Numismatics and Philanthropy, Part 5

The Robison Collection, which I have be discussing for the past few weeks was one of the more complete collections of United States gold, silver and copper. Stack’s offered it at public auction in late 1979 and in 1982. The proceeds from each of these sales benefitted athletics and education in various institutions of learning. The coins were sold for the benefit of Cornell University, Brown University, Rensselaer Polytechnic, and Russell Sage College.

“Roby” aggressively tried to make his collection of silver coins as complete as he could. In this portion of the story I will focus on the quarter dollars through trade dollars.

The Robison collection of quarters was outstanding. Starting with 1796, it included many of the early Bust types highlighted by 1806/5, 1821 Proof, 1823/22 (in Good), 1827 Original Proof (Reed Hawn), 1827 Restrike Proof (Atwater), and 1828 25 over 50 in Mint State. Liberty Seated quarters included the extremely rare 1842 Small Date Proof, 1850, 1852 Proof, 1855-S, 1856-S, 1857-S, 1864-S, and most of the others in either Mint State or Proof. The Barber quarters were all Mint State with exceptional examples of 1896-S, 1901-S, and 1913-S. The Liberty Standing series boasted outstanding quarters including 1916, 1918-S, 1921, and 1927-S.

The half dollars were extensive and of high quality, starting with 1794, 1795 (rare Three Leaf), 1796 15 Star, 1796 16 Star and 1797, along with most of the early Draped Bust specimens to 1807. From 1807 to 1836, the Capped Bust half dollars included numerous Mint State examples with a 1815 Mint State leading the way, and including 1830 and 1831 Proofs. The Capped Bust series featured a 1838-O Proof (one of finest known) and 1839-O (also Proof). The Liberty Seated series was virtually complete and mostly in Mint State or Proof. The following rarities were included: 1844 Proof, 1846 Small Date Proof, 1846/5-O Mint State, the unique 1847/6 Proof, 1855, 1856, 1857 Proof, 1870-CC Gem Mint State, and 1878-S Gem Mint State. There was also a complete set of Barber half dollars in Mint State or Proof, and a complete set of Liberty Walking halves in Mint State.

Silver dollars comprised a favorite series for Mr. Robison as he liked the size of the coin and spoke about "Washington’s alleged throwing one across the Delaware." And it turned out to be one of the shorter series to assemble, at least that was his thought. His collection began with 1794, and had over 30 early dates, with the following in Mint State: 1795 Flowing Hair, 1795 Draped Bust, 1798 Large Eagle, 1799 15 Star, 1799 Normal date, 1802/1 and 1802. Most of the others were high grade, but the collection featured the 1802 and 1803 in Brilliant Proof. The collection also contained Gobrecht dollars dated 1836, 1838 and 1839. The Liberty Seated series was almost complete and had 1842, 1843, 1845, 1846, 1846-O, 1847, and 1849 all in Mint State. He also acquired an 1851 Original, 1851 Restrike, 1852 Original and Restrike in Mint State and Proof. In addition he had 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857 and 1858, all in Choice Proof. The balance was in Mint State or Proof. There was no 1870-S, but he did have 1870, 1871,1872 and 1873 Carson City in choice grade. The Morgan dollar set was complete, mostly Mint State and Proof, highlighted by the 1892-S in Mint State, and the 1894 and 1895 Proofs. Overall, the set was very high grade. The trade dollars were complete from 1873 to 1883 with virtually all Mint State and Proof.

The collection assembled by Mr. Robison was a marvelous feat. He started his collection to see how far he could go, and when he was finished with what he wanted to do, he passed this treasure on to the youth of America by having it sold by Stack’s for the benefit of education. It was my pleasure to personally work with this gentleman, and to me what he did was rare and unusual. It was a joy to see his efforts appreciated by all the bidders who acquired coins from his collection.


Join our mailing list

Don't miss an auction!

Subscribe to our newsletter.


Contact Us

West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

[email protected]

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

[email protected]

Follow Us

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

We are sorry, an unexpected error occurred!
Please enter a valid email address

I'm Interested In...

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Stack's Bowers Galleries e-newsletter.