The Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the 2017 ANA World’s Fair of Money met with incredible success, realizing a total of $19.2 million across all sessions, including over $12.4 million in United States coins. Showcasing the High Rise Collection, the Magnolia Collection, and other important properties, the sale offered an incomparable lineup of rarities that included the finest-known 1853-O No Arrows half dollar and the Lord St. Oswald-Norweb 1794 Flowing Hair dollar. (All prices include the buyer’s fee).
A selection of significant medals highlighted the Numismatic Americana that inaugurated the sale on Tuesday, August 1. Lot 7 presented a rare original striking of the 1812 Captain Jacob Jones medal in silver. Certified MS-63 (NGC) and previously sold as part of the Dreyfuss Collection in Bowers and Merena’s sale of April 1986, this piece realized $19,975 in the 2017 Denver auction.
Also significant was a rare silver striking of the famous circa 1777 Washington Voltaire medal that drew considerable fanfare in lot 24. One of fewer than 10 surviving examples and pedigreed to the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, that desirable rarity garnered $12,925.
An example of the legendary 1905 Roosevelt Inaugural medal by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, presented in lot 34, exhibited the scarce plain edge without the Tiffany mark. Ranked number 27 in the 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens (Whitman Publishing, 2007), this rare plain edge variant brought $28,200.
Lots 67 through 73 showcased Numismatic Literature relating to the magnificent collection of Colonel E.H.R. Green, presented in partnership with Kolbe and Fanning Numismatic Booksellers. This group comprised inventories, appraisals, and photographic plates with associations to figures like M.L. Beistle, F.C.C. Boyd, Waldo Newcomer, and Morton Stack, and drew heavy interest from dedicated numismatists and bibliophiles. An extensive appraisal of the Colonel E.H.R. Green Collection by F.C.C. Boyd was the first to cross the block in lot 67, realizing $30,550, a price topped by lot 68, the impressive photographic record of the quarter eagles, half eagles, and eagles in the Green Collection that brought $35,250.
The Rarities Night session, held on Thursday, August 3, offered over 250 lots that included both historic world-class rarities and newly discovered treasures.
An incomparable trio of regulated 8 escudos bearing the countermarks of goldsmiths Ephraim Brasher, John Burger, and Joseph Richardson opened the session, showcasing preservation and execution that is virtually unmatched for the type. The Brasher-and-Burger-marked Chilean 1756/5 8 escudos in lot 2001 caused the most excitement of the group, selling for $141,000. Examples individually regulated by Brasher and Richardson followed in the next two lots, selling for $117,500 each.
A bold example of the rare 1792 Judd-2 copper cent was presented in lot 2004, the fifth finest of fewer than 10 survivors known. Certified Fine-15 (NGC) and approved by CAC, this specimen was bid up to $235,000.
To the delight of early copper collectors, the finest-known example of the 1796 Sheldon-92 Draped Bust cent appeared in lot 2013, graded MS-66 RB (PCGS) CAC. Pedigreed to the famed John Whitney Walter Collection and displaying generous mint-red luster, this piece garnered $235,000.
Lot 2099 showcased the finest 1853-O No Arrows Liberty Seated half dollar, a truly legendary rarity in U.S. numismatics of which just four are known. The specimen offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in their August 2017 ANA Auction carried a provenance back to circa 1881, including custodianship in the Garrett Collection, the Queller Family Collection, and the Byers Collection. This legendary half dollar sold for $517,000 by the time the auctioneer’s hammer fell.
Midway through the Rarities Night session came the most highly anticipated offering of the summer, as collectors from all over the world focused on lot 2113, the famous Lord St. Oswald 1794 Flowing Hair dollar from the Norweb Collection, certified MS-64 by PCGS and stickered by Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC). Obtained by English gentleman farmer William Strickland on his tour of early America in 1794-1795, this piece has been treasured since shortly after its striking over 220 years ago. It now ranks as the fourth finest in the Condition Census for the issue and third finest among Mint State examples seen by PCGS. It was last offered at public auction nearly 30 years ago. After great excitement and fierce bidding, $2.8 million was realized.
A pair of four-dollar Stellas was featured in lots 2173 and 2174, showcasing the gold and gilt-copper variants of this popular pattern. Lot 2173 was a gorgeous Proof-64 (PCGS) 1879 Flowing Hair example that brought $158,625, while the Rarity-7 Gilt 1879 Coiled Hair specimen in lot 2174 realized $129,250.
The finest known STATESOF 1818 Capped Head Left half eagle was offered in lot 2183, and featured a provenance to the collections of Norman Stack and D. Brent Pogue. Graded MS-66 (PCGS) and stickered by CAC, this beautiful Gem commanded $199,750.
For more information about the firm’s vast portfolio of auction events, visit www.StacksBowers.com or call 1-800-458-4646 for more details.