The 2017 ANA World’s Fair of Money was a success, with the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction amassing a grand total, including all sessions, of $19.2 million. Of that amount, over $12.4 million was from United States coins.
Collections that were showcased included the Magnolia Collection and the High Rise Collection, as well as other significant properties. Rarities that were featured in the auction include the Lord St. Oswald-Noreb 1794 Flowing Hair dollar as well as the finest-known 1853-O No Arrows half dollar.
The sale commenced on Tuesday, August 1 with a selection of medals by Numismatic America. Featured in Lot 7 was a silver 1812 Captain Jacob Jones medal, in a rare original striking. The medal had sold in the Bower’s and Merena’s sale in April of 1986 as part of the Dreyfuss Collection, and, in the 2017 Denver auction, earned $19,975. Also featured was a famous circa 1777 Washington Voltaire medal in lot 24, in a rare silver striking. This medal is pedigreed to the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection and is only one of less than ten surviving examples. This piece realized $12,925.
Lot 34 presented Augustus Saint-Gaudens legendary 1905 Roosevelt Inaugural medal, with a rare plain edge missing the Tiffany mark. Fetching $28,200, this medal is ranked number 27 in the 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens, according to Whitman Publishing, 2007.
Numismatic Literature was showcased in Lots 67 through 73, in relation to the collection of Colonel E.H.R. Green, in partnership with Kolbe and Fanning Numismatic Booksellers. This consisted of appraisals, inventories, and photographic plates affiliated with figures such as M.L. Beistle, F.C.C. Boyd, Waldo Newcomer, and Morton Stack. The showcase was a point of interest for those dedicated numismatists as well as bibliophiles. Of Lot 67, the first was an extensive appraisal of the Colonel E.H.R. Green Collection by F.C.C. Boyd, which brought $30,550. However, a photographic record of the Green Collection, consisting of quarter eagles, half eagles, and eagles, Lot 68, managed to bring in $30,550
Rarities Night took place on Thursday, August 3, and included over 250 lots of both newly discovered treasures and historic world-class rarities. A trio of regulated eight escudos opened the evening, with the countermarks of goldsmiths Ephraim Brasher, John Burger, and Joseph Richardson. These escudos display a virtually unmatched showcase of preservation and execution for their type, with the Lot 2001 Brasher-and-Burger-marked Chilean 1756/5 8 escudos realizing $141,000. In Lot 2004, the rare 1792 Judd-2 copper cent was featured, which of the 10 surviving coins known, is rated the fifth fines. Bids for this specimen of Certified Fine-15 (NGC) and approved by CAC went up to $235,000.
Lot 2013 featured one of the finest-known specimens of the 1796 Sheldon-92 Draped Bust cent, which was Pedigreed by the John Whitney Walter Collection and graded MS-66 RB (PCGS) CAC. This mint-red luster coin brought $235,000.
A rarity in U.S. numismatics (one of only four known), the 1853-O No Arrows Liberty Sealed half dollar was the showcase of Lot 2099, offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in the August 2017 ANA Auction. The coin carries a provenance from circa 1881, with custodianship in the Byers Collection, The Garrett Collection, and the Queller Family Collection, selling for $517,000
The most highly anticipated item was from Lot 2113, the Norweb Collection’s Lord St. Oswald 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, stickered by Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) and certified MS-64. A treasure since its striking over 220 years ago, the coin was obtained by William Strickland during his early American tour in 1794-1795. As the third finest among Mint State examples viewed by PCGS and fourth finest in the Condition Census for the issue, it was thirty years past that the coin was last available for public auction. The bidding was fierce, and netted $2.8 million.
Lots 2173 and 2174 showcased the gilt and copper variants of a pair of four-dollar Stellas, with Lot 2173’s Proof 64 (PCGS) 1879 Flowing Hair selling for $158,625, and the Rarity-7 Gilt 1879 Coiled Hair coin of Lot 2174 fetching $129,250.
A STATESOF 1818 Capped Head Left half eagle, one of the finest known, featured a provenance to collections by D. Brent Pogue and Norman Stack. Offered in Lot 2183, this coin was stickered by CAC and Graded MS-66 (PCGS), selling for $199,750. Other coins that sold during the course of the evening included Lot 2202’s Proof-64 Cameo (NGC) 1862 Liberty Eagle (selling for $94,000), as well as Lot 2231’s MS-65 (PCGS) 1908-S double eagle (selling for $64,625).
Gold coinage continued this momentum as the Proof- 64 Cameo (NGC) 1862 Liberty eagle in lot 2202 earned $94,000 and the MS-65 (PCGS) 1908-S double eagle in lot 2231 brought $64,625