US Coins

St. Oswald 1794 dollar available again after 29 years

What is billed as the Lord St. Oswald-Norweb 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar will be made publicly available for the first time since 1988, when Stack’s Bowers Galleries offers the high-grade coin during its August 2017 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money Auction in Denver.

The coin was last sold at public auction in November 1988 in Bowers and Merena’s auction of the Norweb Collection.

The silver dollar is now graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service. It shares some of its history and pedigree with another, even higher grade example sold in recent years.

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As a press release from Stack’s Bowers states, “This incredible specimen has a fascinating but familiar story coming just two years after the sale of its sibling, the MS-66+ (PCGS) Lord St. Oswald-Ostheimer example, in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part II sale. In that May 2015 auction, the Pogue counterpart realized an astounding $4,993,750, including the buyer’s premium.”

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Stack’s Bowers adds, “These two 1794 silver dollars remained together for the first 170 years of their existence, until they were offered as part of the Lord St. Oswald cabinet by Christie’s in 1964. The pair had been obtained by English gentleman farmer William Strickland on his tour of the young United States from September 20, 1794 to July 29, 1795. During his visit, Strickland journeyed throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic, even meeting with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello and with then-President George Washington at Mount Vernon.  The two 1794 silver dollars were among a diverse group of 84 federal and pre-federal coins gathered during his 10 months in America. Centuries later, those two souvenirs would immortalize the legacy of William Strickland and his descendants through the Lord St. Oswald provenance.”

The firm continued, “The near-Gem Lord St. Oswald-Norweb specimen is among the finest survivors of America’s first silver dollar coinage and is one of the great treasures of U.S. numismatics. The surfaces are impeccably preserved and lustrous, with just gentle traces of planchet adjustment at the obverse border. The coin exhibits strong peripheral definition for the issue, with considerable pronouncement to the left obverse stars and corresponding legend on the reverse. Ranked as fourth finest in the Condition Census and third finest among Mint State examples seen by PCGS, this is a significant world-class rarity.”

Contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries here.

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