The fourth installment of the D. Brent Pogue Collection realized $16,749,038, bringing the Pogue Collection total to more than $85 million, firmly establishing it as the most expensive collection ever sold at auction.
The Pogue auction, subtitled “Masterpieces of United States Coinage, Part IV” and a joint venture between Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s, took place at the latter firm’s New York City headquarters on May 24. The two stars of the sale, the finest known 1804 Draped Bust dollar and the only collectible 1822 Capped Head $5 half eagle — both failed to meet their reserves and did not sell.
The 61 lots that did sell saw an average of $274,574 per lot, selling over the high estimate value for those lots, and a dozen coins from Pogue IV are among the Top 250 Auction records, according to Stack’s Bowers.
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Pogue wrote of the attraction that the 1822 half eagle held for him in the introduction to Q. David Bowers’s 2014 book The 1822 Gold Half Eagle: Story of a Rarity. Pogue said, “It was a special moment in the autumn of 1982 when I got a call from my dad in New York City that he had bought the Eliasberg specimen of the 1822 half eagle.”
In the end, for the Pogue family, “the sentimental value outweighed the financial reward,” Stack’s Bowers executive vice president Christine Karstedt said in discussing the Pogue family’s decisions to keep the two coins.
A Reuters news story published the afternoon of the auction suggested that the two coins could sell for as much as $27 million, according to information provided by Sotheby’s. On the Pogue Collection, David Tripp, Sotheby’s worldwide senior numismatic consultant, said, “They purchased not only the rarest but the finest examples known,” adding, “Many of these, as you can see, they look like they were made yesterday, even though they’ve stood the test of time.”
Finest-known 1804 dollar