Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 69

​Stack’s auction program for 1976 was very exciting, for not only did we have the contract to present the official auction at the ANA’s annual convention in the summer, but we offered seven other major sales as well. Four were before the ANA sale and three came after. In order to get all this work done and continue our normal coin business in the shop and on the road, many evenings and weekends were required of us.

We began the year in February with the famous TAD Collection of United States Large Cents, an outstanding offering of dates and varieties in high grades, from 1793 to 1857. There was also a comprehensive collection of other U.S. coins from the half cent to the $20 gold, a collection that has been mentioned in later pedigrees by many catalogers since it was sold.

In March we offered coins from the John Work Garrett Collection and the Johns Hopkins University library, a selection of items sold to provide funds for the expansion of the library. Some popular rarities and high quality duplicates graced the catalog. The sale realized record prices and there was impressive attendance at the auction. It was a great beginning for 1976.

In April our catalog featured important consignments of United States gold, silver and copper coins that attracted many bidders. May brought the famous Laird Park Collection of U.S. colonial coins. Besides containing many rare and choice pieces pedigreed to some of our earlier sales, it was highlighted by a Birch cent, four different Continental dollars, (including one in brass), a Washington Born Virginia in silver, and many specimens of the various colonies. The sale also contained many type coins, and Mint State and Proof examples of most series. It was an important sale that appealed to specialists as well as more general collectors.

Next came our official auction for the American Numismatic Association Convention in August. It was a large sale, over 4,100 lots, and exceeded the size of most previous ANA auctions, as well as being one of the most comprehensive offerings sold in that venue in decades. Featured were coins from the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, sold to enhance their display facilities. Both had coins from the famous Adams family of colonial days, including some of the finest known colonial coins and a magnificent offering of U.S. large cents, with many varieties and finest known. There was also a collection of half cents as well as coins of all denominations from small cents to double eagles.

There were Proof year sets of cents to the dollar from 1858 to 1915, plus outstanding United States paper money and an offering of over 140 U.S. patterns. Among world coins there were extensive collections of Greek and Roman coins plus outstanding gold and silver coins of the world. There were six sessions in the auction, each of which was well attended and saw strong bidding. Many records were set and the results were superb.

In the last quarter of 1976 Stack’s held a public auction each month, beginning in October when we sold the William H. Fenn Collection of United States Gold, Silver and Copper coins. November featured a combination of two old-time collections that complemented each other: the estates of Marion E. Emrick and Harold F. Coffey. This sale of 1,627 lots offered comprehensive collections of United States gold, silver and copper coins. In December we offered further items from the Emrick and Coffey collections, this time enhanced with the Lloyd Cabot Briggs collection of ancient and world gold, silver and copper coins. This provided our clients with a wonderful array of coins to bid on and was a great conclusion to Stack’s incredible 1976 auction season.

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