For select guests, official auction festivities kicked off a day early, as the two hosts invited a small gathering to a special question-and-answer session at Sotheby’s. Pogue coins were on display, as were Lawrence Stack’s humorous anecdotes, as he was asked to comment on what he thought John J. Ford would say about the Pogue’s impressive collection.
“I probably shouldn’t say,” a grinning Stack finally let out after a few seconds of hemming and hawing. Ford, a one-of-a-kind giant in the field of American numismatics, was known for his ribaldry and fiery disposition.
Stack was joined by fellow company scion Q. David Bowers and the former director of Sotheby’s Numismatics, Tapestry, and Musical Instruments Departments, David Tripp.
Tripp is also the author of the highly-recommended book Illegal Tender (2013), which tells the fascinating story of the 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle and culminates with a minute-by-minute account of an attempt by dealers Stephen Fenton and Jay Parrino to sell one of the coins (alleged to be the Farouk piece) to an FBI informant.
After years of legal wrangling, the seized coin drew international interest when Stack’s and Sotheby’s teamed up in 2001 to offer the once-illicit rarity in the coin’s first public offering since 1944. That coin brought nearly 7.6 million dollars.
Bowers, of course, needs no introduction. A handful of his most recent work is described in CoinWeek’s First Read section.
Christine Karstedt, a longtime assistant to Mr. Bowers, moderated the discussion. She asked the trio questions solicited from the audience minutes before the event. They ranged from the general (What makes the Pogue collection so important? How did Pogue and Stack’s come together to offer the Pogue collection? Why collect coins?) to the specific (Which coin from the collection would you most want to have?). To see how the panel answered them, tune in to CoinWeek’s YouTube channel.
In attendance were a number of familiar faces, including American Numismatic Society (ANS) President Ute Wartenberg Kagan, New York-based dealer and author Scott Travers, and U.S. gold expert Doug Winter. Also on hand was D. Brent Pogue himself , listening to the proceedings with great interest. CoinWeek columnist Greg Reynolds was also there to take in the program.
Before the program is was announced that Melissa Karstedt will call the auction.
Tension and excitement filled the room–a glimpse of the emotions to come.