As I write these notes I am in the middle of a very enjoyable pursuit: reviewing the panorama of coins, tokens, medals and paper money on deck for our forthcoming auction at theWhitman Coins & Collectibles Baltimore Expo in March. If you plan to attend you know the excitement that always prevails. If you have never attended, check your schedule, check the map, and make plans to come to Baltimore. The convention is dynamic with hundreds of dealers in the bourse, wonderful numismatic items in our official auction, and a lot of old-fashioned good times and camaraderie. It is one of my favorite shows and I will certainly be there.
Our auction will have something for just about every numismatic preference. To describe my favorites would take many paragraphs, but here are some that come to mind as I write. Colonial and early American coins include additional pieces from the cabinet of Ted Craige, an old-time New York state numismatist who sought fine quality and, at the same time, enjoyed the history and romance of his coins. I remember sitting with him at a table in his home looking at state coppers of the 1780s as he passed them one by one to me, giving his opinion of the quality or telling how he acquired it. Ted was unusual but not unique in that if one example of a variety was pleasing, then two or three were even better! Accordingly, in some of his favorite series, Vermont coppers being an example, there will be multiples in the Baltimore sale. His collection of French Colonies is world class. Other coins could be mentioned as well, but I will let the catalog and Internet presentation surprise you. One of my very favorite items from the 18th century is the Theatre at New York “penny.” A magnificent specimen of this is offered.
Among other early coins a gorgeous 1792 silver half disme in Choice Mint State will attract attention. It seems like only yesterday when we offered the Cardinal Collection example on January 24. Now comes another opportunity, not in the same “ultra” grade, but still beautiful, historic, and memorable -- furnishing the occasion to tell once again its fascinating story. Early large cents include many interesting varieties, transitioning to later issues, then multiple examples of the famous 1856 Flying Eagle cent, a nice selection of patterns of 1858, and many interesting, indeed exciting, Indian and Lincoln cents. Among the Indian cents is one of the greatest “story” coins of all time, the 1875 with a raised dot on the reverse. A necessary part of any Stack’s Bowers auction, it seems, are 1909-S V.D.B. cents and 1955 Doubled Die cents, both nicely represented with multiple offerings. Two-cent and three-cent pieces will satisfy, as will nickels of all kinds, including Proof and Mint State pieces in seldom seen grades.
Silver coins range from trimes to trade dollars, with nice representations of the various types in between, sprinkled with key dates, Condition Census coins, and other highlights. Gold coins are similar and include basic “type” coins and popular varieties, as well as early issues, Proofs, and high-level Mint State specimens. The offering of commemoratives is extensive, and also includes some nice related material, such as a veritable museum exhibit of ephemera connected with the 1934 Maryland Tercentenary. I mention territorial gold and patterns as well. Medals are likewise important and are highlighted by the famous Libertas America medal in silver.
Paper money includes some marvelous proof notes from New England, all of which are scarce and some of which are exceedingly rare or even unique -- an offering to be long remembered. Federal notes encompass popular large-size types such as have high rankings in The 100 Greatest American Currency Notesplus small-size notes with intriguing and fancy serial numbers, and more.
The catalog will be in print soon. If you are a subscriber, watch for it. If not, the entire panorama is available free of charge at our website: www.stacksbowers.com, including high-resolution color pictures. Get ready! Get set! AlmostGo! I’ll see you in Baltimore or, if you don’t attend, I hope you will participate by bidding on the Internet, either before the sale or in real time. Either way, a memorable experience awaits you.