939 ($600 vs. $50-75), MS67 1944 ($9,000 vs. $250-300), MS67 1945-S ($7,200 vs. $300-350), MS67+ 1948 ($7,200 vs. $600-750), MS67 1949-D ($2,880 vs. $200-250), MS67+ 1950-D ($5,280 vs. $250-300), MS67 1950-S ($2,880 vs. $40-50), MS67+ 1954-D ($6,600 vs. $550-700), and an MS67 1963-D ($8,400 vs. 500-600).
Washington Quarters weren’t the only coins that brought remarkable premiums for superb toning. A PCGS MS67+FS 1943-D Jefferson Nickel brought $6,600 (estimate: $100-300), a PCGS MS67FB 1916 Mercury Dime brought $9,600 (estimate $700-800), a PCGS MS68 1892 Barber Quarter brought $25,200 (estimate: $8,000-10,000), a PCGS MS66 1917-D Standing Liberty Quarter sold for $12,000 (estimate: $1,500-2,000), and a very dramatically toned PCGS MS67 1920-S Standing Liberty Quarter brought a remarkable $40,800 on a $5,000-6,000 estimate. Every Two-Cent and Three-Cent piece in the sale surpassed pre-sale estimates as well.
High-grade modern coins with superb toning also shined, led by a PCGS MS66 1976-D Eisenhower Dollar at $4,080 (vs. a $50-100 estimate) and a PCGS MS67 1981-D Susan B. Anthony Dollar at $2,640 (vs. a $200-300 estimate).
The Eliasberg 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent, PCGS MS66RB, more than doubled its high estimate at $8,400. Click image to enlarge.
A PCGS MS67 1981-D Susan B. Anthony Dollar at $2,640 (vs. a $200-300 estimate). Click image to enlarge.
The opposite of high-grade coins — Pogue’s “low-ball” set — also saw frenzied bidding, led by a PCGS PO1 1938 New Rochelle Commemorative Half Dollar, a condition rarity that brought $4,080.
A small group of medals also performed well, including the Pogue Silver Libertas Americana Medal in PCGS MS63 at $144,000, and a Bronze Libertas Americana Medal in PCGS MS64BN at $33,600. The Boyd-Ford Washington-Franklin Peace of 1783 Baker-58 Medal in silver, graded SP64 by PCGS, brought $28,800. A copy of Henry Tuckerman’s The Character and Portraits of Washington bound with a Gold Washington Funeral Medal shell brought $66,000.
For complete prices realized for The D. Brent Pogue Collection Part VII, as well as more results from the Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2020 Auction, visit the Auction Archives at StacksBowers.com . For information about consigning to a future Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction, call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected]
About Stack's Bowers Galleries
Stack's Bowers Galleries conducts live, internet, and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins, currency, and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company's 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.
Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded PCGS SP66 that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack's Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April and August Hong Kong Auctions.