The first of seven planned auctions of Dallas numismatist D. Brent Pogue’s now legendary collection kicked off in New York City on May 19.
The Pogue Collection sale totaled more than $25 million with all of the 128 coins selling. The top seller in the auction, an 1808 Capped Draped Bust gold quarter eagle, accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total when it realized $2.35 million.
The auction, held by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in conjunction with Sotheby’s and titled “Masterpieces of United States Coinage: Part 1,” took place at Sotheby’s headquarters on the Upper East Side.
In a panel discussion conducted prior to the auction, with Q. David Bowers, David Tripp and Lawrence Stack, moderator Christine Karstedt of Stack’s Bowers asked just what makes the Pogue Collection so special.
Desire for quality
Stack said that while Pogue was a student of numismatics and had the resources to buy exceptional coins, he also took advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.
Tripp praised Pogue’s “uncompromising quality standard” and his collecting endurance, remembering a young Pogue bidding at the 1982 auction featuring gold coins from Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection, where Pogue purchased his 1822 Capped Bust $5 half eagle for $687,500. Tripp then said that Pogue should be etched into a Mount Rushmore of great collectors.
Immediately before the sale, Bowers took the podium and told the audience that 50 years from now people will continue to ask, what was it like to be at the first Pogue sale?
The collection in total is estimated to bring more than $200 million, and many of the greatest rarities — including two 1804 Draped Bust silver dollars and the only example of 1822 Capped Bust $5 gold half eagle in private hands — will be in future sales.
That’s not to say that this sale lacked marquee rarities.