The 105 lots sold tonight brought an average of nearly a quarter of a million dollars per lot ($248,769), carried by four coins that exceeded the $1 million barrier. Leading all lots was the famous “Lord St. Oswald” specimen of the 1794 dollar, graded MS-66+ (PCGS) and considered the finest circulation strike 1794 dollar in existence. Acquired by William Strickland in 1794-1795 and retained by his descendants until sold in London in 1964, it last sold in Stack’s 1985 sale of the Jimmy Hayes Collection for $242,000. Tonight, it realized $4,993,750, more than 20 times what it realized 30 years ago.
Obtaining the second highest price was the finest known 1795 $10 in existence, graded MS-66+ (PCGS). Preserved in the Garrett Collection for nearly a century before it was sold by Johns Hopkins University in 1980, it more than doubled the high estimate of $1.2 million, receiving a final bid of $2,585,000 from a phone bidder. The Garrett-Pogue 1795 eagle is now the most valuable $10 coin ever sold at auction, the most valuable 18th century United States gold coin of any denomination, and the most valuable United States gold coin released for circulation.
Another 1795 eagle also passed the $1 million mark, realizing $1,057,500. The very rare 1795 9 Leaves eagle, graded MS-63+ (PCGS) and one of just 20 estimated survivors of the die variety, was estimated at $350,000 to $450,000. The finest example in private hands, the D. Brent Pogue coin opened at $280,000 and saw feverish bidding until the hammer fell beyond the $1 million threshold, receiving applause from the packed gallery.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening was another rare gold coin variety, the finest known 1798 Small Eagle half eagle, graded AU-55 (PCGS). The King Farouk-D. Brent Pogue specimen, one of just six known, made headlines in 1912 when it sold in Henry Chapman’s George H. Earle, Jr. Collection sale for $3,000, a world record for any coin struck at the United States Mint. Estimated at $550,000 to $750,000, the coin opened at $650,000 and saw dramatically escalating bidding before setting a new world record for any 18th century half eagle at $1,175,000, more than double the previous record for a $5 coin of the 1790s.
The highest price among the quarter eagle denomination was $558,125, paid for the finest known 1821 quarter eagle. Pedigreed to the Parmelee and Eliasberg collections, the coin was graded MS-66+ (PCGS). The second finest known example of the famous 1817/4 overdate half dollar, graded PCGS VF-35, led all specimens of that denomination, realizing a total of $282,000.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.
Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Professional Numismatists Guild New York Invitational, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April, August and December Hong Kong Auctions.