US Coins

Pogue family to auction extensive collection of U.S. coins

Prolific numismatic author Q. David Bowers is researching and developing two books to be written chronicling the Pogue family collection of United States coins.

Officials of Stack’s Bowers Galleries will publish the two numismatic references. Stack’s Bowers officials announced June 13 the firm will auction the Pogue Collection in a series of auctions in New York City to be conducted over the next several years, beginning sometime in 2015.

The collection is touted by the auction firm as “the most valuable collection of federal American coins ever formed.”

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.

Among the coins in the collection are two Class I, original 1804 Draped Bust dollars; the finest known regular strike 1795 Flowing Hair, Three Leaves dollar; and an 1822 Capped Head $5 gold half eagle and 1854-S Coronet half eagle, both of which have been off the market since 1982.

The two gold coins were last sold at auction in the Bowers and Ruddy Galleries Inc. sale Oct. 27 to 29, 1982, of The United States Gold Coin Collection, the anonymous name given to the holdings of renowned Baltimore numismatist Louis E. Eliasburg Sr.

Christine Karstedt, executive vice president of consignments for Stack’s Bowers Galleries, says there will be multiple educational opportunities associated with the Pogue Collection, including exhibits at major coin shows and conventions.

Overflowing with rarities

The Class I original 1804 Draped Bust silver dollars contained in the Pogue Collection are the Childs coin and the Dexter-Dunham coin.

The Walter H. Childs Class I 1804 dollar, graded Proof 68 by Professional Coin Grading Service, brought a record $4.14 million when Childs’ collection was sold Aug. 30, 1999, by Auctions by Bowers and Merena Inc. The coin is believed to be the example delivered as a diplomatic gesture to the Sultan of Muscat on Oct. 1, 1835, as part of a presentation set of United States coins.

The other piece is the Dexter-Dunham coin, last sold at auction in Stack’s 65th Anniversary Sale Oct. 17 to 19, 2000, where it realized $1.84 million. The coin was offered graded and encapsulated by Professional Coin Grading Service as Proof 64.

The coin earned its moniker from once being owned, at separate times, by James Dexter and by William Forester Dunham. Dexter owned the coin in the late 1800s; Dunham, in the early 1900s.

The coin is identifiable by a tiny letter D that appears in the second cloud from the right on the reverse.

No 1804 dollars were struck in 1804. The Class I or originals, were struck circa 1834 to 1835 for inclusion in presentation sets. Class II and III 1804 dollars, often referred to as “restrikes,” are believed to have been struck circa 1858 or later.

The 1822 half eagle, which realized $687,500 at the Bowers and Ruddy 1982 sale, was offered as “Choice Very Fine-30 with claims to Extremely Fine-40.” It is only of only three examples extant and the only one in collector hands. The other two examples are impounded in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History.

The reported mintage is 17,796 coins, although some researchers believe the reported number includes coins dated 1821.

The 1854-S Coronet half eagle was acquired by the Pogues at the 1982 sale for $187,000, where it was offered as “Choice About Uncirculated 55.”

The coin is one of just three examples extant from a reported San Francisco Mint production of 268 coins. One example is in the National Numismatic Collection.

The Pogue Collection example includes renowned numismatist F.C.C. Boyd in its pedigree of ownership.

The 1795 Flowing Hair, Three Leaves dollar, Bolender 7 (United States Early Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803 by M.H. Bolender), brought $1,265 million in Coinhunter’s Dec. 4, 2005, sale.

The coin is currently graded PCGS Mint State 66.

For updates, visit the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website.

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