As a fitting complement to their offering of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part IV, the Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s May 25, 2016, Rarities Auction exhibited strong activity, realizing over US$1.8 million including buyer’s premium. (All prices include the buyer’s premium.)
The excitement began early in the sale with an offering of foreign gold coins regulated by goldsmiths Ephraim Brasher, John Burger and Joseph Richardson. A rare Brazilian 1728 Minas Gerais 12,800 reis countermarked by Brasher and Burger in lot 6 garnered $105,750, followed by a Choice AU Brazilian 1752 Rio 6400 reis stamped by Richardson in lot 9 that realized $88,125.
The demand for quality key date examples was high throughout the sale, evidenced by the MS-66 Full Head (PCGS) Standing Liberty quarter in lot 25 that brought $35,250 and the MS-64 (NGC) 1929 Indian half eagle in lot 97 that realized $42,300.
Coins from A Prominent East Coast Collection elicited considerable excitement, as that cabinet showcased fresh and premium gold rarities. Included was a comprehensive run of Matte Proof Indian quarter eagles, spotlighted by a beautiful 1912 example in lot 75 and a 1915 example in lot 78, both certified Proof-65 (PCGS) CAC and selling for $30,550 and $37,500, respectively. The highlight of that impressive assemblage was a 1907 Wire Rim Indian eagle certified MS-65 by PCGS that was presented in lot 111. An old friend of the firm’s, the coin was acquired from Stack’s at the 1955 Albany Show for $200; six decades later in the May 25 Rarities Auction it brought $56,400.
Proof Indian eagles proved to be popular in the sale, as demonstrated by the pristine 1911 offered in lot 113. Certified Proof-66 by PCGS, that coin exhibited the more coarse sand blast matte finish employed that year, and realized $64,625.
It wasn’t just the 20th-century issues that saw noteworthy activity, as pieces from the 19th century garnered equally stellar results.
Lot 63 was a Proof 1888 Liberty quarter eagle certified Proof-67 Cameo by NGC. Representing the finest example certified in the Cameo category at either PCGS or NGC, that piece went on to bring $39,950. A Choice AU 1873 Liberty eagle was offered in lot 109 and caused considerable excitement among high-end gold enthusiasts. From a mintage of just 800 pieces and an extant population of less than 35, that important rarity brought $64,625.
A superlative 1920-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle certified AU-58+ by PCGS and awarded a green sticker by CAC was offered in lot 140 and sold for $44,650, eclipsing the presale high estimate. Also exceeding its presale estimate was the key date 1931-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle offered in lot 142. A survivor of the mass-meltings instituted by President Roosevelt just a few years after striking, that piece was certified MS-64 by NGC and went on to fetch $94,000, significantly surpassing the $85,000 presale projection.
Overall, the May 2015 Rarities Auction, held by Stack’s Bowers in conjunction with Sotheby’s, was an exciting and successful event. All lot descriptions and images can be viewed online at www.StacksBowers.com or in the printed catalog. For more information call (949) 253-0916 or email [email protected].