By James McCartney, Numismatist & Cataloger – Stack’s Bowers ……
The A.J. Vanderbilt Collection, featured in our Official Auction of the 2018 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo, represents a lifetime of numismatic pursuit that began at Stack’s in 1936. This cabinet showcases a vast array of rarities, including the R.L. Miles 1874-CC Liberty Seated dime (tied for finest known) and a Mint State 1795 Heraldic Eagle half eagle.
Dozens of other rarities from the Vanderbilt Collection will be brought to light for the first time in many decades, including an incredible MS-64 (PCGS) 1845 Liberty Head half eagle that ranks near the top of the Condition Census for the issue. This example displays vibrant yellow and honey-gold hues that are complemented by dramatically prooflike surfaces across both sides. Well-frosted design elements contrast with the satiny and reflective fields.
We have had the pleasure of offering this delightful half eagle twice over the past three decades, each time as part of a truly legendary collection. It was showcased in our October 1987 sale of the Norweb Collection, Part I, where it was graded MS-63 and described as “a prize specimen”.
We next presented it as part of our October 1999 sale of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II by which time it had been certified by PCGS at the current grade of MS-64. It was described therein as “a coin of incredible importance, exceeded in quality by none other of which we are aware.” The PCGS population at that time was two coins in the current grade and none finer. Remarkably, just one coin has been deemed finer by PCGS in the ensuing 20 years at MS-64+.
As one of the most pristine representatives extant, the present piece matches stunning eye appeal and superior preservation with a provenance that is virtually unsurpassed in the realm of United States gold coinage. Serious collectors of Liberty Head gold will surely pursue this with dedication to become part of the Norweb-Bass-Vanderbilt provenance chain.
With much exciting material already consigned, our March 2018 Baltimore Auction will deliver a dynamic selection of rarities. Call us today at 1-800-458-4646 or email [email protected] to consign your collection alongside rarities from the A.J. Vanderbilt Collection, the Dobbins Collection, the Rosie Collection, and many other significant cabinets. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our exciting auctions via your Android or Apple device.