To start off our landmark auction year in 1984 Stack's presented the astounding coin collection of Amon G. Carter, Jr. This collection had been started by Amon Carter, Sr. and later enhanced by his son. The Carter family owned the Fort Worth Star Journal, was a major shareholder of American Airlines, and in 1953 the Amon Carter Field airport was opened in Fort Worth.
Our January sale of 1,798 lots offered sets of Proof and Mint State small cents, five-cent nickels, half dimes, dimes, quarters and half dollars. These were the earlier sets assembled by Amon, Jr. Also featured was a virtually complete set of early dollars, built with the help of Amon, Sr. This collection was highlighted by a Gem 1794, brilliant Proofs of 1801, 1802, and 1803, and the very rare 1804. The Gobrecht dollars followed, along with Liberty Seated dollars with nearly every date in Mint State or Proof. Of note were the very rare 1870-1873 Carson City silver dollars and the exceedingly rare 1870-S. The sets of Morgan and Peace dollars were complete, and the trade dollars included both the 1884 and 1885.
The gold coins were extremely impressive. Starting with United States gold, the collection had a full set of gold dollars (considered one of the finest ever assembled). The quarter eagles started with both types of 1796, continuing through 1808, a run from 1821 to 1836, a superb 1848 CAL, and virtually a full set of Proof issues from 1859-1907. Three-dollar gold pieces were nearly complete and included Proofs of 1875 and 1876, followed by a set of the four $4 gold Stellas and, a quintuple gold Stella!. The half eagles started with 1795 and contained most varieties through 1829, highlighted by an 1815 and an 1819. There were also most of the Proof issues from 1860 to 1915. Eagles comprised a full date set from 1795 to 1804 and a run of Proofs from 1858 to 1915, including the rare issues from 1873, 1874, 1875 and 1876. $20 double eagles were also almost complete, and featured many rarities including New Orleans coins from 1851 through 1856. The Proof double eagles featured 1861, 1864, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885 and a number of later issues. The Saint-Gaudens series was well represented, including 1920-S, 1921, 1924-D, 1924-S, 1925-D, 1925-S, 1926-D, 1926-S, 1927-S, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D and 1932.
One particularly notable highlight was the 1848 gold , silver and copper Proof set in its original box of issue.
The pioneer and territorial gold collection was one of the largest and most important sold at public auction and rivaled the famous Walton Collection that we had sold in 1962. It offered an outstanding number of $50 gold "slugs," with three Wass, Molitor round $50s and one round Kellogg, along with 27 octagonal slugs of all types and varieties. Other rare issues included coins of the U.S. Assay Office, Moffat & Co., Norris, Gregg & Norris, Dunbar & Co., Dubosq & Co., Wass Molitor, and the Mormons, plus many more.
Famous pedigrees represented in the Amon Carter, Jr. Family Collection included Dunham, Neil, Col. E.H.R. Green, Atwater, Olson, Roe, King Farouk, Roach, Granberg, Newcomer, Haseltine and numerous other well known collections that had been sold at public auction or private treaty during the first half of the 20th century. This trend of desirable pedigrees would carry through to many of the other fine collections sold by Stack's in 1984.
The Amon Carter, Jr. Collection was a great way for Stack's to start off the year, but there was no time for us to rest, as our March sale brought to the auction block Part 2 of the collection of Americana formed by the late John L. Roper of Norfolk, Virginia.