Ring in the New Year with Stack’s-Bowers New York Americana Sale!
Welcome to the Stack’s-Bowers annual New York Americana Sale, a tradition in the numismatic community, and once again we proudly feature U.S. coins, currency, medals, and tokens for your bidding pleasure. Pieces from many important collections are offered, including the Joel Geoffrey Collection of New Jersey Coppers, selections from the Q. David Bowers Collection, the Aesculapius Collection of Bronze Indian Peace Medals, selections from the Hoffman Collection of Columbian Exposition Medals, and a Private Collection of United States Currency Errors, as well as Washingtoniana and Gobrecht Dollars from the Collection of The American Numismatic Society, New York. The sale will take place on January 26-27, 2011 in our Auction Gallery located on the second floor of 110 West 57th Street.
Session One will commence at 10:00am on Wednesday, January 26 and comprises U.S. paper money. Important lots here include a pleasing $5 Fr.268 Silver Certificate graded About Uncirculated-55 (PMG) and Fractional Currency issues feature a Choice Justice Fiber Paper invert graded Choice New-63 PPQ (PCGS). A nice selection of National Bank Notes is offered, as is a fairly large selection of Error notes, highlighted by a Gem Double Denomination error, a 1934D $5/$10 graded Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ by PMG. Twenty lots of Confederate Paper Money follow, led off by a rare and historically important 1861 Montgomery $1000 note. New to the census, this is an excellent Very Fine example that is free of the repairs so often seen on these notes. The following lot is a fabulous mate to this note, a rare $100 Montgomery issue in Very Good to Fine condition showing only honest wear.
Colonial Paper Money boasts a rare Vermont 1781 Twenty Shillings, a difficult denomination from this series, that is graded Apparent Extremely Fine-40 by PCGS. Obsolete Paper Money is highlighted by an exceedingly rare Milwaukee proof, a $5 Second Ward Bank issue in Uncirculated condition. Small groups of Fiscal Paper and Die Proof Vignettes round out this session.
Session Two is composed of federal U.S. coins from half cents through double eagles, and leading off is an important 1793 C-4 half cent graded VF-20 by PCGS. Large cents begin with a pleasing and sharp 1793 Chain cent, a compelling S-4 Periods example graded VF-20 by NGC. Immediately following is an incredible 1793 Vine and Bars edge Wreath cent displaying outstanding surfaces and color. Graded AU-58 by PCGS, this S-6 example is a formidable rarity. Two lots later appears a 1793 Lettered Edge Wreath cent, an S-11c variety, graded AU-50 (PCGS), a highly coveted issue in excellent condition. Other important large cents include an attractive 1799 S-189 example in VF-20 (PCGS) (CAC), as well as an incredible Gem 1807 “Comet,” an S-271 variety so named for the die break behind Liberty’s head. This amazing coin is graded MS-65 RB by PCGS and awarded a green CAC sticker, and is a prize that will surely be the highlight of any advanced collection.
Small cents lead off with a splendid 1856 Flying Eagle cent, a Snow-9 example graded Proof-58 by PCGS. Lincoln cents are represented by a Gem Proof 1909 V.D.B. example, a virtually perfect golden copper coin graded Proof-65 RB by PCGS, and an extremely rare 1917 Doubled Die Obverse graded MS-66 RD (PCGS), making it one of the finest examples seen. Among minor coinage is an extremely rare 1851 Proof three cent silver coin, a handsomely toned coin graded Proof-63 (SEGS) that is ex Richmond Collection. The famous 1792 silver half disme makes an appearance in a Genuine (PCGS) holder with the sharpness of Very Fine. The coin was holed and probably worn as jewelry, but the appearance is still rather nice.
U.S. dimes feature one of the finest known 1844 Seated Liberty examples—graded MS-65 by NGC, this “Little Orphan Annie” dime is a satiny bright white coin that is sure to be the centerpiece of the next collection it graces. U.S. quarters showcase a condition census 1807 B-2 Draped Bust example in MS-63 (PCGS), a majestic 1818/5 Capped Bust example in MS-64 (NGC), and a choice 1818 B-2 example graded MS-65 by NGC. Early half dollars feature an attractive 1794 O-101a example graded EF-45 by NGC and awarded a green CAC sticker. A collection of high end Barber half dollar rarities includes an impressively toned Gem 1893-O in MS-66 (NGC), a frosty 1896-O in MS-65 (NGC) that is one of the five finest seen by NGC, and an incredible Proof 1897 graded Proof-68 Ultra Cameo (NGC), among many others.
Silver dollars offer over 200 lots, and include a pleasing 1795 B-14 dollar in EF-45 (PCGS) as well as a Choice 1796 Small Date, Large Letters B-4 example in the same grade. Seated Liberty dollars are highlighted by an extraordinary Gem Proof 1840 example, an extremely important coin for a specialist, and one that is very seldom offered. Outstanding surfaces combine with light, attractive toning to make this coin a true prize. Trade dollars include a toned Gem Proof 1878 example graded Proof-65 (NGC).
Silver commemoratives follow, with a lustrous 1900 Lafayette dollar in MS-65 (PCGS) (CAC) stealing the show. Hawaiian issues, group lots, error coins and patterns segue into Territorial issues, where we proudly offer several important coins. First up is a rare Mint State 1852 U.S. Assay Office of Gold $10, a pleasing coin graded MS-60 by PCGS. Following this lot is an extremely rare Dubosq & Co. $5 White Metal die trial pair. These choice and attractive splashers are both certified as MS-63 by PCGS and represent a great opportunity to own a piece of history! Other important territorial issues include a splendid high grade 1849 Norris, Gregg & Norris $5 in AU-50 (PCGS).
One of the most interesting items from this sale is offered at the end of the Territorials section, an extraordinary 1830s vintage screw press from Frontier, Deviercy & Co. Our consignor has done considerable research on this press and has discovered that this machine belonged to Eugene Deviercy along with Pierre Frontier, who formed a jewelry partnership in 1853 located in San Francisco. A few of their coins (almost certainly struck on this very press) were recovered on the shipwreck of the S.S. Winfield Scott which left San Francisco on December 1, 1853. The coins they produced had a 14k core of gold with copper, while they were coated with seven microns of 18K gold. Some of the California gold fractional coins produced by this firm have the initials “F.D.” below Liberty’s truncation, while others were issued anonymously. It is believed Frontier and Deviercy also minted coins for other local jewelers during these early days of the California Gold Rush.
U.S. gold dollars are highlighted by a majestic 1863 example graded an impressive Proof-66 Cameo (NGC) (CAC). The coin retains outstanding surface quality and desirable cameo contrast. Quarter eagles feature a rare 1806/4 example housed in an AU Details (NGC) holder, a rarity despite the past cleaning, with only 75 to 90 pieces estimated to exist. Indian Head types boast a 1912 in the impressive grade of MS-65 (PCGS) (CAC). Three dollar gold pieces provide a memorable 1888, a glorious orange gold coin graded Proof-65 (PCGS). Among half eagles is an AU-58 (NGC) example of the ever popular and rare 1831 Capped Bust $5, a BD-2, Rarity-6 coin that is boldly struck and bright yellow gold. Also of note in this section is a beautiful 1900 Proof-64 Cameo (PCGS) (CAC) half eagle that displays rich coppery color and clean surfaces.
U.S. eagles offer an impressive 1795 Capped Bust 13 Leaves example graded AU-50 by PCGS. This coin is a classic example of the first year of issue for the denomination and the type, and is housed in a first generation PCGS holder. Two lots later is an imposing 1801 BD-2 $10, a lustrous AU-58 (PCGS) (CAC) with delightful olive-gold toning and a sharp strike. Indian Head examples feature a rare Gem 1907 Wire Rim example graded MS-65 by PCGS. One of just 500 pieces struck, this example is brightly lustrous with greenish gold coloration and clean fields that are free of any handling marks.
Double eagles comprise over 130 lots and include desirable pieces like an 1850-O in EF-45 (PCGS) (CAC), an 1862 AU-53 (PCGS), and an 1877-CC in AU-50 (PCGS). Three High Relief double eagles are offered here, all of which are Wire Rim examples. The first is graded Proof by NGC, and noted as “Improperly Cleaned,” though the coin really retains an excellent appearance with supportive lustre and bright golden frost. The second example is graded MS-62 by NGC and is a well struck, lustrous example with great eye appeal. The third example is a VF-30 (PCGS) example that displays even wear only, making it a perfect and affordable addition to any collection!
Later double eagles include a rare and desirable 1909/8 example in MS-64 (PCGS) and a gorgeous 1909 in MS-66 (NGC), an important condition rarity. Though examples in the MS-60 to MS-63 range are readily available, Gem examples are hard to find; this particular coin is the finest that we can recall having offered in recent years.
Session Three will take place on Thursday, January 27, commencing at 10:00am with Colonial and Early American coins. Over 300 lots of colonials are offered here, and leading the action is a recently discovered 1652 Massachusetts Willow Tree shilling. The coin, housed in a Genuine (PCGS) holder, exhibits the sharpness of AU, with surfaces that are dark and granular from ground exposure—the coin was discovered by a metal detectorist in a Massachusetts farm field in 1997. The details are sharp and clearly saw little wear before it was buried in the dirt, and the piece is well struck on the obverse, with the reverse displaying a decent strike as well. This coin is the nicest Willow Tree shilling to be discovered in some time, so be prepared to bid liberally!
Other important Colonial issues include a rare 1773 Virginia “penny,” a popular rarity that shows up infrequently in the marketplace. Certified as a Genuine by PCGS, this Proof is struck on a nominally larger planchet than the “halfpenny” series, and has been long regarded as a rarity in the series. A few lots later appears a newly discovered 1766 Silvered Pitt farthing token. Graded AU-55 by PCGS, this is a very rare early American issue, and is one of just a dozen or so pieces thought to survive. The splendid grade places this coin at the top of the census, and makes it possibly the finest known survivor.
A large selection of Vermont coppers is followed by a modest section of Connecticut coppers, where we are excited to present the second known 1786 Miller 5.7-G! This recently discovered coin is the first new 1786 variety to surface since the 1920 publication of Miller. Graded Fine-15, this Rarity-8 example retains good eye appeal, which only adds to the desirability of this prohibitively rare coin.
Among New Jersey colonial issues, we are proud to feature the Joel Geoffrey Collection, comprising over 100 lots. Highlights include an important 1786 Maris 10-G No Coulter rarity in VF-20, an extremely rare Maris 36-J in Good-4, and a rare and desirable Maris 37-X in Fine-12. Among the additional New Jersey coppers offered in this sale is a magnificent Maris 51-g Head Left example graded AU-55. This condition census piece is currently ranked as the fourth finest known specimen from these dies (and may be the sharpest one extant), and is also pedigreed back to W. Elliot Woodward’s sale of the Mickley Collection in 1867.
One of the most exciting lots offered in this section is the only known 1778 Machin’s Mills Vlack 13-78C halfpenny! This new reverse die is the first to be added to the canon since the 71D was identified in 1989. The present specimen is graded VG-7 and is appealing, with smooth surfaces boasting ideal light brown color. The coin was discovered in 2008, and it has never before appeared for public sale. We are thrilled to bring this unique specimen to market and expect a record mark for a Machin’s Mills halfpenny!
U.S. Medals and Tokens make up the last major section of the sale, comprising nearly 800 lots and offering many interesting and rare pieces. Betts Medals are up first, and highlights include a very rare Betts-94 Vigo Bay Medal, the most beautiful of the Vigo Bay series. This silver medal is graded Choice Extremely Fine and retains excellent eye appeal. U.S. Mint medals follow, and we are proud to offer the Aesculapius Collection of Bronze Indian Peace Medals. The collection offers all three sizes of many bronze Indian Peace Medals with a colorful variety of patinas, presidential portraits and reverse design varieties of the greatest interest to both experienced and beginning collectors of this fascinating series. Highlights include an 1801 Thomas Jefferson First Size example, a Julian IP-2 in Uncirculated condition. Other Indian Peace Medals include a rare silver Large Size James Buchanan mule with the Settler-Indian reverse graded MS-62 by NGC.
Other U.S. Mint medals include a silver William H. Harrison Presidential medal, a Julian PR-7 variety that is unlisted in silver, as well as an outstanding gold Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association Medal. Washingtoniana follows, and offered here is a selection of Washington medals from the collection of the American Numismatic Society, with notables like an About EF example of the silver 1808 Washington Benevolent Society Medal. Other important Washington pieces include a rare 1856 Washington, Buchanan, and Breckinridge “Buck-Cannon” medal in bronzed lead. Specified as unique in lead, this medal is graded MS-62 by NGC and represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an astute collector.
Also offered in this section of medals is a healthy section of medals from the Columbian Exposition, which features selections from the Hoffman Collection. For sale here is a rare Columbian Exposition Award Medal in silver, an Uncirculated Eglit-9 example designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens and Charles E. Barber. Among Lifesaving medals is a pair of gold medals presented to Captain Andrew Schau of Steamship Mannheim. One is awarded by the Life Saving and Benevolent Association of New York and is a bright Proof example, and the second is awarded by the German Society for Shipwreck Rescue and is a dramatic Choice Proof.
Toward the end of the medals portion, we proudly offer a gold 1858 New York Chamber of Commerce Atlantic Cable Completion medal, a Choice AU medal by Tiffany & Co. that hails from the Q. David Bowers Collection. Also of note is a very rare S.S. Central America medal in bronze, a lovely example also from the Q. David Bowers Collection. No more than a dozen or so bronze medals are thought to exist, and specimens appear on the market very infrequently.
U.S. tokens lead off with two rare early American tokens, the first an 1825 Rathbone & Fitch New York City Castle Garden Pass, a fascinating elliptical silvered bronze in Fine condition that clearly saw much use. The second is an 1829 C. Wolfe, Clark & Spies Washington-Jackson token graded VF-20 by NGC. This token is one of the rarest of all U.S. merchants’ tokens in any grade! Following these two rare pieces is a select grouping of Oregon Phoenix buttons from an Oregon family, whose roots there go back to 1852. Produced in England for use by Haiti’s King Henri Christophe before 1820, quantities of these buttons were imported into the Pacific Northwest circa 1832-33, likely by a trader named Nathaniel Wyeth. Their frequent appearance in Western archaeological contexts has led them to be collected as Indian trade goods and as tokens.
Among Hard Times tokens are a several rare Feuchtwanger pieces, like the store card that features the 377 Broadway Address. This Choice Uncirculated token is extremely rare with only five or six pieces known, was the Garrett Collection coin and is the Rulau plate coin. Following this is a choice Feuchtwanger three cents token, an excellent MS-63 (PCGS) piece from the Q. David Bowers Collection. A high quality offering of Civil War tokens from the Alan Epstein Collection is another highlight of this section, and includes an 1863 Civil War token obverse die for an unlisted type!
Also for sale is a landmark collection of tokens and medals of John Adams Bolen formed by Q. David Bowers. Eighty pieces are offered and include a Choice Mint State Bar copper struck in copper metal, one of 65 reportedly struck by Bolen. This Musante JAB-2 example is a pleasing survivor from a series where many of the copper pieces were artificially worn so as to pass them off as genuine items, therefore making nice examples like this one particularly enticing. Another exciting lot features a unique set of steel dies for Bolen’s Pynchon House token (JAB-39) in superb Choice Mint State condition. The dies were cut in 1881 and reportedly 150 pieces were struck in silver, copper, and brass.
Gambling tokens, engraved coins, and coin scales take us through to the last section of the sale, so-called dollars. So-called dollars offer a bronze 1869 Pacific Railway Completion medal (HK-12) graded MS-64 BN, as well as a very rare HK-511 in gold. This 1954 “Cradle of the Union” Celebration medal is a Rarity-7 piece that is graded Proof-65 Cameo by NGC, and is certainly one of the finest examples to exist. Finishing out this sale is a nice offering of $50 Slug facsimiles, nearly all of which hail from the Jankovsky Collection.
If you cannot attend in person, be sure to send us your bids by U.S. mail or fax, or place your bids on our website, either before the sale or by bidding online during the sessions. If you have yet to do so, check out our new features on our website, where you can track your Watch List, view your current bids and auction invoices, and watch your consignment make you money with real time bid levels! Also, take a moment to familiarize yourself with our new Stack’s-Bowers Live™ program, an improved online bidding experience which allows bidders to watch and participate in the auction in real time through a live audio and video feed. You can find us at 123 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 or at Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. To contact us by phone, please use 800-566-2580, or email us.