US Coins

D. Brent Pogue’s library offered Aug. 7 by Stack’s Bowers Galleries

The D. Brent Pogue Collection set records when offered in the past few years in six sessions at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, totaling $122,012,480.

The Texas collector’s literature will be presented in an Aug. 7 auction in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. The sale includes lots originally scheduled for the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, which was ultimately canceled by the ANA on July 14 after an indefinite postponement.

Writing in his catalog introduction, Stack’s Bowers co-founder Q. David Bowers suggests that bidders clear a bookshelf in their libraries for a diverse set of titles ranging from books on 17th century medals to important auctions and presentation copies of well-known sales.

Perhaps the most voluminous lot in the Pogue sale — certainly needing more than a single bookshelf — is a complete set of the ANA’s monthly publication The Numismatist, from 1888 to 1952, hardbound in full black morocco in an opulent custom binding. The set includes the first issues by Monroe, Michigan, physician George F. Heath, who started the publication before the ANA’s official start in 1891 as a way to sell coins while encouraging an exchange of ideas of collectors that were geographically distanced from New York’s American Numismatic Society.

The sale catalog adds, “The acquisition of this set alone is seen by many as the crowning achievement for an American numismatic library, as these rare volumes document to a degree the birth of the ANA, sparking the vibrant camaraderie amongst collectors of all means that is still widely enjoyed today through its promotion.”

The instant library is described as being nicely preserved, with just “a few light stains and gentle folds through the centers of many pages,” and it has a rich ownership history including John W. Adams, Harry W. Bass, and George Kolbe who sold it at auction in 1990, 1999, and finally in 2005, where it was acquired by Pogue.

1804 Draped Bust dollars

The Pogue auctions offered  not one, but two 1804 Draped Bust dollars (of the 15 known examples). The Dexter specimen, characterized by a small “D” punched in a reverse cloud, graded Proof 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service, realized $3,290,000 at the fifth Pogue auction on March 31, 2017, while the finest-known example of the legendary rarity often called the “King of American coins” — graded PCGS Proof 68 — went unsold after failing to meet its reserve on May 24, 2016, at the fourth Pogue sale.

A custom leather presentation copy of Q. David Bowers’ 1999 book, The Rare Silver Dollars Dated 1804 and the Exciting Adventures of Edmund Roberts, is one of three special copies produced and Pogue’s name is applied at the lower front cover. Bowers’ personal letter of appreciation to the Pogues, dated March 4, 2003, is laid in and the book is called “an impressive and rare copy of this extensive study on America’s most famous rarity.”

A series of other lots contains a rich archive of primary research including a photocopied archive of documents related to the famed Sultan of Muscat-Childs-Pogue Proof 68 specimen of the 1804 dollar. A handwritten letter from Ivan C. Michels to Lyman H. Low, dated July 30, 1884, regarding an 1804 silver dollar likely references this same dollar since it refers to it being in London in the 1840s. The cataloger observes, “There was only one 1804 silver dollar known to be in London at the time, that in the collection of Charles A. Watters, now known as the Sultan of Muscat-Childs-Pogue 1804 dollar.”

Several other handwritten letters related to 1804 dollars are offered along with a binder of photocopied correspondence and documents related to the Dexter dollar that’s sure to entice researchers and aficionados of the 1804 dollar (of which there are many).

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