The much anticipated Thos. H. Law Collection of English Gold Coins sold Tuesday night. August 13, 2013, at the ANA World’s of Money, realizing prices well beyond pre-sale expectations. The 459 lots offered, which included many extreme rarities that had been off the market for decades, were met with enthusiasm from the moment the 140-page catalog, boasting state of the art imagery and historical biographies of all English monarchs from Edward III to Elizabeth II, came off the presses. The session realized $5,016,351 (including the buyer’s premium), double the high estimates for the entire sale.
A packed room and the flurry of Internet bidders on many lots created an atmosphere that was worthy of such a collector’s cabinet. Highlights from the sale could fill several paragraphs, but most noteworthy were the early hammered coins from the 14th to 16th centuries; particularly mesmerizing were the Fine Gold Sovereigns from the Tudor monarchs. Leading the sale was the front cover coin, lot 20047, the Henry VII Type I Sovereign that realized $499,375. A historic and popular Henry VIII Fine Sovereign, lot 20058, brought $99,875.
Condition rarities and rare types met with equal enthusiasm throughout the sale. Edward VI coins were very strong and his Fine Sovereign, lot 20080, broke the $300,000 mark reaching $329,000. Elizabeth and Stuart coins also displayed great popularity for all types and sizes, with a diminutive jewel-like Elizabeth Milled Half Crown, lot 20123, weighing in at only 21.7 grains, reaching $41,125, over five times high estimate. Post-1656 Milled Coinage was strong as well: An NGC Proof-63 Cromwell Broad, lot 20190, fetched $76,375. A James II 5 Guineas, lot 20210, graded NGC AU-58, brought $64,625.
Steam driven, machine-made coinage also saw some fireworks. The well-regarded 1831 William IV Crown in gold, lot 20374, delivered mightily at $305,500 in its NGC Proof-63 Ultra Cameo encapsulation. The Law Collection boasted a pair of Una and Lion 5 Pounds of Victoria. The first, lot 20375, was graded Proof-62 Ultra Cameo by NGC and realized $105,750. The second, sold un-encapsulated as Brilliant Proof, brought $76,375 as lot 20376.
“Overall, the interest in this Law sale was among the most enthusiastic we have seen at Stack’s Bowers Galleries,” said Brian Kendrella, president. “This interest is proof that well-constructed collections that include rarities and are assembled with passion, as Mr. Law’s was, reap superior results when offered at auction to worldwide bidders who recognize the singular opportunity to obtain such treasures.” Full prices realized can be obtained from our website: StacksBowers.com.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, a division of Fortune 500 Company Spectrum Group International Inc., combines the extraordinary histories of Stack’s, the oldest rare coin auction and retail company in America, with Bowers and Merena Auctions, one of the world’s preeminent auctioneers of rare coins and paper money. The two companies unite to share a combined legacy that spans more than 100 years, and includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable collections to ever cross an auction block — the John J. Ford, Jr. and Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collections, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, and the Cardinal Collection — to name just a few. 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 our sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, New Hampshire and Hong Kong. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including the 2013 ANA World’s Fair of Money and the ANA/PNG Pre-Show, the 2013 ANA National Money Show, and the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, three times yearly.