NEW YORK (May 20,2015) Collectors bid over $25 million to purchase just 128 coins Tuesday night at the sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, presented by auctioneers Stacks Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s in New York City. A small gold coin from 1808, called a quarter eagle and worth just $2.50 when it was minted, realized $2.35 million, a new world record for any coin of the quarter eagle denomination. It also became the most valuable 19th century U.S. gold coin ever sold at auction. Two more coins saw high bids over $1.5 million, a Mint State example of the first United States quarter dollar, struck in Philadelphia in 1796, and the finest known example of the very rare 1797 half dollar. Each sold for a total price, including buyer’s fee, of $1,527,500 million, matching a world record for the most valuable quarter dollar ever sold and setting a brand new world record for the most valuable half dollar ever sold.
“World-class quality set new world records tonight,” said Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. “While collector interest is high in all coins across the board, we saw tonight that collectors were willing to compete strongly to own the very best condition coins in existence. The D. Brent Pogue Collection was built with the very highest quality as the goal, so it’s no surprise that the modern generation of collectors was willing to set new world record prices to acquire them.”
Just 13 gold coins were included in the sale, all quarter eagles struck in the early years of the denomination from 1796 through 1808. These 13 coins brought a total of $6,797,375, an average of more than a half million dollars each. While the 1808 is considered one of the rarest of all U.S. gold coins, other coins also saw active bidding, including a pristine 1798 quarter eagle that brought $763,750, more than twice the highest pre-sale estimate.
The sale began with the D. Brent Pogue collection of half dimes, including a “half disme” of 1792, the first official coin of the United States. Worth just $1.65 when they were minted from 1792 to 1837, this handful of tiny silver coins brought over $3.26 million. The high grade 1792 half disme, struck at the personal request of Thomas Jefferson before the United States Mint was even built, was the most valuable five-cent coin in the sale, selling at $440,625.
The total price realized exceeded the highest pre-sale estimates. Six more offerings of coins from the D. Brent Pogue Collection will be brought to auction by Stacks Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
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 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 and August Hong Kong Auctions.
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 from a lengthy list. 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.
ABOUT COIN AUCTIONS AT SOTHEBY’S
Sotheby’s is the oldest auctioneer of coins in the world, having first sold coins in London in 1755. From the sale of the fabled 1933 Double Eagle for $7.6 million – which nearly doubled the previous world auction record for any coin at the time – to the sealed bid offering of the legendary Archer M. Huntington Collection from the Hispanic Society of America, Sotheby’s has had the privilege of presenting many of the world’s most iconic collections and coins. Hunt
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Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in nine different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art department, and two retail businesses, Sotheby’s Diamonds and Sotheby’s Wine. Sotheby’s has a global network of 90 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.