Archive for December, 2015

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

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.

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

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.

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