IRVINE, Calif. (July 2013) — Every once in a while comes an opportunity in numismatics that is not likely to be repeated in one’s lifetime, if ever. This remarkable section of the estate collection of John J. Ford, Jr. is the very definition of such! Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to present a preview of this exceptional collection by quoting excerpts from the catalog introduction of this remarkable sale:
Drawing upon his own deep knowledge, wide travels and connections in commercial and private numismatics from the 1940s until the cusp of the 21st century, the late John J. Ford, Jr. pursued tokens from the 1790s onward, Washingtoniana, Western Americana, Indian and post trader tokens, Hard Times tokens, counterstamps — you name it. Perhaps it was a hording instinct; perhaps he realized that exonumia represented a good area to place money as an investment; or perhaps he had other ideas. Whatever his rationale, he felt that if owning one rarity was a good idea, two or three were even better. Starting his collection of tokens in the 1940s, Ford had unique access to treasures in many other cabinets as they became available, including those of Wayte Raymond and F.C.C. Boyd.
Accordingly, rarities for which a single example would highlight a normal auction presentation are represented here in multiples! There will be some tokens that have not crossed the auction block in the lifetime of anyone reading these words. There are others that even the greatest collections have lacked.
In the early 20th century, among the hottest tickets in the numismatic market were store cards and tokens from all eras. More people sought these than did Morgan silver dollars by date or mintmark, or varieties of Liberty Seated or Barber coinage. In recent decades, Morgan, Liberty Seated, Barber and other coins have multiplied in value many times over. In contrast, American tokens and medals played to a rather smaller audience.
History repeats itself. In recent years when Stack’s Bowers Galleries has offered other exonumia from the Ford estate and elsewhere, bids have come in from all directions. It is an era of new appreciation, new enthusiasm, and new discoveries. Ford tokens and other items we offer as the Official Auctioneer of the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money will play into a strong market. Rarity for rarity, such pieces are nearly always valued at a tiny fraction of what comparable federal coins are listed. This spells out opportunity — a word very applicable as, once sold, many of these tokens will not likely appear in the market for years to come.
We anticipate lots of fun and lots of excitement as the Ford pieces cross the block Wednesday, August 14 at 9 a.m. CT (Session 2) and Friday, August 16 at 9 a.m. (Session 8). You can participate by attending the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago. You may also bid online, in real time, via stacksbowers.com.
Long-Hidden Notes to be Sold
A treasure trove of American currency from The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection will also cross the block on Thursday, August 15 at 10 a.m. CT (Session 5). This session will consist of notes from the colonial series, Continental Currency, obsolete paper money from many different states, and Fractional Currency. Although the firm has previously sold great rarities, the estate retained large numbers of notes. These are generally of modest value and will be offered singly in some instances, with others in large lots of dozens of bills. It will be a valuable discovery for those who attend one of the lot viewing sessions. Although many notes are illustrated in our catalog and on our website, most are not including the intriguing, indeed exciting bulk lots. We invite you to view the currency in person or through an agent. There will be many surprises!
Many notes, including in the scrip series of the Civil War era, are unlisted in any reference.
John J. Ford, Jr. began his collection in the late 1940s and added to it steadily over the years, including items from the estates of Wayte Raymond and F.C.C. Boyd, both of whom were advanced currency specialists. Many of the notes from these estates have been off the market for nearly a century!
Other lot descriptions and images for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money can be viewed online on our website stacksbowers.com. Printed catalogs are available upon request by calling 800.458.4646. Online bidding and pre-auction bids will be accepted online at stacksbowers.com; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 800.458.4646; by fax at 949.253.4091; and by mail addressed to Stack’s Bowers Galleries, Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money, 1063 McGaw, Irvine, CA 92614. Interested bidders are also encouraged to view lots onsite in Chicago in August and bid in-person at the live auction, or online via stacksbowers.com. A complete auction and lot-viewing schedule is also available online or by calling 800.458.4646.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, a division of Fortune 500 Company Spectrum Group International Inc., conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and 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 collections to ever cross an auction block — the John J. Ford, Jr. and Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collections, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, and The Cardinal Collection — to name just a few. 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 Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including the 2013 ANA World’s Fair of Money and the ANA/PNG Pre-Show, the 2013 ANA National Money Show, and the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, three times yearly.