The Stack’s Bowers Rarities Night auctions highlight the best of the best in U.S. numismatics, from colonial coins to the modern issues. Often extremely rare patterns, territorial gold coins, and other specialties are well represented as well. Our ANA Rarities Night session, to be held on the evening of Wednesday, August 6, will be no different. An extremely rare pattern, off the market for four decades, will be especially memorable. The 1871 pattern “Standard Silver” dollar, attributed as Judd-1140, Pollock-1282, is rated as Rarity-8, with only two known specimens. The design type features Liberty dressed as an Indian, seated on a globe holding a pole with a liberty cap. The reverse shows the denomination within a cereal wreath, and the word STANDARD above. Nowhere on either side is the name of the country of origin noted, an interesting feature. The example being offered in our sale, graded Proof-65 by PCGS, is the finer of the two known.
This piece also has great eye appeal and is gorgeously toned with exceptionally iridescent toning of olive-gray and tannish-silver. Vivid undertones of gold, blue and pinkish-apricot are seen, as is modest field to device contrast. Jeff Ambio writes in part, “Judd-1140 is at once a prime rarity among pattern dollars and one of the most enigmatic coins in this highly specialized series. For many years, pattern specialists believed that only one example of Judd-1140 was known to exist. The website uspatterns.com, for example, includes the following notation for Judd-1140/Pollock-1282: ‘This is possibly unique if the Farouk, Kagin 11/73 and Magnolia-SpinkSmythe [sic] 5/11 all represent one coin.’ The excellent 1994 book United States Patterns and Related Issues by Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ own Andrew W. Pollock III records only a single auction appearance of this type (for the present example, in fact), as does the indispensible reference United States Pattern Coins, 10th edition, by Dr. J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers, 2009 (also for the present coin).
“While the extreme rarity of this type has long been recognized, the existence of two examples in numismatic hands remained unknown until the present sale, and for a very simple reason. The coin we are offering here has been off the market for more than 40 years, having last appeared at auction in Kagin’s Sale of the ’70s. Since that event, conducted in November 1973, only one other example of Judd-1140 has been offered for sale — the Farouk specimen that reappeared in Spink Smythe’s May 2011 sale of the Magnolia Collection. With the Farouk-Magnolia specimen currently residing in a PCGS Proof-62 holder, the present example is far and away the finer of only two known examples of Judd-1140.” The last time this specimen was offered was in the November 1973 Kagin’s Sale of the 70s as lot 806, where it was called “Proof” and realized $2,100. The only other piece known is the King Farouk coin, which was offered in the Magnolia Collection as lot 18 in the Spink-Smythe May 2011 sale, graded PR-61 (subsequently upgraded to PR-62, per the PCGS Population Report) and realized a strong $54,625 on an estimate of $20-25,000.
The opportunity to acquire the finest known example of the beautifully designed and exceedingly rare 1871 Judd-1140 Indian Princess pattern dollar is likely to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for most specialists. This is a highlight of Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the 2014 ANA World’s Fair of Money, and one of our most important pattern offerings in recent years. This pattern is sure to spark spirited competition among advanced collectors. Be sure to view this coin and the rest of the sale at any of our lot viewing sessions, either in our Irvine, CA office, our New York City auction gallery, or at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any rare coins that you might be interesting in consigning, we are currently accepting consignments for our official auctions for the PNG New York Invitational Convention in October and our October/November Baltimore auction, the official auction for the Whitman Coin and Currency Convention and the official C-4 Auction. Please contact your favorite consignment director for full information about consigning.