US Coins

Pan-Pac set in leather case highlights Bonhams sale

A five-coin set of 1915-S Panama-Pacific International Exposition gold and silver commemorative coins accompanied by its original leather presentation case as issued highlights Bonhams’ 129-lot auction Sept. 6 in Los Angeles.

Among other lots offered are a 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle, 15 Stars half dollar; 1879 Flowing Hair gold $4 Stella pattern; a bronze plaquette depicting sculptor August Saint-Gaudens; and an 1853 Coronet gold dollar with a significant piece of the planchet missing.

A buyer’s fee of 17 percent will be added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

Connect with Coin World:  

The sale begins at 10: a.m. PT at the Bonhams Los Angeles gallery, 7601 W. Sunset Blvd.

Pan-Pac set with case

The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was staged in San Francisco in 1915 to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal.

As part of that celebration, the U.S. Mint struck gold and silver commemorative coins that were issued house in velvet-lined leather presentation cases or in copper frames.

Over the years, some of the coins have been separated from their cases or frames, many of which have been lost or destroyed.

The set offered by Bonhams is accompanied by what auction house says is its original leather case. All five coins in the set are graded and encapsulated by PCGS.

The set contains:

  • PCGS Mint State 63 1915-S silver half dollar
  • PCGS MS-65 1915-S gold dollar
  • PCGS MS-65 1915-S gold $2.50 coin
  • PCGS MS-62 1915-S octagonal gold $50 coin
  • PCGS MS-62 1915-S round gold $50 coin

The Pan-Pac set carries an estimate of $110,000 to $130,000.

1796 Draped Bust half dollar

The 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle, 15 Stars half dollar is the Overton 101 variety as attributed in United States Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836 by Donald L. Parsley, based on the original work of Al C. Overton.

The coin, graded by Professional Coin Grading Service as Genuine, Repaired, VF Details, has a Rarity 5 rating for the variety, meaning 31 to 80 examples are believed to be extant.

The coin carries an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000.

1879 Flowing Hair $4 Stella

The auction’s 1879 Flowing Hair Stella gold $4 pattern is graded PCGS Genuine, Repaired, EF Details.

Offered as part of the William Whitfield Webb Family Coin Collection, the gold pattern carries an estimate of $50,000 to $60,000.

The Stella is attributed as Judd 1635 in United States Pattern Coins by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers.

The pattern is the work of U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber. The gold $4 piece was proposed by Rep. John A. Kasson as an international metric coin meant to be a new base unit for gold coins.

Saint-Gaudens medal

The bronze plaquette measuring 63.1 millimeters by 45.9 millimeters is the work of sculptor John Flanagan, who is renowned as the designer of the Washington quarter dollar, first introduced in 1932. Flanagan was a studio assistant to Saint-Gaudens from 1885 to 1890, working with him on several large projects.

A bronze portrait bust of Saint-Gaudens by Flanagan of 1924 exists in several copies in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, New York University and elsewhere.

The rendition offered in Uncirculated condition in the Bonhams sale was issued at the Medallic Art Company’s Sculptor’s Dinner in 1937.

The plaquette carries an estimate of $400 to $500.

1853 Coronet dollar

The 1853 Coronet dollar is certified as PCGS Genuine, Damage, VF Details.

A large portion of the struck coin is missing, probably the result of, according to the auction lot description, a “faulty, cracked planchet.”

The coin carries an estimate of $80 to $100.

Community Comments