It is that time again! Welcome to our latest Rarities Night session, always a landmark event in the American numismatic marketplace. Showcased are treasures from three of the most important private holdings to come on the marketplace in our time:
The Heintzelman Collection was formed by a leading Pennsylvania family through several generations. Included are important rarities, most of which have been off the market for many years. The Sutton Court Collection is another marvelous old-time collection with coins that are fresh to the market—completely new to today's buyers. The focus is on early half dollars. The Claudia St. John Collection emphasizes 19th and 20th century coins by design type, but also includes key rarities including notable high-grade examples of the 1889-CC Morgan dollar and 1929 half eagle.
Key issues and "trophy" coins abound across the board. There is room in every advanced collection for a 1776 Continental dollar, and a beautiful Mint State example (with the CURENCY misspelling) awaits. Among coins of the 20th century one of the more curious issues is the 1937-D Buffalo nickel with the bison missing a leg. These are usually found in VF to AU grades, not in the remarkable super-Gem MS-66+ featured in this catalog. In his "Silver Barons" poem published in The Numismatist in the 1890s, Augustus G. Heaton singled out the 1802 half dime as a treasure. Among American silver rarities this is the only one we have never seen or handled in Mint State. I can see bids coming in from all directions to capture the offered AU-50 coin as it crosses the block.
The year 1796 is very special in the annals of coinage, and some years ago John Whitney Walter attracted a lot of attention when he focused on coins of this year. In the pages to follow can be found a high-grade quarter, half dollar, and quarter eagle (with stars on obverse) of this date, all of which are first-class rarities. Of all basic design types of federal coins from 1792 to date the 1808 quarter eagle stands high as the hardest by far to find in Mint State. Your search ends here! Easier to locate, but always in great demand due to its popularity, is the 1879 Flowing Hair $4 gold Stella, here represented by a beautiful Gem. If you specialize in Liberty Head double eagles and haven't completed your collection, your want list probably includes the 1854-O and 1856-O, If so, keep your hand in the air at the sale or on the BID button on your computer and these will be yours.
As I have mentioned before, welcome to Baltimore. The red carpet will be rolled out especially for you. As for me, I will be in and around the Expo, and I invite you to track me down and chat, whether you are a newcomer to numismatics or an old-timer. If you are the latter and are thinking of selling, we would love to have the opportunity to showcase your collection.
Come to Baltimore early, enjoy the fine restaurants and sights of the Inner Harbor are, and enjoy one of the most important numismatic events of the year. Or if you are home, our sale will be available worldwide in virtual reality on the Internet. Register in advance and participate from Spitzbergen, Waldkirch, Singapore, Beijing, or Geneva. Or, more realistically, from the comfort and convenience of your home in America.
Participate as a bidder, as a buyer, or as an interested observer. On behalf of the entire staff of Stack's Bowers Galleries I thank you for your interest.
All good wishes,
Q, David Bowers
Co-founder, Stack's Bowers Galleries