Bonham’s Spectacular Results set Coin Auction Record Lot Average Record of $399,000 per lot
Los Angeles. Bonhams is delighted to announce the sensational “white glove” results of the “Tacasyl Collection of Magnificent United States Proof Gold Coins” sold on September 23 in their Los Angeles salesroom. This collection of 27 lots represented a virtually complete collection of every major gold design type issued in Proof in the US between 1836 and 1915, realized $10,778,040, with every lot sold. The astounding $399,186 lot average represents a world record for a rare coin collection on a per lot basis (nearly doubling the previous record).
Undoubtedly the highlight of the sale was the set of Stellas, which have been widely acknowledged as the finest and most perfectly matched set ever certified (all were graded Proof 67 by NGC).
Leading the set was the 1880 Coiled Hair Stella. This example, one of the very finest known, brought an astonishing $2,574,000 (more than doubling the presale estimate). Making this Stella one of the ten most expensive US coins ever sold at auction (based on the Red Book 250 Top Auction prices). This price placed it in the vaunted company of the 1933 Double Eagle, the 1794 Silver Dollar, 1804 Silver Dollar, 1913 Nickel and Brasher Doubloons. It also exceeds by some two-and-a-half times the previous world record for a Stella (the price this example realized in 2005).
The 1879 Coiled Hair Stella nearly doubled the previous high for the design and date while realizing a phenomenal $1,041,300. And the 1880 Flowing Hair Stella also doubled the previous record for the type selling for $959,400. The four coin set sold for an aggregate price of an amazing $4,855,500.
The Tacasyl Collection also contained two other remarkable Proof Gold sets, each one the finest known.
The 1836 $2 ½ gold piece and its companion $5, are each the finest known of their type, and had been together since their year of manufacture. The two coins brought an aggregate of $1,099,800. The $2 ½ (graded NGC Proof 66* Ultra Cameo) brought $409,500. This price (based on the PCGS compilation of auction records) is not only a world record for the date but for the design type as well. Its companion $5 (graded Proof 67* Ultra Cameo), at $690,300 shattered the previous record for the date by a factor of three times, and it also set a new record for the design type.
The other set in the sale, the finest known gold grouping from 1845, also totaled more than one million dollars for the three coins. The 1845 $2 ½ (NGC Proof 67* Cameo) brought $269,100, a new record for both the date, and for the old reverse design type. The 1845 $5 (Proof 66 Ultra Cameo) realized $292,500, doubled the previous auction record for date, and set a new record for any No Motto proof half eagle. Finally the 1845 $10 (NGC Proof 65 Cameo) nearly doubled the pre-sale high estimate, and at $444,600, was more than three and a half time higher than the date had previously realized at auction, and is, again the highest price ever realized for a No Motto Proof Eagle at auction.
The Tacasyl Collection is a collection of highlights, and the prices realized reflected that fact. The 1891 Proof Double Eagle (NGC Proof 68* Ultra Cameo) set a new world record as the most valuable Liberty Head Proof Double Eagle ever sold at auction. A record that was briefly held by the previous lot, the 1870 Double Eagle (NGC Proof 67 Ultra Cameo) which realized $503,000, and set a record for the most valuable type two, Double Eagle ever sold at auction.
The Saint-Gaudens high relief double eagle is one of the most coveted coins in the entire US series. The Tacasyl example (NGC Proof 69) one of the very finest in existence set a New World record for a proof high relief (beating its own record set in 2005) at $573,300.
Throughout the sale records were shattered. Some of the other highlights include.
The 1855 Type 2 gold dollar (NGC Proof 66* Ultra Cameo), at $397,800 this set a new record not only for the date, but for any Type 2 proof gold dollar ever sold at auction.
The 1855 $2 ½ (NGC Proof 68 Cameo), realized $56,160, the highest auction price recorded for a proof of this date. The 1910 Indian Head $2 ½ (NGC Proof 67*) brought $87,750, which, according to the PCGS auction record price compilation is not only a record for the date, but for any proof Indian Head quarter eagle ever sold at auction. The next lot, the 1913 (NGC Proof 68), set a new auction record for the date at $67,860.
The sole Three Dollar gold piece in the sale, the 1885 (NGC Proof 67 Cameo) realized $76,050, again setting a new auction record for a proof of that date.
Within the half eagles ($5 gold pieces) bidding was just as intense. An 1899 (NGC Proof 68* Ultra Cameo) nearly double its pre-sale low estimate, fetching $134,550, a new coin auction record for a proof of that date. Similarly the 1910 $5 Indian Head (NGC Proof 68) more than doubled its pre-sale low estimate. It realized $146,250 doubling the previous record for the date, and making it the third most valuable Indian Head $5 ever sold at auction. The next lot, the 1914 (NGC Proof 68), at $93,600 set a new auction record for the date.
More coin auction records were set for the $10 (Eagles). The 1905 (NGC Proof 67 Cameo) realized $76,050 an auction record for the date. But the next lot the stunning 1910 (NGC Proof 67*) more than double the pre-sale low estimate, realizing $149,760 and (according to the PCGS auction prices realized)set a new record not only for the date, but for the type. The 1914 (NGC Proof 67) $81,900, also set a new auction record for the date.
The sale closed with the Double Eagles. The Type one Liberty Double Eagle, 1863 (NGC Proof 65 Cameo) brought $345,150 and set an auction record for the date, exceeding the previous high by some $100,000. The last two lots of the sale the Saint Gaudens design double eagles both easily exceed their pre-sale high estimates, he 1909 (NGC Proof 68) brought $184,860, and the last lot of the sale the 1911 (NGC Proof 68), brought $157,950.
Paul Song, Director of the rare Coins and Medals Department at Bonhams, said of the sale: “I am simply blown away. Having been entrusted with the opportunity to sell the Tacasyl is personally one of the highlights of my career, and the more I got to work with the collection I realized just how special each and every coin in the collection was. While I had hoped the sale would be well received, since the coins are so very, very special, I was astounded as the bidding got under way, and record after record began to fall. The fact that probably more than 75% of the sale was bought directly by collectors is testament to the phenomenal nature of the Tacasyl Collection
The sale proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that superb quality and great rarity are a magical mix. I am grateful have worked with such a marvelous collection, and stand in awe of the collector who assembled such an amazing collection.”
Editors NOTE: Coinweek Videographer and Executive ProducerDavid Lisot attended the auction and CoinWeek will have EXCLUSIVE video coverage of the event along with interviews shortly.