Stack’s Bowers Galleries will present its Americana Sale and
Rarities Night Auction in New York City, Feb. 5 to 6.
The firm’s annual Americana Sales are well-known for their choice
early coins. Last year’s sale was headlined by the finest known 1794
Flowing Hair silver dollar that brought a record-setting $10,016,875.
In the introduction to this year’s sale, the firm’s president, Brian
Kendrella, and chairman emeritus Q. David Bowers wrote: “Facetiously,
but perhaps not, we hope we will be around someday to sell the first
$100 million coin! Who knows?”
While this year’s Americana Sale doesn’t have a seven-figure
rarity, here are a few of the noteworthy offerings.
A 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle, 15 Stars half dollar, graded Mint
State 63 by Professional Coin Grading Service, is considered among the
finest known of a mintage of just 400 to 600 pieces of the 15 Star
It has a rich ownership history that goes back to the 19th century
Benjamin H. Collins Collection and was later in the collection of
Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. When offered in Bowers and Merena’s 2007 sale
of part of that collection, it was called “possibly a presentation piece.”
One of the most colorful coins in the sale is a 1927-D Standing
Liberty quarter dollar graded PCGS MS-67 with a green Certified
Acceptance Corp. sticker. It is a semi-key date in the series, but
what makes the coin so extraordinary is that it exhibits magnificent,
bold colors in a range of jewel tones.
Among the tokens, medals and exonumia set to be offered is a 1905
cast bronze inaugural medal for Theodore Roosevelt. Designed by
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, these medals were struck in gold and silver,
and cast in bronze. The artist insisted that they be produced by
Tiffany & Co. rather than the U.S. Mint, and the Saint-Gaudens
work has since become one of the most sought after medals in the
entire presidential inaugural medal series.
Saint-Gaudens turned to his pupil, Adolph A. Weinman, to assist
with the medal’s execution and the eagle on the reverse inspired both
Saint-Gaudens’ Indian Head $10 eagle of 1907 to 1933 and Weinman’s
Walking Liberty half dollar of 1916 to 1947.
These medals are rare. A different example — also cast in bronze —
brought $21,150 at a 2012 Stack’s Bowers auction. The Americana Sale’s
catalog notes that the medal “is one of the most famous and most
desired 20th century issues, reflecting the disdain the president had
for the ‘official’ medal created for him by Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber.”
The auction is scheduled to be held at the firm’s offices, 110 W.
57th St., second floor, New York, NY 10019.
For more information on this and future auctions, contact Stack’s
Bowers Galleries on the West Coast toll free at 800-458-4646, or on
the East Coast at 800-566-2580. Email the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
the company’s website at www.stacksbowers.com. ■