The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now? Part VIII

Ron Guth

Posted on April 1, 2016 by No Comments

The Lord St. Oswald 1794 Large Cents – Installment Two of Five

The Lord St. Oswald Collection contained twenty-five U.S. Large Cents, all dated 1794 except for a single, average-grade 1793 Chain Cent. The 1964 Christie’s sale offered twenty-two Large Cent; only three appeared in the 1992 sale. Fortunately for future researchers, the catalogers at Christie’s attributed all of the Large Cents by Sheldon variety numbers. Today, we know the whereabouts of most of the coins and their “modern” grades, all of which is revealed below. For purposes of brevity, the Lord St. Oswald Large Cents will be presented in groups of five coins over five installments; this is the second installment of the five.

Lot 150 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 57) – obverse: weakly struck but in mint state and red

Analysis: In 1964, the American firm of Stack’s purchased this coin and, from there, it wended its way through the collections of Dorothy Paschal, Dr. William Sheldon, and “Ted” Naftzger (a familiar course for many of America’s best Large Cents), then to Dr. Allen Bennett and Walt Husak. In his Condition Census, Bill Noyes listed this example and one other (Lot 151, see following) as tied for finest known honors. Walter Breen (using Del Bland’s data) recognized this example as the finest S-57 in existence. It is from a late state of the dies, which accounts for the “weakly struck” portion of the description in the 1964 Christie’s catalog, but the surfaces are superb and both sides feature ample amounts of original mint red color – a very rare finding on any Large Cents of this era.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:150, $2,100 (750 British Pounds) – Stack’s, sold privately – Dorothy I. Paschal Collection – Dr. William H. Sheldon Collection, sold privately on 4/19/1972 – R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, sold privately on 2/23/1992 – Eric Streiner – Jay Parrino (The Mint) – Superior 9/1997:38, $44,000 – Dr. Allen Bennett Collection, sold privately on 1/20/1998 – Walter J. Husak Collection – Heritage 2/2008:2059 (as PCGS MS65RB 13457922), $103,500

Lot 151 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 57) – condition similar to last

Analysis: The price history of this coin has been impressive. New York dealer Lester Merkin purchased this coin for approximately $1,820 at the 1964 Christie’s sale. When it reappeared at auction in 1971, it had nearly doubled in price. By 1973, the price had more than tripled. From 1973 to 2002, the coin traded hands rarely and privately, eventually selling for $35,650 in a January 2002 Stack’s sale. Finally, in February 2013, this coin sold for $189,750 or more than 100 times the original purchase price. Bill Noyes recognized this as one of the two finest examples of the variety (see the previous lot). Breen/Bland placed it at fourth finest known. The reverse has more mint red than any other S-57.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:151, $1,820 (650 British Pounds) – Lester Merkin – Stack’s – Frank H. Masters, Jr. Collection – RARCOA 5/1971:69, $3,250 – R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection – New Netherlands 11/1973:378, $6,000 – Del Bland – Dr. Robert J. Shaolwitz – Del Bland, sold privately on 1/4/1985 – Bertram Cohen Collection – Andrew M. Hain Collection – Stack’s 1/2002:732, $35,650 – Superior 6/2002:2437 – Chris Victor-McCawley, sold privately on 4/2003 – Paul Gerrie Collection – Goldbergs 2/2013:33 (as PCGS MS65BN), $189,750

Lot 152 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 57) – very fine

Analysis: The present whereabouts of this example is unknown, nor is it likely to ever appear. Its lower condition is incongruous with the other 1794 Large Cents in the Lord St. Oswald Collection. It was not significant enough to merit attention, so it likely melted into some collection where it sits unrecognized today.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:152, $672 (240 British Pounds) – Lester Merkin

Lot 153 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 59) – in mint state with much original colour

Analysis: This is the finest S-59 known to exist and it is the only Red & Brown survivor. Like many great Large Cents, it followed the Paschal-Sheldon-Naftzger route following the sale, after which it passed into the collections of Jack Wadlington, then the late Dan Holmes. In 2009, it sold at auction for $276,000. Both Noyes and Breen/Bland placed this coin in the number one spot in their respective Censuses.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:153, $1,736 (620 British Pounds) – A.H. Baldwin & Sons, Ltd. (London) – Dorothy I. Paschal Collection – Dr. William H. Sheldon Collection, sold privately on 4/19/1972 – R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, sold privately on 2/23/1992 – Eric Streiner – Jay Parrino (The Mint), sold privately on 4/16/1996 – W.M. “Jack” Wadlington Collection, sold privately via Bob Grellman and Chris Victor-McCawley on 11/7/2005 – Daniel W. Holmes, Jr. Collection – Goldbergs 9/2009:95 (as PCGS MS66RB), $276,000

Lot 154 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 59) – in mint state and red

Analysis: This was the second of only two S-59’s in the 1964 Christie’s sale. Lester Merkin purchased this coin for approximately $2,660 — significantly more than the preceding lot — thus one can assume that the condition and appearance are better, as well. Unfortunately, the last sighting of this coin predates the advent of third-party grading, so the “modern” grade is unknown at this point. However, in both the Noyes and Breen/Bland Censuses, this coin is listed as the second finest example known of the S-59 variety.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:154, $2,660 (950 British Pounds) – Lester Merkin – Dorothy I. Paschal Collection – C. Douglas Smith Collection – Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz – Del Bland – Dr. Robert J. Shalowitz – David Berg – William Freeman – John W. Adams Collection – Bowers & Ruddy Fixed Price List 1982:54 (as Superb Choice Uncirculated, MS-65), $22,500 – Bertram Cohen Collection

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The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now? Part VII

Ron Guth

Posted on March 15, 2016 by No Comments

The Lord St. Oswald 1794 Large Cents – Installment One of Five

The Lord St. Oswald Collection contained twenty-five U.S. Large Cents, all dated 1794 except for a single, average-grade 1793 Chain Cent. The 1964 Christie’s sale offered twenty-two Large Cent; only three appeared in the 1992 sale. Fortunately for future researchers, the catalogers at Christie’s attributed all of the Large Cents by Sheldon variety numbers. Today, we know the whereabouts of most of the coins and their “modern” grades, all of which is revealed below. For purposes of brevity, the Lord St. Oswald Large Cents will be presented in groups of five coins over five installments.

Lot 145 “U.S.A. CENT, 1794 (Sheldon no. 40) – almost extremely Fine

See it here: http://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/CoinImages.aspx?s=35585

Analysis:
American collector/dealer, Edwin Shapiro purchased this lot for the equivalent of $868. Subsequently, several big-name Large Cent collectors have owned this coin over the years: C. Douglas Smith; R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr.; Herman Halpern; Walter J. Husak; and others. This example is listed as second finest known on the Noyes and Breen censuses; it is the finest example of the variety certified by PCGS. This was the only Sheldon 40 in the Lord St. Oswald Collection.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:145, $868 (310 British Pounds) – Edwin Shapiro – C. Douglas Smith, sold privately in 1965 – Al Bonard – French’s, sold privately in 5/1967 – R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, sold privately on 12/11/1986 – Herman Halpern Collection – Stack’s 3/1988:52, $15,400 – Dr. Allen Bennett Collection, sold privately in 2000 – Walter J. Husak Collection, sold privately in 2000 – Dr. Tom Turissini Collection, sold privately in 4/2009 – Paul Gerrie Collection – Goldbergs 2/2013:25, $77,625 – subsequently graded PCGS MS64BN 26772769

Lot 146 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 42) – good very fine

Analysis: Edwin Shapiro kept his bidder paddle up and won this lot, too. C. Douglas Smith owned this coin at two different time in the 1960s and eventually sold it to variety specialist, Jules Reiver. It’s last auction appearance was in 2006, when it sold as an NGC AU58 for $34,500. This was the only Sheldon 42 in the Lord St. Oswald Collection.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:146, $336 (120 British Pounds) – Edwin Shapiro – C. Douglas Smith Collection, sold privately in 1965 – Alfred Bonard Collection – C. Douglas Smith Collection, sold privately on 10/31/1968 – Jules Reiver Collection – Heritage 1/2006:19203 (as NGC AU58 1940087-008), $34,500

Lot 147 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 45) – in mint state and red

See it here: http://images.pcgs.com/CoinFacts/32189852_1452088_max.jpg

Analysis:
H. Van Colle purchased this coin at the 1964 Christie’s sale, after which it passed through the collections of Dorothy Paschal, Dr. William H. Sheldon (inventor of the 70-point grading system), Naftzger, Husak, and Dan Holmes. It is listed as the finest known example in both the Noyes and Breen censuses. This remarkable coin shows ample traces of original red color on both sides and it currently resides in a PCGS MS65RB holder. This was the onlt Sheldon 45 in the Lord St. Oswald Collection. This was the only Sheldon 45 in the Lord St. Oswald Collection.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:147, $2,800 (1,000 British Pounds) – H. Van Colle Collection – Dorothy I. Paschal Collection – Dr. William H. Sheldon Collection, sold privately on 4/19/1972 – R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., sold privately on 2/23/1992 – Eric Streiner, sold privately on 4/4/1992 – Dr. Allen Bennett Collection, sold privately in 2001 – Walter J. Husak Collection – Heritage 2/2008:2047 (as PCGS MS65RB 13457910), $149,500 – Chris Victor-McCawley Fixed Price List #82 (Spring 2008), offered as PCGS MS65RB for $185,000, sold privately on 5/9/2008 – Daniel W. Holmes, Jr. Collection – Goldbergs 9/2009:74 (as PCGS MS65RB), $184,000

Lot 148 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 46) – almost in mint state and some original colour

See it here: http://images.pcgs.com/CoinFacts/26092869_29655710_max.jpg

Analysis: The American firm of Stack’s purchased this lot at the 1964 sale. Their fellow New Yorker, Anthony Terranova, sold the coin to mega-collector, “Ted” Naftzger, who eventually sold his collection intact in 1992 to Eric Streiner. Terranova had another opportunity to handle this coin when he sold it into the collection of Dr. Thomas Turissini. This example currently resides in a PCGS MS64RB holder and it is ranked number one in both the Noyes and the Breen Censuses. This was the only Sheldon 46 in the Lord St. Oswald Collection.

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:148, $1,064 (380 British Pounds) – Stack’s – Anthony Terranova, sold privately in 12/1964 – R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, sold privately on 2/23/1992 – Eric Streiner – Anthony Terranova – Dr. Thomas Turissini Collection

Lot 149 “U.S.A. cent, 1794 (Sheldon no. 49) – almost in mint state and some original colour

See it here: http://images.pcgs.com/CoinFacts/26092871_33210354_max.jpg

Analysis: This was another great purchase by Stack’s, who sold it into the collection of Frank Masters. As with most high quality Large Cents, this one eventually went into “Ted” Naftzger’s collection, then through several hands until it joined Dr. Turissini’s other Large Cents. It currently resides in a PCGS MS65RB holder. Both sides show a nice balance of original color. This was the only Sheldon 49 in the Lord St. Oswald Collection

Complete pedigree:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:149, $1,400 (500 British Pounds) – Stack’s – Frank H. Masters, Jr. Collection – RARCOA 5/1971:65, $2,900 – R.E. “Ted” Naftzger, Jr. Collection, sold privately on 2/23/1992 – Eric Streiner – Jay Parrino (The Mint) – Tom Morley – Superior 1/1994:782, $29,700 – Anthony Terranova, Thomas D. Reynolds, and Chris Victor-McCawley – Dr. Thomas Turissini Collection

Filed Under: News

The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now? – Part VI

Ron Guth

Posted on January 11, 2016 by No Comments

The Lord St. Oswald 1795 Half Dollars

The catalog for Christie’s 1964 sale of the Lord St. Oswald Collection contained three 1795 Half Dollars, including a gem example of the 1795 Two Leaves variety, a Mint State “Small Head”, and a third coin that remains unaccounted for today. No Half Dollars were included in the 1992 sale.

Lot 142 “U.S.A., HALF-DOLLAR, 1795, reverse: two leaves under each wing of eagle – extremely fine and rare.”

Lester Merkin purchased this coin for £250 (or the contemporary equivalent of $700). The present whereabouts of this coin is unknown but, fortunately, this coin was plated in the 1964 catalog (the only one of the three to merit a photograph) and it is easily identified as a 1795 Overton-116. The image does not match any of the pictures in our archive, but there are enough distinctive points on the coin that it would be easy to identify it if (and when) it appears on the market in the future.

The complete pedigree of this coin reads as follows:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:142, $700 (250 British Pounds) – Lester Merkin – present whereabouts unknown

Lot 143 “U.S.A., HALF-DOLLAR, 1795, a similar coin, long vertical die flaw on obverse – in mint state and rare.”

This lot has been subsequently identified as a 1795 Overton-112 – the so-called “Recut Date” variety (or 1795/1795). The London firm of Spink & Son purchased this lot for $1,400. Later, it appeared in a Lester Merkin auction, from where it went into the collection of mega-collector Reed Hawn. The last public appearance of this coin was in 1995, when it sold in a February Heritage auction. In recent years, this coin has been pedigreed to the Stellar collection and it is currently in a PCGS MS65 holder. This was easily the best 1795 Half Dollar in the Lord St. Oswald Collection. A high quality image of this coin can be seen at http://images.pcgs.com/CoinFacts/28528010_max.jpg

The complete pedigree of this coin reads as follows:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:143, $1,400 (500 British Pounds) – Spink & Son, Ltd. – Lester Merkin 2/1971:589, $1,400 – Reed Hawn Collection – Stack’s 8/1973:2 – Brit Simons, sold privately in 1975 – Heritage 2/1995:5654 (as NGC MS65), $92,400 – Stellar Collection – subsequently graded PCGS MS65 28528010

Lot 144 “U.S.A., HALF-DOLLAR, 1795, a similar coins, obverse: somewhat scratched, otherwise in mint state though shows cabinet friction.”

This lot has been subsequently identified as a “Small Head” Overton 126a and it is the only Mint State example known of this variety. Spink & Son, Ltd. purchased the coin for $840. At some point, the coin made its way into the collections of Reed Hawn and Dr. George Oviedo. In 1999, the Pogue family purchased the coin at auction and held onto it until May 2015, when it sold at auction for just shy of $200,000, more than double the 1999 purchase price. Currently, it resides in a PCGS MS62 holder. This is the only Mint State “Small Head” Half Dollar – of any variety – certified by PCGS. A high quality image of this coin can be seen at http://images.pcgs.com/CoinFacts/05639009_max.jpg

The complete pedigree of this coin reads as follows:
William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:144, $840 (300 British Pounds) – Spink & Son, Ltd. – Reed Hawn Collection – Stack’s 8/1973:3 – Dr. George F. Oviedo Collection – Stack’s 9/1983:722 – William R. Orwen Collection – Stack’s 10/1999:341 (as Raw Choice Brilliant Uncirculated), $89,125 (plate-matched to the following) – D. Brent Pogue Collection – Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1099 (as PCGS MS62 05639009), $199,750

Next installment – the Lord St. Oswald 1794 Large Cents

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The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now? – Part V

Ron Guth

Posted on December 15, 2015 by No Comments

The Lord St. Oswald 1794 Half Cents

The catalog for Christie’s 1964 sale of the Lord St. Oswald Collection contained no U.S. Half Cents. However, the 1992 catalog included two 1794 Half Cents, both of exceptional quality. They appear to have been overlooked in 1964, as they certainly deserved to be in the earlier sale, where they would have fit in nicely with the other coins there.

Both of the Lord St. Oswald 1794 Half Cents were of the Cohen 9 variety, which is one of the High Relief Head types. The “rubbing” described in the 1992 catalog for both lots (see below) is a slight change in color on the very highest points on the obverse. This is typical of the High Relief Head and is more a function of strike than wear.

Lot 284 “U.S.A., Liberty Cap Half-cent, 1794, head of Liberty right, rev. value in wreath, slightly rubbed on the highest points but Uncirculated and with some original mint lustre, very rare thus.”

Eric Streiner purchased this coin directly from the 1992 sale and it was sold through Jay Parrino into the Foxfire Collection, which, in turn, was sold intact to the Pogue family.  The coin has remained in their possession ever since. Recently, PCGS graded this coin MS66 Red-Brown and it is slated to appear as Lot 3005 in the Stack’s/Bowers February 2016 auction of the D. Brent Pogue Collection.  A high quality image of this coin can be seen at http://images.pcgs.com/CoinFacts/32157244_max.jpg)

This is arguably the finest known example of the Cohen 9 variety. The surfaces of this coin appear to be completely original in terms of preservation and color. Jim McGuigan’s PCGS MS66 Brown example is slightly glossier in appearance but it has less red color than the Lord St. Oswald piece. The next best example is the PCGS MS65 Red-Brown example from the Missouri Cabinet (sold for $402,500 in 2014).

William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie’s 2/1992:284 (as Raw Uncirculated, slightly rubbed on the high points), $68,904 – Eric Streiner – Jay Parrino (The Mint), sold privately in 8/1995 – Foxfire Collection (Claude E. Davis, MD), sold privately (as an entire collection) on 10/5/2004 – Brent Pogue Collection (as PCGS MS66RB 32157244)

Lot 285 “U.S.A., Liberty Cap Half-cent, 1794, head of Liberty right, rev. value in wreath, small patch of verdigris on wreath on reverse, rubbed on the high points but uncirculated and with some original mint lustre, very rare thus.”

The present whereabouts of this coin is unknown. The coin is easily identified by the presence of a small localized area of darker color on the upper right reverse edge between the F of OF and the first A of AMERICA. It has not appeared in any major auction or collection since the 1992 sale.

William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie’s 2/1992:285 (as Raw Uncirculated, rubbed on the high points), $45,936

Next installment – the Lord St. Oswald 1795 Half Dollars.

Filed Under: News

The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now? – Part IV

Ron Guth

Posted on December 1, 2015 by 2 Comments

The Lord St. Oswald 1795 Silver Dollars

The 1964 Christie’s catalog of the Lord St. Oswald Collection contained three remarkable 1795 Silver Dollars, as follows:

Lot 139 “U.S.A., DOLLAR, 1795 (Bolender no. 2) – planchet marks on both sides and some scratching in obverse field, otherwise in brilliant mint state, very rare.”

Lot 139 sold for 460 British Pounds (the contemporary equivalent of $1,288) to the American firm of Stack’s, where it joined Norman Stack’s personal collection. In 1989, Mr. Stack sold the coin through Eric Streiner. In its most recent appearance, Stack’s/Bowers sold the coin in a 2014 auction in an NGC SP64 holder. The full pedigree includes only four auction appearances since the 1964 Christie’s sale:

William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:139 (as Raw Mint State), $1,288 (460 British Pounds) – Norman Stack, sold privately through Eric Streiner in 1989 – Superior 8/1991:553 – Bob Bisanz U.S. Type Set Collection – Heritage 1/2001:7186 – Heritage 1/2007:1025 (as NGC MS64PL 1848399-003), $161,000 (no mention was made of the prior pedigree in the Heritage catalog) – Stack’s/Bowers 8/2014:13114 (as NGC SP64 3722004-018), not sold, though a post-sale press release reported a sale price of $822,500

Lot 140 “U.S.A., DOLLAR, 1795 (Bolender no. 2) – a similar coin, planchet marks on both sides, some scratching on face and in field on obverse, otherwise in mint state, very rare.”

This was a duplicate of the preceding lot, but it sold for nearly double the price. This example was purchased by Mrs. Alfred Ostheimer for 900 British Pounds (the contemporary equivalent of $2,520). To our knowledge, this coin has not reappeared on the market since 1964.

Lot 141 “U.S.A., DOLLAR, 1795 (Bolender no. 7) – in mint state, a rare [sic] variety than last two.”

In fact, the Bolender 7, Bowers-Borckardt 18 variety is no rarer than the Bolender 2, Bowers-Borckardt 20 variety, but this was a special coin because it is the finest “Silver Plug” Dollar known (though it is doubtful if that meant anything in 1964 because the significance of the silver plugs remained undiscovered until years later). Today, we know that silver plugs were inserted into the center of underweight silver dollar and half dollar planchets to bring them up to the proper weight. This coin exhibits both the silver plug AND adjustment marks, which were scratches caused when a file was used to remove silver and bring the coin down to proper weight.

The London firm of Spink & Son purchased Lot 141 for 700 British Pounds (the contemporary equivalent of $1,960). In its most recent appearance, this coin sold as part of the D. Brent Pogue Collection in September 2015 as a PCGS MS65+. The full pedigree includes a stint in the fabulous collection of type coins built by former Congressman “Jimmy” Hayes:

William Strickland Collection – Charles Winn (husband of Priscilla Strickland, son-in-law and cousin of William Strickland), Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland George Winn, 3rd Baron St. Oswald of Nostell – Rowland Denys Guy Winn, Major the Lord St. Oswald, M.C. – Christie, Manson, and Woods 10/1964:141 (as Raw Mint State), $1,960 (700 British Pounds) – Spink & Son, Ltd. – Lester Merkin 10/1973:451 – Dr. Herbert Ketterman, sold privately – James A. “Jimmy” Hayes Collection – Stack’s 4/1983:1220 – RARCOA, sold privately in 9/1987 – D. Brent Pogue Collection (as PCGS MS65+ 31529965) – Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 9/2015:2043 (as PCGS MS65+ 31529965), $705,000

Next installment – the Lord St. Oswald 1794 Half Cents.

Filed Under: News

The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now? – Part III

Ron Guth

Posted on November 5, 2015 by No Comments

The Lord St. Oswald 1794 Silver Dollars

The Lord St. Oswald Collection contained two 1794 Silver Dollars, both of which appeared as the first two lots of U.S. coins in the 1964 sale. Both were described as Mint State and both sold for exactly the same price – 4,000 British Pounds, or the equivalent of $11,200 each.

The cataloger of the Christie’s 1964 sale described the first 1794 Silver Dollar (lot 137) as follows:
“U.S.A., DOLLAR, 1794 (Bolender p. 17) – in mint state and showing original planchet marks, very well struck for this rarity.”

The official, post-sale list of prices realized named A.H. Baldwin & Sons as the buyer of the coin. However, Q. David Bowers later listed the buyer as the American coin dealer, Lester Merkin, acting as agent for the American collectors Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb. In November 1988, Bowers and Merena sold the Norweb 1794 Silver Dollar as lot 3741, where it was described as “MS60/63…believed to be the second or third finest known.” The price realized in 1988 was $242,000, a substantial advance over the original purchase price. It is believed that this example is currently in a PCGS MS64 holder and is still owned by the buyer at the 1988 sale. Thus, this coin has not only one of the longest continuous pedigrees of any U.S. coin combined with the least number of owners.

Next up was lot 138, a second 1794 Silver Dollar described as follows:

“U.S.A. DOLLAR, 1794 – a similar coin, in mint state and with fewer planchet marks than last, but slight scratches on obverse and some rim damage on reverse, very well struck.”

This lot was purchased by Alfred Ostheimer and his wife, Jacque. The Ostheimers sold the coin privately in 1969, and then the coin passed through various collections, auctions, and dealer’s hands throughout the 1970’s and the early 1980’s. Superior Galleries sold the coin at auction in 1973 for $110,000. Bowers & Ruddy auctioned the coin in 1975 for $75,000, the only publicly recorded loss in this coin’s history. Dealers Julian Leidman, Phil Herres (of DollarTowne), and Leon Hendrickson (of SilverTowne) owned the coin at various times. In 1983, the coin entered the collection of Jimmy Hayes via dealer John Dannreuther. However, Hayes retained the coin for less than three years, selling it in Stack’s 50th Anniversary Sale in October 1985. There, dealer David Akers purchased the coin as agent for D. Brent Pogue and his father, in whose collection the coin remained for just shy of thirty years. In 2013, the Pogues submitted the coin to PCGS, where it received a grade of MS66+. In September 2015, this remarkable coin made a grand re-appearance in a joint Stack/Bowers and Sotheby’s sale, where it realized $4,993,750.

Filed Under: News

The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now? – Part II

Ron Guth

Posted on October 23, 2015 by No Comments

Before surveying the coins in the Lord St. Oswald collection, an examination of the two auction catalogs in which they appeared will help add some context for American collectors.  The Lord St. Oswald coins appeared in British sales and most collectors have never seen either catalog, particularly the rare, earliest sale.

The first appearance of the Lord St. Oswald coins was in a Christie’s auction held on October 13, 1964 in London, England. At the time, Christie’s styled itself as Christie’s, Manson & Woods, Ltd. Today, the company is known simply as Christie’s. The 1964 sale took place at Christie’s headquarters at 8 King Street, St. James’s, London, the same location that had served as their headquarters since 1823 and which is still their flagship location.

The catalog for the 1964 sale is rather rare today. In May 2014, the American bookseller, Kolbe and Fanning, offered a priced catalog at auction, where it realized $1,762.50. The catalog was in a small-format size of roughly 7” x 9.5” with green card covers and only 177 lots. The title page of the catalog read: “Catalogue of English, Foreign, and Important American Coins: The Property of Major The Lord St. Oswald, M.C. removed from Nostell Priory, Wakefield, Yorkshire.” The catalog contained no history of Lord St. Oswald or a background of the collection, or any explanation of the origin of the coins or why they were being sold. The sale started at eleven o’clock “precisely” with Lot 1, a gold Noble of Edward III, followed by one hundred and thirty-six lots of English, Scottish, French, Italian, Swiss, and ancient coins. The highlights of the auction were a small group of thirty lots of high-grade, early American coins that began with lot 137 – a Mint State 1794 Silver Dollar. Included in the thirty lots were two 1794 Silver Dollars, three 1795 Silver Dollars, three 1795 Half Dollars, and twenty-two 1794 Large Cents (the particulars of these coins will be revealed in future installments, but the descriptions in the 1964 catalog are terse and curt, certainly not in keeping with the importance of the coins as we know them today). The final lots of the sale included eight American Colonial lots and miscellaneous lots of British and world coins.

The back of the 1964 catalog contained four collotype plates. Five of the American coins appeared on Plate IV. In keeping with the state of catalog production at the time, the coins are poorly trimmed, with irregular edges, but they are wholly adequate for identifying the coins for pedigree purposes.

Buyers of the American coins in the 1964 sale included the London firms of Baldwin and Spinks, the American firm of Stack’s, the American coin dealer, Lester Merkin, and American collectors, Al Ostheimer, H. Van Colle, and Edwin Shapiro. It is unclear who actually attended the sale, or if the buyers were purchasing coins for themselves or as agents for others. Baldwin’s name appears as the buyer on the largest number of lots (ten). Baldwin and Ostheimer each came away with one of the 1794 Silver Dollars.

The catalog for the 1992 sale is a much different publication. Now, large, over-sized, full color images of a 1662 gold pattern Crown of Charles II grace the front and back covers of the catalog. Now, the firm is known as Christie’s, but the sale was held again at the old King Street location. Now, the title page of the catalog reads: “Ancient, English, and Foreign Coins, Commemorative Medals, and Banknotes: From Various Sources.” This catalog contained 528 lots of British, world, and American coins. The only clue that the sale contained coins from the Lord St. Oswald collection was a small note introducing Lot 251:

“THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN”
“The following ten lots were among a parcel of coins removed from Nostell Priory, Wakefield, Yorkshire. An important group of coins from the same property was sold in these Rooms, October 13, 1964. All the coins are in better than average condition, having been collected during the early part of the 19th century by a member of the Winn Family. See also lots 281-285”.

Lots 251 to 260 included American colonial coins; lots 281-285 contained a 1793 Chain Cent, two 1794 Large Cents, and two 1794 Half Cents, all of which will be revealed later. Again, the descriptions are terse but, this time, all five of the U.S. coins are plated (in black-and-white). One wonders why these coins were left out of the 1964 sale, as they are all of similarly high quality.

Next installment – a look at the two 1794 Silver Dollars from the Lord St. Oswald Collection

Filed Under: News

The Lord St. Oswald Coins – Where Are They Now?

Ron Guth

Posted on October 12, 2015 by 2 Comments

If you weren’t familiar with the Lord St. Oswald name before, you probably heard it multiple times after one of his 1794 Silver Dollars sold in September 2015 for just under five million dollars.

The Lord St. Oswald pedigree is one of the most legendary in all of numismatics. The name is associated with quality, particularly with reference to early American coins. As a young numismatist, I heard of the Lord St. Oswald pedigree over the years as individual coins appeared and re-appeared on the market. For some reason, my recollection of the story of the Lord St. Oswald coins – either from reading it somewhere or conjuring it up in my dreams – was that the good Lord visited the Mint in 1795, purchased a small group of incredibly high-grade Large Cents, Half Dollars, and Silver Dollars, and stashed them away in a cigar box until their discovery and sale in 1964. Only a part of that legend is true (the coins were indeed of superb quality). The rest, as I mentioned, is myth.

Recently, numismatic researcher David Tripp debunked the conventional wisdom that the coins were acquired by the Lord St. Oswald, based on the fact that the title did not exist until 1885. What Mr. Tripp discovered was that the coins were acquired by William Strickland, an ancestor of Lord St. Oswald, on a trip to the United States from 1794 to 1795. The Strickland coins ended up at Nostell Priory, a country home near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, where they remained until their sale 170 years later. The coins were not bouncing about, loose and unprotected, in a cigar box. Rather, the coins were housed in a coin cabinet constructed by Thomas Chippendale, whose name is revered among furniture collectors.

In October 1964, the English auction house of Christie, Manson, and Woods offered 30 United States coins from the Lord St. Oswald Collection. Starting at lot 137, the collection included two 1794 Silver Dollars, three 1795 Silver Dollars, three 1795 Half Dollars, and twenty-two 1794 Large Cents. How these coins were selected for sale in 1964 is unknown, but several coins were left behind, including a 1793 Chain Cent, two High-Relief Head 1794 Half Cents, two more 1794 Large Cents, and a group of mixed Colonial coins in various grades.  In 1992, Christie’s sold the extra coins without mentioning the Lord St. Oswald name.

Because the total number of Federal coins in the Strickland/Lord St. Oswald Collection is only thirty-five coins, and because they are – for the most part – so well known, I thought it would be interesting to find out where they are now. What are the “modern” grades and where have they been since 1964 (and 1992)? Some of the answers are unexpected.

In the next installment, we’ll begin looking at the individual coins and revealing some interesting information about them. Stay tuned.

Filed Under: News

Ask Don: Reviewing the Brand New PCGS Holder

Don Willis

Posted on June 2, 2015 by 5 Comments

Two weeks ago, I introduced the next generation PCGS holder and it was very well received. Today I’d like to answer some of the questions that were asked about testing, materials, and combatting counterfeiters.

Filed Under: News

Ask Don: Introducing Our New Holder

Don Willis

Posted on May 19, 2015 by No Comments


Every grading company has a quest to build the perfect holder. We’re introducing a new holder in 2015, so come check out some of the new features that come with the next generation of PCGS holders.

Filed Under: News

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