The two hallmark coins of the D. Brent Pogue Collection — the finest known 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar and the only privately held 1822 Capped Head gold $5 half eagle — will be offered at Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s Pogue IV auction in New York City on May 25.
As Stack’s Bowers noted in a Feb. 24 press release, “Although both were once included in the famous Virgil M. Brand Collection, never before in auction history have these two rarities appeared at auction together. And, these two masterpieces will be accompanied by a similarly unparalleled group of some of the finest and rarest coins produced in the United States in the first part of the 19th century.”
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The first three Pogue auctions have been landmark events in numismatics. The Pogue III auction on Feb. 9 brought $17,135,612.50. When added to the $25.3 million from the May 19, 2015, Pogue I auction and the $26.1 million from the Pogue II sale on Sept. 30, 2015, the total for the three auctions now stands at $68,577,182, establishing a record for a single collection sold at auction. A fifth Pogue sale is scheduled for later in 2016.
Sultan of Muscat 1804 $1
The Sultan of Muscat-Childs-Pogue 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar is graded Proof 68 by Professional Coin Grading Service and is the finest example of the 15 1804 dollars — the issue long called the “King of American coins” — currently known. It was a diplomatic gift from the United States to Said bin Sultan Al-Said, the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, in 1835. It made headlines on Aug. 30, 1999, when offered as part of the Walter H. Childs Collection auction by Bowers and Merena, when the Pogue family purchased it at $4,140,000. That sale established a world record price for any coin sold at auction, broken in 2002 when the sole 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle available for private ownership brought $7,590,020.
When PCGS certified it in 1999, John Dannreuther, a founder of PCGS, declared the coin “an amazing specimen. A 100% original coin, as perfect an early Proof coin as one could imagine.”
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Coin World was there at the 1999 Bowers and Merena auction, writing, “The packed auction room at the Park Lane Hotel in New York City was filled with hundreds of onlookers and numerous television cameras from local and national broadcast media. Dealers who normally sit along the back wall of the room, their usual location during a ‘normal’ auction, moved to stand on their chairs in order to see over the television crews so that they might follow the bidding on the dollar more closely. A number of cellular phones, whose operation is normally forbidden during an auction, were in use at a number of places in the room so that those present could deliver blow-by-blow descriptions to a friend or spouse unable to attend the auction.”
Then, Q. David Bowers took the podium as the auctioneer. Someone called an opening bid of $1.5 million from the audience. Coin World recalled, “Any number of hands flew into the air at $2 million, including that of Greg Roberts of Spectrum Numismatics, owner of the then record-holding Eliasberg 1804 dollar. However, $2 million was just the beginning.