Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s are slated to present part five of the D. Brent Pogue Collection of early U.S. coinage this Friday at 6:30 p.m., inside the Carriage House of Baltimore’s Evergreen Museum and Library, which is about six and a half hours south of the Canada-U.S. border in Fort Erie, Ont.
The March 31 sale is highlighted by the Dexter 1804 silver dollar, one of the most famous specimens of the King of American Coins, as Lot 5045. According to auctioneers, no U.S. coin is “more famous, more widely desired, or more highly valued than the silver dollar of 1804. It is a coin of great rarity, with just eight known Class I Originals. It is a coin of great history, coined in 1834 to distribute as an official gift from the United States of America to foreign heads of state. The 1804 dollar is famous both within and beyond the field of numismatics.”
This example—known as the Dexter specimen, which owes its name to numismatist James Dexter, who owned it for 14 years at the end of the 19th century—features a tiny “D” stamped into cloud seven on the reverse.
According to auctioneers, much of its association with Dexter relies upon this “unusual characteristic.”
“That D was likely placed by another collector, William Forrester Dunham, a Chicago collector who owned this coin longer than anyone else in its history. If there is one consistent thread in the story of the 1804 dollars, it is that the power of legend is often stronger than the allure of history. This coin’s true story is more fascinating than its legend could ever be.”
Graded Proof-65 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the coin has a current bid of $2 million USD.
EARLY SILVER DOLLARS
Other early U.S. silver dollars from 1798 onward are also set to complement the examples sold in earlier offerings of the Pogue Collection.
“Ultra-high grades are the rule, not the exception,” according to auctioneers.
Half cents begin with the first year of the Draped Bust type (1800) and continue through the end of the series in 1857. This section of the sale is highlighted by Lot 5067, the finest known specimen of the rare 1811 half cent. Graded Mint State-66 Red Brown by PCGS, this coin has a current bid of $700,000 USD.
Large copper cents comprise a “rarity-spangled galaxy,” beginning with multiple examples of the 1793 Liberty Cap. Also featured is the rarest of all dates in the series – Lot 5112, the 1799 – represented by the famous Henry C. Hines coin, a Mint State example that stands today (and has for many years) as the finest known 1799 cent. Graded Mint State-61 Brown by PCGS, this coin has a current bid of $380,000 USD.
“Additional large cents of the 19th century offer rarity and quality combined,” according to auctioneers, who added the beginning of the sale includes “many fine half dimes, dimes, quarters, and half dollars with emphasis on the first years of the Liberty Seated design.”
“Never before and never again will there be such a combination of great rarity and superb condition,” reads the auction catalogue. “It took Brent and his father over 40 years to assemble this collection, during a time frame that included the opportunities to bid and buy in the Garrett family, Norweb family, Louis E. Eliasberg, Harry W. Bass, Jr., Virgil M. Brand, and other sales when these old-time holdings crossed the block. Today even in theory, few such properties exist to be sold. The venue for this sale is Evergreen House, the ancestral mansion of the Garrett family. Two important collectors – T. Harrison Garrett and his son Ambassador John Work Garrett – called this their home. In these halls one of the greatest of all American collections was formed. A finer, more appropriate setting could not be imagined!”