Harvey Stack Remembers
In 1967 Stack’s continued its active over the counter and mail order business, as well as offering exciting public auction sales. Collectors visited our shop to see what we might have added to our inventory, meet with other collectors on Saturdays and use our library for their research. Our monthly auction sales, which usually took place on the weekends, brought many to view lots and participate. Of course, our usual buying and selling over the counter kept us very busy, and usually one or two members of the Stack family, were on the road attending shows and visiting collectors.
We opened 1967 with the Robert Arnel auction featuring a type set, which had been assembled by a New Yorker during the previous decade by attending our sales or visiting us on a regular basis. This set was so nice that new records were established when we sold it. Along with a close friend, Bob also set about to see how many 11 piece commemorative gold coin sets could be assembled. It was a very popular series at the time, as were silver commemoratives. Because of their desire for quality, Bob and his friend only amassed 15 sets the first year. The early sets cost $325 to get, and by the time they got to 15 the last set cost them $595.
We next sold the Bernard Copeland Collection of U.S. gold, silver, and copper coins, which contained many choice early coins. That was followed by the Nicholson Family Collection featuring many early U.S. type coins that had originally been assembled by the father, and then continued by the son.
Also in this year a most unusual type collection was offered by Stack’s: the celebrated Charles Jay Collection. Charles Jay had been collecting for about 15 years, and was a familiar face at Stack’s auctions. He was introduced to Stack’s by close friend and super photographer, Maurice Bauman, who had dedicated much of his time to building one of the finest collections of U.S. half dollars 1794 to 1947. Charles Jay, became enamored of type coins as he wanted to have a representative of each denomination, with each design so he would own an overall view of U.S. coinage, from colonials right through to the 20th century. He knew of Mr. Eliasberg’s complete set and realized he could not build a collection of that size. In building his type set, Mr. Jay focused not only on quality and pedigree, but he also wanted to have very rare coins in his collection.
Charles’ wish was possible, as between 1950 to 1967 many rare and unusual examples were sold by collectors who had built their cabinets in earlier decades. He acquired Mint State coins or Proof and Specimen examples. To give you some idea how vast his collection was, here are some of the rarities he amassed.
For Mint State coins he had:
Colonials: Birch cent, Continental dollar, Oak Tree Shilling
Half cents: 1793, 1794, 1796 Pole to Cap
Large cents: 1793, 1794, 1796
Half dimes: 1794, 1796, 1802
Quarters: 1796, 1901-S, 1918/7-S
Half dollars: 1794, 1796
His Proof and Specimen coins included:
Cents: 1856 Flying Eagle, 1864 "L"
Five cents: 1867 With Rays
Silver dollars: Four different types and dates 1836-1839, 1866 No Motto, 1895
Gold dollars: Almost a full set, C and D Mint (He liked the small gold coins because of the quality available).
$3 gold: 1857, 1858, 1873, 1875, 1876, 1877
$4 gold Stella: 1879
$10: 1872, 1907 Wire Edge
$20: 1862, 1907 Flat Edge
The other coins that made up the set were very choice. We were so excited to offer this fabulous collection that a special cover was designed showing a walnut chest with flat display trays, that we shot and printed in color (one of the first color covers ever). The presentation of this collection attracted numerous collectors when we auctioned it.
We concluded our 1967 public auction season by offering the Hall Park McCullough Collection, which had been formed over 50 years earlier. Once again it was a landmark collection that featured coins with excellent pedigrees.
As our sales of 1967 made clear, many of the collections we sold at public auction were built by collectors who were dedicated to finding the best coins, with the result that the sales were very successful. Buyers at the sales appreciated the rarity and quality that was offered, and used the opportunity to build their own quality collections. Stack’s was proud to help appreciative numismatists build outstanding collections and then offer the opportunity for these important pieces to move into the hands of a new generation.