A Warm Welcome to Our Americana Sale
A Great Numismatic Tradition
Welcome to this year’s event! For many years, our Americana Sale conducted in New York City has set the pace for collectors, dealers, museum curators and others seeking quality coins, medals and tokens, from colonial issues onward. As customary, the venue will be at our office gallery on West 57th Street in the heart of the Art District on Wednesday, February 5, and will resume Thursday, February 6, at the Le Parker Méridien. Both venues are a short walk from Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Central Park, and other attractions and are only a few steps from Carnegie Hall. Come early, bring your family, and enjoy!
The Richard Moore Collection sets the pace with early issues including an impressive selection of Machin’s Mills halfpence and Fugio coppers. The Charles A. Wharton Collection adds many other showpieces — part of a large consignment that will be continued in our sale with the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo in March. Other important properties add to what will be remembered as an Americana Sale with something for everyone!
Highlights of the Sale
While the catalog speaks for itself, we’ll mention some highlights that are bound to be of special interest:
Colonial coins begin with Massachusetts silver, including two high grade 1662 Oak Tree twopence, the only denomination with this date. If there is a coin that defines early America, you will probably agree it is the 1652 Pine Tree shilling. Our sale offers a gorgeous Mint State example, a grade not often seen.
A Wood’s Hibernia farthing in silver, listed as 3.2-Bc.10 in Sydney Martin’s great new book on the series, will attract bids from all directions. A spectacular 1785 Nova Constellatio flip over double strike in AU grade will be a showpiece in its next owner’s collection. French Colonies coinage, state coppers of Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and coppers of the Republic of Vermont (which would become a state in 1791) also beckon. Grades and rarity vary, yielding opportunities for everyone.
Two high-grade 1776 Continental dollars are noteworthy, as is a 1792 Washington Getz pattern from a series highlighted as the last study of the late Dr. George J. Fuld. The Washington Roman Head cent is an enduring classic, and the offered example is especially nice. A seldom seen skull and crossbones Washington funeral medal in silver, by Jacob Perkins of Newburyport, is another classic.
A 1792 pattern disme in copper, reeded edge, struck at the new Philadelphia Mint before it produced regular coinage (inaugurated by Chain cents in March 1793) is a classic rarity. Copper half cents and cents follow, including a superb Gem Proof-66 1831 First Restrike half cent with Large Berries reverse. Indian cents, Lincoln cents, two-cent pieces, and threecent nickel and silver coins comprise popular types as well as rare dates. We seem to have a monopoly on the rare classic 1867 With Rays Shield nickel in Proof format, as we have offered several high grade pieces in recent times. Now we offer a reprise: a Gem Proof-65. Other nickels in the Shield, Liberty, and Buffalo series offer opportunities.
A remarkable Logan-McCloskey-1 1794 Flowing Hair half dime, the first die variety of the first year of issue, is certified as Specimen-64 by NGC and traces its pedigree to the Lelan Rogers Collection. The 1802 half dime, one of the great American classic rarities, was showcased at length in 1883 by Harold P. Newlin in his pioneering book on this denomination. He stated reasons, still applicable today, why this coin is deserving of great fame. There are two problems: First, they are so rare that even in our sales there can be a year or two or three without one being offered, and, second, there are no Mint State or Proof examples — all show wear, usually extensive. The one we offer here is a nice VG-8.
Among other silver coins a Mint State 1796 half dollar from the incomparable Eliasberg Collection, far and away the rarest type in the silver series, will attract a lot of attention, as will key and type issues among dimes, quarters, other half dollars, dollars and trade dollars. Among silver dollars, check out the Mint State 1799/8 BB-142 with 15-star reverse that traces its lineage to our sales of the French Family and Cardinal collections.
Gold coins are front row center as well, ranging from rare pre- 1834 issues down to the 20th century. Popular types as well as scarce dates and mintmarks can be found in the gold dollar, quarter eagle, $3, half eagle, eagle, and double eagle series. Everyone who can afford to do so should have an 1857-S double eagle from the S.S. Central America treasure. If this includes you, behold a beautiful Gem! Commemoratives include the rarest of the rare — the 1915-S Panama-Pacific International Exposition round $50. Among patterns you will find a 1916 Mercury dime, Judd-1982.
Medals are a core part of Americana and many notable examples are offered, including an 1825 John Quincy Adams Indian peace medal, silver, medium format from designs by Moritz Fürst and John Reich. The 1905 Theodore Roosevelt inaugural medal by Augustus Saint-Gaudens is one of the most famous and most desired 20th century issues, reflecting the disdain the president had for the “official” medal created for him by Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber. Two different and rare 1925 Norse-American varieties, including one in gold, will likewise attract attention. For good measure there is a 1976 Bicentennial medal, large format, 75 mm, 455.5 grams (one pound) of gold.
We share and expand on some thoughts we expressed in our Americana Sale of this time last year. As you read these words, you are part of one of the world’s most fascinating pursuits —numismatics. Not only can forming a fine collection be a challenge, what with the thrill of the hunt, but if carefully gathered, it can be a wonderful store of value. Over the years, dating back to our First auction in 1935, we have handled thousands of collections from modest size to the very greatest (the Ford and Eliasberg collections, each challenging $60 million, hold the record). Records are made to be broken, and we did this with the first-ever million-dollar coin to be auctioned, in 1996. Last year at our Americana Sale, we sold the first $10 million coin. Facetiously, but perhaps not, we hope we will be around someday to sell the first $100 million coin! Who knows? What we do know, however, is that the hobby and market are dynamic.
Collecting rare coins, tokens, medals and paper money has been a dynamic pursuit since the 19th century, and today in 2014, it is as strong as ever. In fact, with worldwide economic uncertainty and lackluster returns in the money market, rare coins would seem to have a very exciting future!
As a participant in our Americana Sale, you will be linked with others by a common bond of finding such items to be
interesting to contemplate and even nicer to own.
On behalf of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries staff we thank you for reviewing our Americana Sale and wish you the best of success in acquiring the items of greatest interest. And all the best for you and yours for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014.
Q. David Bowers
Special note: If you are thinking of selling your coins, we would be delighted to make a proposal to showcase your collection or individual rare items in our star-spangled schedule of upcoming public auction sales — including as an official auctioneer of “the convention of the year,” the World’s Fair of Money, sponsored by the American Numismatic Association in Chicago in August.
Among the greatest convention auction venues each year are the three Whitman Coins & Collectibles Baltimore Expos held in March, June and October, for which we have been the official auctioneer for many years.
Let our unequalled success be your success. Call or e-mail now. _is may be the most profitable decision you have ever made.
West Coast: 800.458.4646
East Coast: 800.566.2580