Welcome to Baltimore!
Welcome to the latest in our long series of auctions with the Whitman Coins & Collectibles Expo in Baltimore. These events are held three times a year and are among the most popular and dynamic conventions in America. The March 2015 event features hundreds of dealers, welcomes thousands of attendees, and offers a venue that is very pleasant. Located in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, the Convention Center is close by fine hotels, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.
No city in America has a deeper numismatic tradition than Baltimore. The first major collection formed in our country, the Robert Gilmor, Jr. cabinet, was assembled here. T. Harrison Garrett and John Work Garrett collected coins from 1865 to the late 1930s after which that collection was willed to the Johns Hopkins University. Our sale of this incredible holding still echoes. Louis E. Eliasberg did something no one had ever done before and will never do again: acquired one of each date and mintmark of federal coinage from the 1793 half cent to the 1933 double eagle. Our series of Eliasberg Collection sales will be forever remembered.
We are honored to be the official auctioneer, as we’ve been ever since the Whitman Coins & Collectibles Expos were launched. This Expo and our auction will be a magnet for collectors, dealers, and other enthusiasts nationwide. It is the place to be for several days of endless activity.
We hope to see you there!
Eight Important Collections
We are proud to showcase selections from eight important collections—including coins from half cents to double eagles, from colonials to commemoratives, and more.
We are pleased to feature another consignment from The Strong: National Museum of Play located in Rochester, one of Upstate New York’s premier attractions. Highly interactive displays are devoted to the history and exploration of play and are part of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. Margaret Woodbury Strong, a prolific collector of everyday objects, especially dolls and toys, founded The Strong in 1968 under the name “Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum of Fascination.” Before her death in 1969, Mrs. Strong bequeathed her considerable estate to help support the museum, and 13 years later it opened in a new 156,000-square-foot building on 13.5 acres in downtown Rochester. Now known simply as The Strong, it spans more than 282,000 square feet and serves global audiences on site at the museum, online, and through the work of its International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. The core of The Strong displays were formed by Margaret Woodbury, born in 1897. Her father, John Charles Woodbury, was the ninth president of the Rochester Numismatic Association and was an early investor with George Eastman and Eastman Kodak. The Strong website offers more information on this fascinating institution. We give a nod of appreciation to the directors for consigning rare coins to us over a period of years including a fine selection we present in this catalog.
The Dr. Donald Gutfreund Collection is another important contribution to our sale. Growing up in a family of artists and health care professionals, exposure to the sciences influenced Dr. Gutfreund’s decision to become a physician. He has enjoyed a career spanning 31 years as a practicing hematologist-oncologist and post-graduate instructor in medicine at New York City’s Mt. Sinai Hospital. Commenting that a good foil for his responsibilities in patient care was exposure to beauty in the world of art, Dr. Gutfreund continues to collect art glass, figurative bronzes, and paper weights.
His search for quality coins began two generations ago in the 1970s. Dr. Gutfreund found Morgan and Peace silver dollars particularly satisfying, and over a period of time he acquired notable “type” coins—Liberty Head nickels and Morgan silver dollars. His outstanding examples of these, as well as a variety of other equally desirable type coins, are showcased in the pages of Stack’s Bowers Galleries current March 2015 Baltimore Auction catalog in your hands.
The Desh Family Collection was formed by a leading Midwestern merchant beginning in the 1940s and continuing into the 1960s, until his death. The coins, securely kept in a bank vault, passed to his children. Two years ago, one of the heirs consigned coins to us that were showcased in our March 2103 sale here in Baltimore. Now, from another heir we have additional important coins, every one of them fresh to the market.
Treasures from the Highland Collection have been featured in a number of our catalogs and continue here with many choice and rare pieces. The Roy West Collection offers attractions as well, as does a selection of coins from our own famous West 57th Street Hoard. A feature about this appeared recently in the journal Penny-Wise published by Early American Coppers, Inc., and involved looking through 29,000 long-hidden, unattributed large cents!
From the collection of our long-time friend John W. Adams comes a very rare 1789 East Florida Carlos IV proclamation medal, or four reales in silver, a preview of what will be a very extensive presentation of medals from John that we will offer later this year. John is a leading light in the Medal Collectors of America organization, of which I have been a member since day one. Check their website.
From my own reference collection are Flying Eagle and Indian Head cents that I purchased for careful study and photography, these being two of my favorite series. You may have a copy of my award-winning 1996 book, A Buyer’s and Enthusiast’s Guide to Flying Eagle and Indian Cents, further subtitled, A Guide, Commentary, Catalogue Raisonné, Source Book, and Armchair Companion for Both Series 1856 to 1909. That was nearly 20 years ago. Since then my fine friend Rick Snow has published a lot on the series, and the Fly-In Club magazine, Longacre’s Ledger, offers much information as well. Selections from my collection include one of the nicest Proof 1864 L cents I have ever seen! Enjoy!
Our sale has something for everyone—or almost! If this is your very first Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction, welcome! Look over each description carefully and bid on coins that will add to your collection or will start a new specialty.
A Closer Look at Sale Highlights
There are so many highlights in our Baltimore sale that to list them all would be redundant, as you are holding the complete catalog in your hands. That said, here are some of my favorites:
Early American issues include a Gem Proof circa 1798 Theatre at New York token (read all about it in The Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins, or for a quick peek, see its Guide Book listing). A Superb Gem undated (1795) Washington Liberty and Security half penny is a condition rarity deluxe.
Half cents start with a beautiful 1793, the first year of issue. Among large copper cents a 1793 Sheldon-13 Liberty Cap is notable. 1799 is the key date in that series. We offer a nice VF-30 example of Sheldon-189 with a CAC sticker (the useful service launched a few years ago by John Albanese and which has been popular since that time, signifying that within a stated grade a coin is “high end”).
Flying Eagle and Indian cents, including many consigned by me, are of remarkable quality. The 1856 is, of course, one of the most famous American rarities of all time. A Gem Proof 1858 Small Letters cent is beautiful to behold. As noted earlier, the 1864 L is very special—a wonderful gem. It is an original from the first die pair and is especially important as such. The 1873 Doubled LIBERTY is a classic. Check the pattern cents as well—such as the marvelous and rare 1863 with L on ribbon and more! Lincoln cents offer delights, including an Ultra-Gem MS-66+ RD 1909-S V.D.B., probably the most famous popular rarity in American numismatics. Two-cent and three-cent pieces (silver and nickel types) include many highlights as do nickel five-cent pieces in the Shield, Liberty Head, Buffalo, and Jefferson series. A gem 1942-D over horizontal D Jefferson nickel is a fascinating modern curiosity and rarity.
Among early silver, a gem 1795 half dime will be ideal for a high-level type set. The first-year-of-issue Mint State 1796 dime is a beauty. The JR-2 1803 dime is usually seen in lower grades than the exceptional AU-58 we offer. The 1822 dime is scarce in all grades and rare in the MS-64 grade. An 1802 Draped Bust dollar, BB-241, is a remarkable MS-64 coin—ideal for a type set or a specialized collection.
Among Liberty Seated and later silver coins there are many key items as well. An 1875-CC twenty-cent piece, available easily enough in lower grades, is notable in the MS-66 level we offer. I wonder if the Superb Gem 1874-S quarter is from the remarkable hoard found generations ago and now widely dispersed? Probably it is. Check the Proof 1846 half dollar, seldom seen in this format. An 1839 Gobrecht dollar cataloged as original is important. Mint State and Proof Liberty Seated coins of different denominations include many special pieces. Morgan dollars offer a panorama of opportunities including scarce and rare Carson City issues and selected Proofs. Barber coins and 20th century silver issues are replete with key issues.
Gold coins include all denominations from dollars to double eagles, among which will be found “type” coins as well as notable rarities. Early in that specialty is a Gem 1849-O gold dollar. A Mint State 1805 quarter eagle is hard to find, but look here. A high-grade 1807 quarter eagle, last year of the early type, is worth investigating as well. A Superb Gem Proof 1900 and 1902 quarter eagles are among the finest of their kind. A near-Gem 1807 Capped Bust Right $5 is ideal for a type set. The rare 1929 half eagle is the final date in that series. The 1877 $10 is rare in any grade, especially Mint State as we offer. And, of course, everyone who can afford to do so should have an 1857-S double eagle from the S.S. Central America. A lustrous Mint State 1885-CC $20 will draw bids from many directions, and ditto for a nice 1891-CC. The Gem 1892-S twenty is a condition rarity.
What else to mention? Patterns have been favorite coins for a long time. Our Baltimore sale offers some nice opportunities across the board. The Gem Proof 1875 (key date in the series) $3 J-1436 will draw a lot of attention. How about a high-grade MS-65 1861 CSA half dollar restrike? Romantic, historical, and everlastingly desirable are octagonal $50 “slugs” from the Gold Rush. Check the beautiful 1851 Augustus Humbert coin in this sale. How about a gold 1904 Louisiana Purchase commemorative medal by A.A. Weinman? Where could you find another? A Proof gold 1925 Norse-American medal is not quite as scarce, but is a rarity nonetheless. A Proof 1903 Louisiana Purchase gold dollar, Proof in its original frame, will highlight a fine commemorative collection, as will other items from this Exposition.
Plan to Participate!
If you plan to come to Baltimore, the red carpet will be rolled out for you. Meet and greet our staff. If your schedule permits, attend the premiere presentation of my D. Brent Pogue Collection: An Inside View of an American Treasure program in Room 343 in the Convention Center at 3 o’clock on Thursday afternoon. I will try to keep you interested and informed for the next hour.
Have a question about our auction? We’re here to help—from lot viewing through the sale sessions to pick-up. If you are staying at home, we have good news for you. Using our dynamic Internet site you can participate in virtual reality—in real time watching our auctioneer at the podium, seeing the item being offered, and featuring an enticing green “Bid!” button! With advance preparation with us you can also arrange to bid by telephone on important lots.
After our Baltimore sale closes we have a special Internet section with its own delights and treasures. Plan to be a part of that as well.
Thank you for your interest and participation in our sale. I am looking forward to seeing you in Baltimore or to your bidding on line.
All good wishes,
Q, David Bowers
Chairman Emeritus, Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Thinking of Selling?
Whether some choice duplicates, or a set, or your collection, let our success be your success!
For generations, ever since our first auction in New York City in 1935 and continuing to the present day, we and our antecedents have handled more fine collections and more rarities than any other coin auction firm in the world. As you read these words we hold the records for the most valuable collections ever sold and the highest single prices ever achieved for rare coins at auction.
While great collections and rarities make headlines, in reality the vast majority of our worldwide business is done with more modest consignments, from $10,000 upwards into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In recent times we have added a live bid closing to our Internet-only sessions to accommodate in a first-class manner many coins, tokens, medals, and bank notes of lesser value.
Our remaining 2015 auction schedule is spangled with public sales that will make history. Accompanying our D. Brent Pogue Collection Part 1 Sale to be held in New York City in May we will be holding a related event for which we have a limited number of lot openings available for you to consign choice and rare coins. Next follows our Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo sale in July, then our spectacular auction for the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money auction in Chicago in August, after which there are other opportunities as well.
Let us work with you to find which sale will be just right for the items you have to consign. For example, our Whitman Expo sale in November will be with the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) and, along with many other offerings, will showcase colonial and early American coins.
For one low, competitive commission rate we will take care of everything: visiting you to make arrangements and pack your items (for larger consignments), receiving your items at our end by insured carrier at our expense (for most consignments), insurance, publicity, cataloging by the world’s most accomplished team of professionals, superb graphics, and more!
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