Archive for January, 2016

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

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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