Pogue Collection auctions generate $106.69 million total prices realized

The auction series is a succcess even if the record total missed some sky-high expectations
By , Coin World
Published : 04/14/17
Text Size

The D. Brent Pogue auctions look like they have reached a conclusion, with the collector’s 600+ coins bringing $106.69 million across the five separate auctions by Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s

In May 2015 prior to the first Pogue auction, Q. David Bowers, chairman emeritus of Stack’s Bowers told Forbes that he expected the Pogue Collection to “sail past the nine digits.” Mainstream news outlets optimistically reported that the Pogue collection could cross the $200 million threshold. Hopes were that the global marketing power of Sotheby’s could help broaden the pool of coin bidders, and that presenting the Pogue Collection as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” would bring in new, super-rich buyers looking for unique masterpieces (of any type). 

The failure of two major Pogue rarities to meet their reserves last year — the finest known (Proof 68) 1804 Draped Bust dollar and the only collectible 1822 Capped Head gold $5 half eagle — was a highly visible disappointment, as these two coins were expected to realize in excess of $15 million. The Dexter 1804 dollar offered on March 31 in Pogue V sold under expectations at $3.29 million to two dealers and soon was resold to a collector, allowing the market to frame the auction result as a sort of wholesale price. 

However, the strength of many individual results and the coin market’s ability to absorb so many high-priced rarities — indeed, few have reappeared in the marketplace — speak to both the strength of the market and Pogue’s eye as a collector. This was especially seen in Pogue V’s offering of early half cents and large cents, many of which were purchased in the last decade at several auctions of important collections.

The market for early coppers is more specialized and less broad than for the early silver or gold that soared at the earlier Pogue sales. Bidders are often resistant to pay more than a coin that has previously sold at auction within a relatively short time period, especially with one aggressive bidder — Pogue — out of the market. 

For example, Pogue V offered three About Uncirculated 1793 Liberty Cap cents that had each been purchased at auction in the past decade: one exceeded Pogue’s acquisition price, one sold for roughly the same, and one sold for less than half of what Pogue paid. 

Connect with Coin World:  

Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Despite only a handful of About Uncirculated 1793 Liberty Cap cents existing, several among them have traded recently, hiding the issue’s real rarity. Further, offering three at once may have taken out the successful bidders, who perhaps wanted just one of the date. The Pogue example that improved in price, now graded AU-55 by Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $282,000 at Stack’s Bowers’ January 2013 Cardinal Collection auction, where it was graded PCGS AU-53 with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. At the Pogue V sale it brought $376,000, representing a nice gain, even with sales expenses considered. 

You are signed in as:null
Older Comments (3)
I think it only fair that Brent D Pogue gets some recognition of some sort for personally amassing and then auctioning one of the greatest collections of all time. Oh, and I am sure, as ALL of us do that he probably retained a few 'gems' for future cherishment. Perhaps CW could interview in a series BDP's hobby observations, where he thinks things are going, how to keep the hobby alive, talk about that specific elusive coin "that got away", mistakes he's made. etc... Let's GIVE recognition where recognition is DUE - look at what he $$$$$$old his collection for - it seems unfathomable -- really think about it -----$106.69 million in COINS! He acquired and SOLD in his lifetime... My gosh - and here I am hunting through fricking penny rolls!!!!