US Coins

Top 10 of 2016: Pogue IV sale realizes $16.7 million

Nearly all of the offerings from Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s in continued auctions featuring “Masterpieces of United States Coinage” from the collection of Texas collector D. Brent Pogue soared in 2016, with two notable exceptions.

The expected stars in the fourth installment of the D. Brent Pogue Collection on May 24, 2016 — the finest known 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar and the only collectible 1822 Capped Head gold $5 half eagle — both failed to meet their reserves and did not sell.

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Pogue’s Class I or Original 1804 dollar is named the Sultan of Muscat-Watters-Brand-Childs-Pogue specimen. Graded Proof 68 by Professional Coin Grading Service, it is well-known as “the finest known example of the King of American coins.”

The bidding opened with auctioneer Melissa Karstedt seeking a bid of $7.6 million. It slowly moved to $7.8 million and Karstedt said, “We’ve got a thinker on the phone.” A cut-bid increment of $7.9 million followed with a bid of $8 million. Karstedt then asked, “Anyone want to yell anything out?” Bids of $8.2 million, $8.4 million, $8.5 million, $8.6 million came next, with Karstedt adding, “Don’t forget any of you can bid while we’re waiting.” The prized dollar was ultimately passed at $9.2 million, and had it found a bidder at that level, with its 17.5 percent buyer’s fee it would have realized $10.81 million and set a record for a coin at auction.

Six lots later, an 1822 Capped Bust $5 half eagle graded PCGS About Uncirculated 50 also failed to sell after reaching bidding of $6.4 million. The offering was truly “once in a lifetime” as the auctioneer noted — it last sold in October 1982 as part of the auction of gold coins from the Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection by Bowers and Ruddy Galleries where it brought a record-setting $687,500 — but the reserve was just too high in 2016. It is the only collectible example, as the other two are housed in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

The remaining 61 coins offered in the Pogue IV auction brought more than $16.7 million.

Earlier in the year, on Feb. 9, 2016, the Pogue III sale took place in New York, where the auction realized more than $17.1 million. At Pogue III, a 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain cent, which Sotheby’s auctioneer David Redden described at the podium as the finest circulation strike example of this scarce one-year type, brought just under $1 million. The coveted cent was graded MS-65 red and brown by PCGS and featured the AMERICA, No Periods reverse (the Sheldon 3 die variety). Also at Pogue III, the finest known 1815 Capped Head gold $5 half eagle, graded PCGS MS-65, sold within expectations at $822,500.

The total of the first four Pogue auctions now stands at $85,318,218.50, firmly establishing the Pogue Collection as the most expensive coin collection ever to sell at auction.

The next Pogue sale — Pogue V — is set for March 31 at the Carriage House of the Evergreen Museum and Library in Baltimore, coinciding with the Spring Whitman Coins and Collectibles Expo. It will be the first Pogue auction held outside of Manhattan. The highlight of Pogue V is the famed Dexter Class I 1804 Draped Bust dollar graded Proof 65.

Read all of our Coin World Top 10 of 2016 series:

U.S. Mint issues gold Centennial coins
Pogue IV auction tops $16 million
Rare English gold coin found in toy box
Boutique bullion trend catches on worldwide
Langbord 1933 double eagle case rolls on
1974-D aluminum cent returned to U.S. Mint
Treasury announces new Federal Reserve note designs
1964 Morgan dollar tooling uncovered
American Liberty silver medal released
U.S. Mint plans yearlong 225th anniversary party

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