Stack’s Bowers Galleries Winter 2022 Auction
Over $23 million in United States coins and currency was sold in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Winter 2022 Showcase Auction, marking an incredibly successful close to the firm’s 2022 U.S. Showcase Auction season. Presented was an exciting array of Numismatic Americana, U.S. colonial and federal coinage, and physical Bitcoins and Cryptocurrency, including several significant collections that represented the pinnacles of their respective categories.
Sydney F. Martin Collection
Part II of the Sydney F. Martin Collection realized nearly $4.2 million and featured Martin’s French colonial material, Rosa Americana coinage, 1785 and 1786 Connecticut coppers, and Washingtoniana. These selections included some of Martin’s most focused collecting specialties and his areas of unparalleled research. Strong prices were realized across all four types of material offered in this sale: French colonial coinage, Rosa Americana coinage, 1785 and 1786 Connecticut coppers, and Washingtoniana. The results underscore the demand for exceptional coins with storied pedigrees as well as the broader strength of the market for each of these categories.
Syd Martin was well known for his exceptional collecting acumen and legendary holdings. His research produced authoritative reference works for many of his collecting specialties. He was an active, enthusiastic member of and contributor to numismatic clubs and organizations like the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4).
Martin’s French colonial collection was studded with rarities and exceptional pieces, many of which were plated in his 2015 book published by C4 – French Coinage Specifically for Colonial America, now considered the standard reference on the series. Among the most remarkable coins was the unique 1670-A Double de l’Amerique, widely thought to be the first coin to feature the word “America.” The double’s provenance stretches back to 1870, and it sold for $504,000, reflecting its unique status and significant historical value.
Collectors were clearly excited about the Rosa Americana coinage presented in the Martin Collection. His cabinet featured an array of fascinating patterns and regular-issue Rosa Americana pieces, including many unique varieties and legendary rarities. A 1717 Pre-Patent Twopence set a new price record for Pre-Patent Rosa Americana coinage when it realized $28,800. The famous 1733 Twopence Pattern, graded Proof-62 by PCGS, brought $57,600.
Record-setting prices continued with the 1785 and 1786 Connecticut coppers. Unique pieces and high-quality type coins realized very strong prices, setting records for their respective varieties. Standout coins include the unique 1785 Miller 6.6-A.3 die variety which realized $43,200 as it crossed the block for the very first time. The 1786 Miller 5.3-N Hercules Head graded AU-55 by PCGS brought $22,200, and the AU-55 PCGS 1786 Miller 6-K Draped Bust Left copper sold for $26,400.
Among the vast array of Washingtoniana offered in Part II of the Martin Collection was a complete set of Seasons medals, numerous Funeral medals in gold, silver, copper and white metal, choice Success medals, a range of 1832 issues, and many 1889 Inaugural Centennial medals in silver and bronze. There was enthusiastic bidding for the Seasons medals, as silver versions of The Shepherd and The Home realized $114,000 and $132,000, respectively. The rare Roman Head cent in PCGS Proof-64 RB brought $132,000, and the AU-55 PCGS Funeral Urn medal in gold sold for $66,000.
Among federal issues, Proof gold coins claimed the top prices including a Superb Gem Proof 1885 double eagle that set a new record at $990,000. This result exceeded the PCGS Price Guide value by more than 70% and represents a three-fold increase on what the same coin realized when sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in August 2011. A Choice Proof 1861 eagle set a new record at $336,000 – nearly tripling its prior sale price – and a Choice Proof 1874 eagle also set a new record at $264,000 in its first auction offering since the firm’s 1988 Norweb Collection sale.
The Harvey B. Jacobson, Jr. Collection presented a complete set of Capped Bust $10 gold eagles, 1795 through 1804, including all known die varieties struck for circulation. This 32-piece set was the third known complete collection of this series and it realized over $2.9 million in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Winter 2022 sale. Notable results include a MS-62 (PCGS) 1796 BD-1 with provenance to the Byron Reed Collection that realized $300,000, and an AU-58+ (PCGS) CAC 1795 BD-1, 13 Leaves that sold for $288,000.
The CBL Set of gold coins was another standout offering from the Fairmont Collection, comprising mostly complete runs of $5, $10, and $20 coins beginning in 1834. The CBL set realized over $3.7 million and offered such strong results as a MS-60 (PCGS) 1872-CC $20 that sold for $102,000 and a MS-60 (PCGS) CAC 1878-CC $20 that earned $72,000.
Beyond these curated groups, many price records were set in the Winter 2022 Sale. A MS-62 (PCGS) 1889-CC Morgan dollar set a new record for the grade at $42,000, as did a MS-65 (PCGS) 1909-S Indian eagle which realized $22,800. An 1861-C Liberty Head half eagle graded AU-50 (PCGS) CAC more than doubled the previous record when it sold for $20,400.
Accompanying these colonial and federal coins was an exciting selection of Numismatic Americana highlighted by a pair of Libertas American medals in silver and bronze from the Cardinal Collection Education Foundation that realized $168,000 and $26,400, respectively.
Results in the U.S. currency portion of the Winter 2022 Showcase Auction were led by a stunning Fr. 334 1891 $50 Silver Certificate in PMG Gem Unc 65EPQ grade which realized $48,000 against a $40,000-$50,000 estimate. A Fr. 329 1880 $50 Silver Certificate, graded Choice Very Fine 35 by PCGS Banknote (and the only example of the Friedberg number graded by PCGS at the time of the sale) sold for $45,600. Among Nationals, a newly discovered San Diego, California $5 Red Seal graded PMG Choice Very Fine 35 EPQ realized $38,400 against a $10,000-$15,000 estimate. This important note bore serial number 1000000. High denomination notes continued to attract strong prices as a top-pop Fr. 2211-Ddgsm* $1,000 Cleveland Federal Reserve Mule Star Note in PMG CU 64 EPQ brought $40,800.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries also presented their Cryptocurrency Anniversary Session which celebrated one year since their first offering in this category. Presented in this special session was an unprecedented 101 coins spanning the Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, and Dogecoin cryptocurrencies and featuring many popular series. This session earned more than $440,000, pushing the total prices realized for the category over the past year above $2 million. Crypto highlights included a “gold rim” 2013 Casascius 1 Bitcoin that sold for a 200% premium at $66,000, a brass 2012 Casascius 1 Bitcoin that sold for an 80% premium at $38,400, and a silver 2013 Casascius 0.1 Bitcoin that realized more than a 300% premium at $9,600.
The complete prices realized from the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Winter 2022 Showcase Auction are available on the firm’s website.
For further information, visit the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website.