US Coins

World-famous rarity headlines fifth Pogue auction

Stack’s Bowers Galleries will present Part V of the D. Brent Pogue Collection of U.S. coins on March 31, 2017, at the Carriage House of the Evergreen Museum and Library in Baltimore. The sale will be held in conjunction with Sotheby’s, and the fifth auction will mark the first Pogue offering held outside of Sotheby’s Manhattan headquarters. 

Highlighting the auction will be the famed Dexter Class I 1804 Draped Bust dollar graded Proof 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service. Beyond its obvious rarity, it is noteworthy in that collector James V. Dexter punched a small “D” in a reverse cloud, forever leaving his mark on the coin. It is one of the Class I “Original” dollars struck in 1834 and its last auction offering was in 1989 where it traded for $990,000. 

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Dexter, a Denver banker, purchased the coin in an 1885 auction for a then-astounding $1,000 and the coin features prominently in the recently published book The Dollar of 1804 – The U.S. Mint’s Hidden Secret by Mark Ferguson. 

1804 Draped Bust dollar   Out of nowhere: Dexter 1804 dollar makes first appearance: The events surround­ing the first appearance of the “Dexter” dollar are well-known to numismatists today, but the controversial Weyl catalog is extremely rare and few collectors have ever actually seen an example

It is the second 1804 Draped Bust dollar offered at auction from the Pogue collection. The Sultan of Muscat-Watters-Brand-Childs-Pogue example, graded Proof 68, failed to sell when offered at the May 24 Pogue IV auction. That dollar — considered the finest known 1804 dollar by a wide margin — attracted a bid that, with the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee, totaled $10,575,000. Had it sold at that level, it would have become the most expensive coin sold at auction, but that bid failed to top the reserve set by the Pogue family.  

Most expensive collection

The sale will coincide with the Spring Whitman Coins and Collectibles Expo, scheduled for March 30 to April 2, 2017, at the Baltimore Convention Center. The results of Pogue IV will add to the $85 million that the first four Pogue auctions have realized, further solidifying the collection as the most expensive coin collection ever sold at auction. 

The location of the sale has a strong numismatic link as Stack’s Bowers notes, “By arrangement with the Johns Hopkins University, the event will be held where T. Harrison Garrett and his son Ambassador John Work Garrett lived and formed one of the finest collections of coins ever assembled in the United States. Both of Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ predecessor firms, Stack’s and Bowers and Ruddy, sold the United States coins in a series of record-breaking auctions from 1979 to 1981 (with the Pogue family being among the bidders and buyers).”

Pogue V will include half cents dated from 1800 to the 1850s including one of the finest known 1802/0 Draped Bust half cents. Three 1793 Liberty Cap cents, each graded About Uncirculated, will be offered, followed by multiple examples of different varieties of the popular 1794 Liberty Cap cents. 

Stack’s Bowers adds, “Half dimes follow, continuing an earlier offering, starting now with 1837 Liberty Seated No Star, a pair of MS-67 coins of each date size in company with an Ultra Gem Proof. Early Liberty Seated dimes, quarters, and half dollars are also memorable.” 

Beyond the Dexter 1804 dollar, Pogue V will include multiple Mint State Draped Bust dollars, including a Restrike Proof 1802 Draped Bust dollar. Stack’s Bowers added, “No collection like this has ever been sold before, and none like it will ever be sold again.”

More about the collection

Coin World editor-at-large Steve Roach, blogging about the collection after the first auction in May 2015, said this:

“When Stack’s Bowers Galleries founder Q. David Bowers took the podium to introduce the Pogue auction, Bowers said that the first Pogue sale would be one of those auctions that will be remembered 50 years from now. As usual, Bowers was right. 

“Pogue purchased his coins from both dealers and at auction, so for many of the pieces, we have a public price history to look at. While most of his coins far exceeded what they realized on their last trip to the podium, a few did not. These exceptions serve as a reminder that even the finest collections accompanied with the best marketing need to be judged on their whole and that individual coins only tell part of the story.”

Assembled over more than three decades by Dallas real estate magnate A. Mack Pogue and his son, D. Brent Pogue, the collection focuses on copper, silver and gold coins from the early 1790s to the late 1830s, with many finest known coins.

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