NEW YORK - The last time Sotheby’s partnered with Stack’s Bowers Galleries, in 2002, the result was a new record for a coin: $7,600,000 for the 1933 Double Eagle. Our collaboration with Stack’s Bowers Galleries in offering the D. Brent Pogue Collection of Masterpieces of United States Coinage is likely to set its share of auction records as well. The Pogue Collection is the most valuable coin collection ever offered for sale; the first of an anticipated series of seven auctions takes place on the evening of May 19, when 128 rarities with a cumulative estimate of $14 million to $23 million will go under the hammer.
1796 Draped Bust Quarter. Browning-2. Rarity-3. Mint State-66 (PCGS). Estimate $750,000-$1,000,000.
David Brent Pogue’s interest in American coins was piqued when his father, the Dallas real estate developer Mack Pogue, gave him a bag of wheat-back Lincoln pennies. Ten-year-old Brent spotted a 1915 Lincoln one-cent that he found out booked for $65, and a collector and numismatist was born. While he was a still a teenager, Brent, often accompanied by his father, became a fixture at major coin sales across the nation. Like all great collectors, Pogue owes a great debt, which he readily acknowledges, to those who went before, and the Pogue Collection includes many of the finest specimens from such celebrated sales as Garrett, Eliasberg, and Bass. Now the Pogue provenance will add luster and prestige to the collections of American coins currently being formed.
1797 Draped Bust Half Dollar. Overton-101a. Rarity-4+. MS-66 (PCGS). Estimate $1,200,000-$1,750,000.
Part I of the Pogue sale features Half Dimes from 1792 through 1837, Dimes from 1796 through 1807, Quarter Dollars from 1796 through 1838, Half Dollars through 1794 through 1807, and Quarter Eagles from 1796 through 1808, nearly all in the finest obtainable grade. The overwhelming historic significance and simple beauty of these coins belie their manufacture as utilitarian specie, most from the period of manual presses when every coin had some individual character.
1808 Capped Bust Left Quarter Eagle. Bass Dannreuther-1. Rarity-4. Mint State-65 (PCGS). Estimate $1,200,000-$1,750,000.
Virtually every lot is a highlight, but bidders will be paying particular attention to the Ten Eyck-Holmes Gem Uncirculated 1796 Quarter Dollar, an example of the first American Quarter ($750,000–1,000,000); the finest known, Gem Uncirculated 1797 Half Dollar, from the Brand-Curtis-Hepner-Rogers-Foxfire Collections ($1,200,000–1,750,000); and the Gem Uncirculated 1808 Quarter Eagle, the finest known survivor of the rarest American Type Coin ($1,200,000–1,750,000) that has graced significant American coin cabinets as far back as the late 19th century.
Though these coins had utilitarian beginnings, their accidental survival in superb quality has metamorphosed them into the masterpieces that will likely again set records when the gavel falls.