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Mail Bid Auction 45

Auction ends on August 2, 2017 6:00 pm MDT

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Lot # Date Variety Rarity Grade Description Number of Bids High Bid Photos
1 1807 50/20 O.112 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Gehring Prouty.  Dazzling luster showcases the exceptionally strong strike on this early die state.  The obverse is lightly toned while the reverse features alluring shades of iridescent gunmetal blue/grey.  A truly choice example, worthy of a first-rate date or type set.  This was Lot 2 in my June 2001 MB Sale No. 26.  The coin was withdrawn when it mysteriously disappeared before the auction closed.  Keith Davignon was at the ready when I located the coin and offered it for private sale.  Prouty acquired the coin at Stack’s October 1991 Alto II, Part 1 auction sale, lot 766 @ $2,750.   Est. $5,000 to $6,000 1 $4,500
Reserve not met
 
2 1808/7 O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Gerald Schertz.  The surfaces, while virtually free of contact marks, feature a wonderful morass of die breaks and clash marks.  Only a peacock might aspire to the range of iridescent colors that grab and hold the viewer’s eye.  Keith purchased the coin from me in June 1994; it was part of the nearly complete die variety set of Dr. Gerald Schertz, BHNC #45.  “Jerry” was a keen student of numismatics as well as the people, places, and cultures of planet Earth. He was also a close friend.  We often traveled to exotic lands, including the Australian Outback, Antarctica, the Selous and Serengeti in Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and India.  He was a brilliant medical oncologist, practicing in Roanoke, VA.  Jerry died in November 2013, age 67.  He was struck by a car while crossing the street after attending patients in the hospital.  His passing was a tragedy for his wife, son, daughter and all who knew him.  Est. $4,000 to $5,000. 0 $0
 
3 1809 O.103 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Charles De Olden.  A stunning 1809 with a whisper of friction on Liberty’s cheek.  Deep, frosty luster is a match for choice uncirculated bust halves.  The crust of antique grey toning, tinged with pale gold, bespeaks originality.  Note, especially, the well struck left wing – a rarity for this die pair.  A short drift mark behind the eagle’s head is mint made.  Refining techniques of the early 19th Century Mint were uncertain.  Acquired April 30, 2001 from MB 26, lot 223 as NGC MS 61.  The NGC label accompanies this lot.   Est. $3,250 to $4,000. 1 $3,000
Reserve not met
 
4 1809 O.106 R.3 PCGS MS 62 Ex. Charles Link.  Shades of iridescent green, rose and indigo sear the eye.  Cartwheel luster rolls beneath the fabulous toning.  No marks deserve mention.  Intermediate to late die state, with a defining crack through stars 1-7 and softness in the left wing. Acquired privately from Dr. Link at the Nov. 2011 Baltimore Show.    Est. $4,000 to $5,000. 0 $0
 
5 1810 O.105 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC On another day this lovely 1810 would grade MS.  A veil of gold toning embraces the fully lustrous surfaces.  Friction, if any, is confined to Liberty’s cheek.  A contact mark runs across portions of the shield, well disguised and of ancient origin.  This date is notoriously difficult to find in choice AU or better; most seen are O.101 through 103.  Acquired privately from your cataloguer during the August 1997 ANA Convention.  Est. $3,250 to $4,000 1 $2,800
Reserve not met
 
6 1811/10 O.101 R.1 PCGS MS 62 Ex Richard Graham and Ralph Fox.  Reasonably early die state, with well struck devices: note, especially, the rounded curls over and around Liberty’s ear.  Portions of the underlying 0 survive, bottom left and top right of the first 1 in the date.  Thick, cakey luster rolls beneath an antique grey patina.  Minor contact marks may account for the conservative grade; none deserve mention.  The rarity of accurately graded mint state examples of this overdate is reflected in their auction performance.  This example is worth a stretch!  Acquired at the Jan. 2013 FUN Show, a jewel from Dick Graham’s magnificent collection of capped bust halves.  Graham, author of the standard reference work on reeded edge bust halves, purchased this coin in the 1990’s when your cataloguer offered selections from the Ralph Fox Collection (includeding a mint state 1807 Small Stars). Est. $7,000 to $8,000. 0 $0
 
7 1812 O.103 R.1 PCGS AU 58 OGH Untoned, with lovely surfaces and scintillating luster; the central devices are boldly struck.  A hint of friction on the cheek, nowhere else.  I enjoyed and agree with Keith’s comment, “A poster child AU 58.”  Purchased from the late Elliot Goldman at the Aug. 1989 ANA Convention.  Elliot, from Tucson, AZ, did business as Allstate Coin Co.  He was especially fond of bust halves (and 1909-Svdb cents).  He supplied Gehring Prouty and George Hamilton with many beautiful busties.  His bourse table was festooned with humorous signs.   Est. $3,000 to $3,750 0 $0
 
8 1812 O.106 R.3 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Troy Nelson (Allgood Collection).  Later die state, hallmarked by the worn obverse die and a prodigious reverse die break.  This die pair is very difficult to find in higher grades.  To their credit PCGS and CAC focused on the bold luster and pleasing surfaces rather than punishing the coin for its striking weaknesses.  Ex Heritage 2011 Jan. FUN Show Sale, lot 3629 @ $3,220.  Est. $3,000 to $3,750. 2 $2,700
Reserve met
 
9 1812 O.110 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC A halo of pale gold envelops the stars and legend.  The centers are antique grey with subtle rose and copper highlights.  Another first-rate 1812.  Acquired at the Jan. 2012 FUN Show from David Lawrence RC.  Est. $2,750 to $3,500. 0 $0
 
10 1813 O.102 R.4 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Ed Stout.  Silver-grey with intense luster – unusual for this scarce die pair.  Davignon pegged the coin as “one of the best 4 or 5 I’ve seen in 30 years.”  The obverse die debuted with and outlived the glamorous 50/UNI reverse.  Its new partner displays the full-feathered, crisp detail of a freshly prepared die.  Here is an important offering for the die variety collector; it will not go unnoticed.  BHNC member #40, Ed Stout, sold his collection to me in Jan. 2009.  He graded this coin “MS 60.”  He considered this coin and his 1833 O.115 (see lot 45) to be the highlights of his collection.   I leave it to others to find any friction on the coin.  Davignon purchased it via private treaty in April. 2009.    Est. $2,750 to $4,000. 0 $0
 
11 1813 O.105 R.1 PCGS MS 63 Ex Richard Graham.  Satiny luster graces the smooth, lightly toned surfaces.  Liberty’s curls are exquisitely detailed.  No luster breaks are found on the cheek or elsewhere.  Mint state 1813’s are scarce, distinctly more so than bust halves dated 1811 or 1812.  Acquired from David Kahn at the 2010 FUN Show; earlier in the collection of Richard Graham.  Est. $4,000 to $5,000. 0 $0
 
12 1814 O.103 R.1 PCGS MS 63 Ex Charles Link.    An especially handsome example of the most common die pair of the year.  The rich, iridescent blue-grey toning displays a gloss of gold, more so on the reverse.  Heavy clash marks punctuate the obverse while a notable injury to the die connects the scroll and left wing – each a hallmark of the die pair.  Acquired directly from Dr. Link in May 2012.  Est. $4,000 to $5,000. 0 $0
 
13 1814 O.107 R.2 PCGS MS 62 Ex Charles Link, as noted on the PCGS label.  Fiery luster permeates the untoned surfaces.  There are virtually no signs of contact and not a hint of friction on this near Condition Census coin.  Both sides exhibit light to moderate clash marks, typical of half-dollars struck between 1810 and 1815.  Acquired directly from Dr. Link in March 2016.  The O.107 die pair (in a later die state) was used to strike the legendary platinum half-dollars of 1814, J. 44, of which 2 or 3 are known.  Est. $4,000 to $5,000 0 $0
 
14 1814 E/A O.108a R.1 PCGS AU 55 CAC Ex Jules Reiver, as noted on the PCGS label.    This lot will be one of the most sought-after in the sale.  Though merely “R.1,” the 1814 E/A is devilishly hard to find in AU and nearly impossible in Mint State.  This example, with a celebrated provenance, is ablaze with luster.  Traces of golden toning run through portions of the stars and legend.  Clash marks abound, adding character to a marvelous remnant of the early Mint.  The coin is essentially as struck, without faults and only a whisper of friction.  NGC graded the coin AU 58 before Heritage offered it as lot 22731 in its historic Jan. 2006 sale of the Reiver Collection.  Keith Davignon was the savvy buyer.  Jules Reiver’s 2x2 white envelope with handwritten notes accompanies the lot.  Est. $4,500 and up 1 $4,000
Reserve not met
 
15 1815/2 O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 55 CAC Sorting through a legion of generously graded, questionably toned, surface marked, damaged and chemically treated 1815’s is a chore many collectors have found disheartening.  Here is a breath of fresh air.  The Davignon 1815 has been off the market for 23 years.  It will be remembered for years to come.  “Original!” is the one word Keith wrote when he placed a sticker on the PCGS capsule.  He might have added, “A+ for eye-appeal.”  The coin is encased in a patina of antique grey, electrically charged with infusions of gold, copper and related autumn colors.  The lightly clashed surfaces are free of contact marks.  In short, this is a coin for the ages.  Congratulations, a hug and hearty handshake to the successful bidder!  A private acquisition from your cataloguer in November 1993.  Wish I could remember where I picked it up!   Est. $15,000 and up 0 $0
 
16 1817 O.106 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Russell Logan and Floyd Farley. Steel grey with deep, unbroken luster.  Hard to find any friction on the coin.  Terrific eye appeal and surfaces complement the fully struck, early die state.  This is the “Comet Head” variety that transformed itself to the better known 1817 Single Leaf, O.106a.  Last offered in B&M’s Nov. 2002 sale of Russ Logan’s collection, lot 2328.  Russ eschewed slabs.  He graded the coin “AU 55.”  There was no “AU 58” in his vocabulary.  An AU coin was either 50 or 55.  Russ acquired the coin in February 1999 from my MB 23 (lot 5, as AU 55), where I commented, “No ifs, ands or buts – this is a first rate 1817.”  The consignor was Floyd Farley, BHNC #2.  Farley purchased it as “UNC” from “O’Brien” in Dec. 1965.  Farley’s and Logan’s personal tags accompany the lot, along with those from MB 23 and the B&M Logan sale.  Farley to Logan to Davignon to ???  An amazing provenance – and a wonderful coin!  Est. $2,500 to $3,000. 1 $2,200
Reserve not met
 
17 1818 O.111 R.1 PCGS MS 62 CAC Ex Louis Eliasberg (noted on the PCGS label), Russell Logan and Dick Graham.  Strictly uncirculated with immaculate surfaces, a strong candidate for “upgrade.”.  Beautifully toned: the smooth blanket of iridescent grey sparkles with green and gold undertones.  The strike is first rate.  Russ Logan purchased the coin at the Eliasberg II Sale, April 1997, lot 1754 as MS 63.  Logan’s tag notes an earlier provenance: J.M. Clapp, M.A. Brown and the Chapman Bros.  Dick Graham purchased the coin from your cataloguer shortly after I acquired it at the Nov. 2002 Logan Sale, lot 2354.  Keith Davignon became the next owner in January 2010, via private treaty.  Graham’s, Logan’s and my personal tags accompany the lot along with the B&M tag from the Logan Sale.   Est. $3,500 to $4,500. 0 $0
 
18 1819 O.107a R.3 PCGS MS 61 Blast white with intense, unbroken luster.  Crisply struck; all 13 stars proudly display their center points.  Pleasing surfaces for the grade.  Ms. Liberty reached her pinnacle of beauty in the years 1819 through 1822.  Note, especially, her finely detailed hair and curls.  As a date, 1819 is known for a paucity of mint state examples. Acquired privately in July 1998 from North American Coin Co. of Rocky Hill, CT.  Est. $2,500 to $3,500 1 $2,500
Reserve not met
 
19 1821 O.101 R.1 PCGS MS 63 CAC This is a “WOW” coin for those who covet originality.  A protective crust of “grey dirt” ripened over nearly two centuries of repose.  The peripheries are alive with iridescent flashes of gold, aqua and related colors of the sunset.  I believe this coin to be among the few bust halves that from the time it was struck until the present day were locked away by its stewards in a sheltered environment, free of efforts to “improve” its appearance.  As Mr. Rogers told our children, “I like you just the way you are!”  From Stack’s-Bowers March 2012 sale, lot 3529.  Est. $3,500 to $4,500. 1 $3,500
Reserve met
 
20 1823 Ugly 3 O.110a R.3 PCGS AU 58 CAC Superb eye appeal!  Cartwheel luster rolls beneath the original antique grey and pale gold toning.  The smooth surfaces exhibit faint signs of clashed dies but very few contact marks.  Certainly, the coin never saw circulation.  The 1823 “Ugly 3” has shown itself to be as tough to find in high grade as the 1823 “Broken 3.”  This is the first AU 58 I’ve handled, privately or at auction, since Roger Solomon’s AU 58 appeared 6 years ago.  Chuck Link’s PCGS AU 55 stirred up Registry Set collectors a year ago, finally settling at $3,740 (MB 43, lot 38).  It may take twice that to land this pristine beauty.  Remarkably, a second 1823 Ugly 3, also graded PCGS AU 58, is offered in this Sale.  Turn to lot 82: compare the photos or preview the lots and take your pick.  This is an ideal time to use the One-Lot-Only option, fully described in the Terms of Sale.   Acquired privately at the March 2012 Baltimore Show.  Earlier in the collection of Dr. Charles Link.  Est. $6,000 and up. 0 $0
 
21 1824/Var Dates O.103 R.1 PCGS MS 62 CAC In June 1987 Bowers & Merena conducted its First Natl’ Bank of Denver Collection sale.  Word got around that an important offering of capped bust halves would cross the block.  I ordered up a group for preview by mail.  My mentors, Elton Dosier and Henry Hilgard, joined me in pouring over the coins.  The sampling included high grade coins and rare die varieties.  They were gorgeous.  I never learned the identity of the consignor.  Business prevented me from attending the sale.  But Henry had time.  Off to New York City he went.  He returned with an exquisite group of busties.  Many went into the Dosier and Hilgard collections.  Others went into my inventory which was quickly raided by Gehring Prouty, George Hamilton, Charlton Meyer, Steve Nomura, and other sharp-eyed collectors of three decades past.  Keith Davignon did his own bidding and came up with this “1824/2/0.”  B&M graded it MS 63.  No argument.  The description was straight forward and accurate: Among the finest known examples….  The centers are sunset toned over natural mint frost, with deep blue and violet at the peripheries on either side.  Today, we see the term “album toning” to describe this coveted and colorful configuration.  This was lot 314 in the Bank of Denver sale.  It brought $1,347.50, a hefty price for the day.  The auction tag accompanies. Est. $4,000 to $5,000. 1 $3,500
Reserve not met
 
22 1824/4 O.109 R.2 PCGS MS 62 CAC There are two die pairs of 1824 that feature the “4 over recut 4” feature: O.109 and O.110.  The O.109 is scarcer, esp. in higher grades.  Subtle shades of blue, rose, gold and aqua blanket the obverse.  The reverse is lightly toned.  Both sides exhibit extravagant luster.  The strike is crisp and the surfaces are lovely.  A thin “double profile” outlines the portrait, not unusual on half-dollars of this era.  Ex Dick Graham Collection, acquired privately in January 2010.  Est.  $3.500 to $4,000 0 $0
 
23 1824 O.115 R.2 PCGS MS 62 CAC Ex Donald L. Parsley.  Raucous toning and intense luster, a gorgeous coin that last appeared (as NGC MS 63) in Don Parsley’s consignment to MB 25, June 2000, lot 32.  I offered an understated description: The obverse is boldly lustrous with turquoise toning through stars 2-8.  The reverse features iridescent grey toning with aqua and gold highlights.  This is another very pretty 1824.   Davignon was the winning bidder.  He removed the coin from its NGC MS 63 holder.  Don Parsley, of course, is the son-in-law of Al Overton.  He and wife Bonnie (Overton) maintained and improved the Overton Collection until its sale, intact, in 1993.  Don remained an active collector, picking up many important coins, including an 1817/4 that he later consigned to MB 31 in Aug. 2005n.   Est. $2,300 to $3,000 0 $0
 
24 1824 O.117 R.1 PCGS MS 63 Another magnificent 1824.  This example features electric sea-green toning in the centers, with a halo of pale gold through the stars and legend.  Minor striking weaknesses in the lowest drapery lines and a portion of the motto are trifling criticisms.  Picked up at the Nov. 2007 Baltimore Show.  Est. $2,750 to $3.500. 0 $0
 
25 1825 O.106 R.3 PCGS AU 58 CAC Blast white with unbroken, boisterous luster.  The central devices are fully struck, the surfaces essentially free of contact or handling marks.  Is there friction on the cheek?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Purchased in April 1999 from your cataloguer.  Then in an NGC MS 61 capsule. Est. $1,800 to $2,500 0 $0
 
26 1826 O.105 R.3 PCGS AU 55 CAC OGH Rich antique toning lends an aristocratic aura to this piece.  Delicate iridescence trickles from the grey centers and darker peripheries.  The varicolored reverse bespeaks originality.  Acquired via private treaty in March 1987 in the same holder as today.  Est. $650 to $800 8 $655
Reserve met
 
27 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.114 R.3 PCGS MS 62 CAC Ex Robinson S. Brown, Jr. and Donald L. Parsley.  A second example from Don Parsley’s consignment to my June 2000 MB 25.  Lot 52, then in a “fattie” NGC MS 62 holder, was described, in part: Golden toning circles the stars and legend and encases most devices.  The portrait and fields are light grey.  I neglected to mention rings of turquoise iridescence through portions of the peripheries; nor did I comment on the depth of unbroken luster.  Parsley acquired the coin from MB 15 (Lot 50) in Aug. 1995.  The PCGS label carries the “Brown” provenance.  “Robbie,” as he was known to his coin friends, came to bust halves after establishing himself as a preeminent collector of Large Cents.  Twice he assembled complete sets by Sheldon variety.  Between 1987 and 1995 he focused on bust halves.  His collection rose to the top tier of the BHNC in both quality and completeness.  In 1995 I had the pleasure of dispersing his collection, privately and through a series of 3 auctions.  The next time you tip a glass of Jack Daniels, Canadian Mist or Early Times you might offer a toast to Robbie.  He was CEO of Brown-Forman, producer of these whiskies.  He passed away in 2005 at the age of 88.    Est. $1,800 to $2,500. 0 $0
 
28 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.121 R.3 PCGS AU 58 CAC Superb album toning with virtually pristine surfaces.  A great many coins were cleaned before being stored in one of Wayte Raymond’s albums.  This enchanting coin exudes originality. The 1827 O.121 shares its obverse with two rarities, the R.5 O.122 and R.5- O.123.  It was 3rd in line; the strike, therefore, is generally blunt.  There are anomalous exceptions, including the fully struck Overton plate coin and two or three proofs.  Acquired at Superior’s Sept. 2008 Pre-Long Beach Sale, lot 210.  Est. $1,800 to $2,500. 0 $0
 
29 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.125 R.3 PCGS AU 55 CAC Ex Jules Reiver, as noted on the PCGS label.  Yet another coin with virtually pristine surfaces.  The natural grey toning is infused with refined iridescence.  Weak rims and a generally soft obverse impression are products of the late die state.  Lot 23030 in Heritage’s Jan. 2006 sale of the Reiver Collection as NGC AU 58.  Reiver’s envelope accompanies.  His scribbled attribution, “O.125b,” is a shorthand description of the die state.  He acquired the coin from his friend and BHNC stalwart, Don Frederick, Jan. 30, 1980. Est. $700 to $900. 1 $500
Reserve not met
 
30 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.134 R.4 PCGS MS 63 CAC Davignon notes, “top 2 or 3 known.”  The pale gold toning, flecked with rose iridescence, is unquestionably original.  The strike is first rate for this die pair while the coin’s eye appeal is a testament to Davignon’s patience and unerring eye for quality.  Acquired privately from Russell Augustin at the June 2010 Baltimore Show.   Est. $2,250 to $3,000. 0 $0
 
31 1827 Curl 2 O.147 R.4 PCGS AU 58 Ex John Crowley.  This is an eye-catching coin with gaudy luster, enhanced by splashes of colorful iridescence through the date and most of the stars.  Just two of 49 die pairs from 1827 feature a curl base 2.  This is the scarcer of the two.  Acquired from your cataloguer during the August 2001 ANA Convention where I was selling the nearly complete die variety set of John Crowley. Est. $2,000 to $2,750. 0 $0
 
32 1828 Curl 2, No Knob O.102 R.2 PCGS AU 55 CAC Minor striking errorStruck through a thin fragment (of wire? thread?) on the reverse (scroll to beak, neck and right wing.)  Easy to miss, though I’m sure PCGS and CAC recognized the nature of the imperfection.  Silver-grey toning blankets the surfaces.  Full cartwheel luster in the fields should be (but isn’t) automatic on an AU coin.  This is a pretty coin with sparkle and hints of prooflike surfaces on the obverse. From Alpine Numismatics, May 2002 as NGC AU 58.  Est. $600 to $800. 0 $0
 
33 1828 Sq.2, Sm.8, Lg. Lets O.108 R.1 PCGS MS 63 CAC Ex Louis Eliasberg.  Semi- prooflike fields, obverse and reverse, with original silver-grey toning, a feature of most Eliasberg half-dollars.  The central devices are fully struck.  Lot 1839 in the April 1997 Eliasberg Sale; earlier in the George Earle and John H. Clapp collections.  Auction tag accompanies.  Though offered raw as “MS-61 proof-like,” my notes suggested a higher grade.  Dave Rutherford outbid Tim Osborne, in a friendly battle between senior members of BHNC.  Davignon acquired the coin from me at the Nov. 2009 Baltimore Show when Rutherford decided to part with his collection.   Est. $2,600 to $3,000. 0 $0
 
34 1828 Sq.2, Sm.8, Lg. Lets O.117 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Captivating album toning!  Light friction on the high points, none in the fields – just what we expect of our “58’s.”  This is a coin with terrific eye appeal.  Lot 2241 (at $1,840) in B&M’s Nov. 2007 sale of Don Willis’ “Premier Collection.”  Willis was then a prominent dealer in early American coins.  He is now president of PCGS.  Est. $1,500 to $2,250. 1 $700
Reserve not met
 
35 1829 O.112 R.1 PCGS MS 62 CAC Wholly original -- an archetype grey dirt bust half with alluring undertones of rose and gold iridescence.  Smooth fields flank the nicely impressed devices.  From Heritage’s Jan. 2012 FUN sale, lot 3510.  The PCGS label notes, “Guttag Family.”  Est. $1,800 to $2,500. 0 $0
 
36 1830 O.117 R.2 PCGS AU 55 CAC OGH Ex John Tidwell.  A handsome coin with natural grey toning.  Vibrant, unbroken luster in the fields may signal an upgrade effort by the next owner.  The surfaces are especially nice.  Purchased during the Aug. 2004 ANA Convention from my offering of the Tidwell Collection.  Tidwell had risen to the top of the BHNC census, owning such rarities as an 1817/4, 1827 O.148 and 149 as well as a complete set of the 1833-34-35 crushed lettered edge proof half-dollars.  Est. $500 to $800. 0 $0
 
37 1831 O.101 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Jules Reiver, as noted on the PCGS label.  Full luster brightens the golden toned surfaces.  An enchanting swath of iridescent turquoise runs through stars 1-7.  Top flight eye appeal!  Lot 23182 in the Jan. 2006 Reiver Sale as NGC AU 58.  Reiver’s envelope accompanies; it documents his July 14, 1987 purchase from Stack’s.  Est. $1,100 to $1,500. 0 $0
 
38 1831 O.102 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Antique grey with blue, gold and turquoise highlights.  Strong luster and pleasing surfaces add up to this CAC approved AU 58.  A second example from Don Willis’ Premier Collection, appearing in B&M’s March 2009 Baltimore Sale, lot 1024.  Est. $1,100 to $1,500. 0 $0
 
39 1832 Lg. Lets. Rev. O.101a R.1 PCGS AU 58 Ex Richard Pugh.  The strike is amazing!  So is the brilliant, dare I say garish luster.  This flamboyant Red Book staple will catch your eye from across the room.  Mark-free surfaces are a bonus.  The barest touch of friction on Liberty’s cheek makes this coin available to those participating in PCGS’ “Everyman” Registry Set.  My interest in bust halves began in the early 1980’s.  Richard Pugh was among the most enthusiastic die variety collectors of the day.  He lived near Los Angeles and never missed a weekend coin show within 200 miles.  His cherry-picking skills rewarded him with a raft of rare die marriages.  He sought quality when it came to the common dates and die pairs.  This lot is an example.  (Auction tag accompanies.)  Richard died, way too young, in 1991.  Superior sold his collection just before the 1992 June Long Beach Show.  It was a major event; the offerings included an R.8 1805 O.114 and a pair of (then) R.7 1827 O.137’s.  Est. $900 to $1,250. 0 $0
 
40 1832 Sm. Lets. O.103 R.1 PCGS MS 63 CAC Ex Richard GrahamA beautifully impressed 1832 that carries a majestic look of originality.  Note the detail in Liberty’s curls and the eagle’s feathers.  Light toning fails to diminish the depth of luster.  Acquired from Dick Graham at the March 2010 Baltimore Show.  Est. $2,100 to $2,750. 0 $0
 
41 1832 Dash Date O.112 R.2 PCGS AU 55 CAC The “dash date” obverse, also found on the R.7+ 1832 O.123.  Satiny surfaces, coated with a blanket of original antique grey toning.  Iridescent gold sparkles around the stars and legend.  Radiant, unbroken luster makes this offering odds-on for upgrade.  The reverse appears UNC, the obverse with but a hint of rub on the cheek and cap.  Acquired from your cataloguer at the 2016 FUN Show.  Est. $700 to $900. 1 $550
Reserve met
 
42 1833 O.106 R.2 PCGS AU 53 CAC Ex Brad Higgins.  This was lot 38 in MB 30, March 2005.  The sale featured the collection of BHNC member Brad Higgins, a keen student of the series – with an equally keen eye for quality.  Brad did not favor slabs.  He purchased this coin in a PCGS AU 55 holder (the right grade) and broke it out.  It was offered raw, as “Choice AU,” and described as follows: This original coin features a rich antique grey patina.  The luster is thick and undisturbed save for the barest friction on the cheek and lower breast.  If you need the date or variety, or simply lust after a connoisseur’s coin this one is for you.  Davignon acquired the coin from Dave Perkins during the 2014 ANA Convention.  Est. $500 to $750. 2 $450
Reserve not met
 
43 1833 O.108 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Michael Summers.  This is an uncirculated coin with a trace of cabinet friction on the cheek.  The coin is essentially as struck, with its original allotment of luster intact. The surfaces are first rate.  Pay attention to the detail in Liberty’s curls, often a sore point on half-dollars of 1833.  Acquired from your cataloguer at the Jan. 2007 FUN Show.  Earlier in the renowned collection of Michael Summers.  Mike is a planetary scientist and professor at George Mason University.  In the mid-1980’s, while earning his PhD. at Cal Tech, he honed his attribution skills, enjoying great success as a cherry picker at local coin shows, particularly the Long Beach Shows.  Est. $1,000 to $1,500. 0 $0
 
44 1833 O.109 R.3 PCGS AU 55 CAC Ex Richard Graham.  Unquestioned originality, hallmarked by pristine surfaces and a protective patina of antique grey toning.  Pale gold iridescence contributes to the eye appeal.  The reverse is uncirculated, the luster deep and unbroken while the obverse displays friction only on the cheek and breast.  In short the coin will be a match to any first rate bust half graded AU 58.  Bid accordingly.  Purchased from Dave Kahn at the 2015 World’s Fair of Money.  Earlier in the collection of Dick Graham.  Est. $600 to $800. 0 $0
 
45 1833 O.115 R.5+ PCGS XF 45 CAC Ex Ed Stout.  A superb example of this classic rarity, at the edge of the Condition Census.  The glossy, dove grey surfaces are infused with soft luster and pale gold iridescence.  It is a virtual twin to the “Classic Collection” example appearing in Heritage’s April 2010 sale, lot 879.  Both coins are CAC approved and graded by PCGS as XF 45.  This example was a highlight of BHNC member Ed Stout’s collection.  I purchased Ed’s entire collection in January 2009; this coin (and the earlier offered 1813 O.102, lot 10) went to Keith Davignon two months later.  My personal notes, written when I first viewed the coin, include, “Nice!  Great surfaces.”  Don Frederick discovered the variety in 1972, too late to include in Overton’s 1970 2nd Ed. About one new example appears each year.  Oddly, most are low grade or have surface problems.  The Stout-Davignon coin is among the elite: high grade, attractive and without problems.  Est. $5,000 and up. 1 $3,500
Reserve not met
 
46 1834 Sm. Dt.&Lets O.119 R.4 PCGS AU 58 Ex Troy Nelson (Allgood Collection).  A gossamer veneer of golden toning suggests recent storage in a kraft envelope.  Bold cartwheel luster flows across the devices.  Liberty’s fully rounded cheek left little metal for the corresponding area on the reverse.  We see weak feathers and planchet striations at the junction of the eagle’s left wing and torso.  This die pair is probably the scarcest of the year.  Its rarity is only now becoming known.  Davignon and a few BHNC colleagues spotted this coin, unattributed, in the Internet session of Heritage’s Jan. 2011 FUN Show sale (lot 10957).  The slightly disgruntled consignor was their BHNC comrade Troy Nelson.  Despite the absence of an attribution and the obscure catalog placement, the coin brought $1,725.  We expect it to do better today.  Est. $2,000 to $2,500. 0 $0
 
47 1835 O.101 R.1 PCGS MS 62 CAC With only 10 die pairs producing business strikes in 1835 the date is the most difficult of the “late dates” to find in mint state.  This example features an evenly toned obverse with smooth, satiny surfaces.  The lightly toned reverse flaunts its originality via cakey luster beneath a patina of antique grey toning.  Purchased from your cataloguer at the March 2012 Baltimore Show.   Est. $1,800 to $2,200. 0 $0
 
48 1836 Let. Edge O.111 R.3 PCGS MS 60 Ex Richard Pugh.  A beautifully toned coin with radiant luster.  A halo of electric blue and iridescent gold circles the deep rose centers.  The surfaces are impeccable save for 2 or 3 tiny marks near the portrait.  Why only MS 60?  Twenty-five years ago the coin was in a first generation PCGS “rattler,” graded MS 60.  Years later, when it began to spin inside the capsule, the owner had it reholdered, but did not ask for the coin to be regraded.  Richard Pugh purchased the coin raw in 1986.  He had the coin slabbed and felt satisfied with “MS 60.”  When Superior Galleries sold his collection in June 1992 I purchased the coin on behalf of a now deceased collector.  The coin again came my way in 2011.  Davignon bought it during the ANA Convention in Aug. of that year.  The Superior auction tag for lot 1587 accompanies.  Est. $1,250 to $1,750. 3 $1,055
Reserve not met
 
49 1836 Let. Edge O.115 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Jules Reiver, as noted on the PCGS label.  Classic “grey dirt,” with golden highlights through the stars and legend.  The surfaces are essentially perfect.  Full luster, though not vibrant.  Just a trace of friction on the portrait.  Lot 23345 in the Jan. 2006 Reiver Sale.  Jules’ white kraft envelope accompanies, noting a purchase date of June 23, 1982.  Est. $900 to $1.200. 0 $0
 
50 1806 Knob 6, No Stem O.108a, T.2 R.8 PCGS VG 8 Ex Don Frederick.  The Holy Grail of draped bust half dollars.  There are but 7 examples known of the die pair, only two of which feature the massive die break/cud atop UNITE.  This is the Don Frederick specimen.  It surfaced in 1976 in Hawaii, about the time another example showed up in Brooklyn, NY (the Friedman-Schertz-Meyer-Link coin).  Frederick was a keen student of the draped bust series.  He knew that only one of the (then) 3 other known specimens came from the terminal die state.  He negotiated a purchase in January 1977.  For thirty years Don resisted all efforts to pry the coin loose from his collection.  Then, in July 2008, he consigned his pre-turbs to Heritage.  This was lot 439 in the Baltimore ANA sale.  Heritage properly noted the coin’s defects: the surfaces were once wiped and display scratches under the deep toning.  Yet the coin is attractive.  The toning is obviously of ancient origin, reminiscent of Grandma’s silver.  (A phrase often used by my great friend Henry Hilgard.)  Frederick was profoundly disappointed when the coin sold to a dealer for $25,300.  In short order the coin was submitted to PCGS for grading and sold to a private collector for an undisclosed sum.  Since 2008 only one other 1806 O.108 has appeared at auction: the “El Paso” coin, uncovered in 1979, and introduced to collectors circa 1995 as ANACS VF 30.  It has appeared at auction three times in its current PCGS XF 40 capsule, first in 2003, then in 2009 and last in the Stack’s/Sotheby Pogue I sale of May 2015.  Sale prices ranged from $86,000 to $126,000.  The charisma, rarity and value of the “06-108” is usually compared to its capped bust equivalent, the 1817/4.  When my interest in the series developed there were 5 known 06-108’s and 7 known 1817/4’s.  The numbers are now 7 and 11.  Each of these rarities appears in distinct die states: the 1817/4 comes with and without a bisecting obverse die break [O.102 and 102a]; the 1806 Knob 6, No Stem comes with and without a reverse rim cud [Tompkins die states 1-3 and 4-5].  This is the most important coin in the sale.  Congratulations to the new owner!  Est. $60,000 to $80,000. 0 $0
 
51 1806 Pt.6, Stem O.116, T.20 R.3 PCGS VF 35 Very early die state with no clash marks; lacking the obverse die break from star 3 to rim as well as the reverse die break over UNITED.  Auburn album toning through the stars; the reverse with an even light grey patina.  Luster in protected areas and reverse fields.  Striking weakness, left wing under scroll, is standard for the die pair.  (Compare Overton and Tompkins plate coins.)  Est. $1,000 to $1,300. 0 $0
 
52 1807 Dr. Bust O.102, T.8 R.2 PCGS XF 45 Soft luster permeates the untoned surfaces.  Detail in the drapery lines and the eagle’s wing and breast feathers suggest a higher grade.  This common die pair is what the doctor ordered for the date or type collector.  The PCGS Price Guide suggests $2,600-$2,700, a bit generous.  Est. $1,800 to $2,200. 0 $0
 
53 1807 Lg. Stars 50/20 O.111 R.7 PCGS XF 40 Finest known?  Ex Charlton Meyer, as noted on the PCGS label.    The Bearded Goddess without her beard.  Not even a whisker.  This early die state is far rarer than the O.111a or 111b, both R.5.  A die break, thin as a spider web, joins the left-hand stars.  You will need a loupe and a pinpoint light to find it.  There is no hint of the break destined to join chest and chin.  Herrman posits “6 known” of the die state.  No argument.  I have handled three others.  Stack’s sold a distinctly inferior example (XF detail with marks and scratches) in March 2006 (lot 2608 of its Crimson Sale @ $9,200).  The Overton plate coin is XF but cleaned.  The cleaned Oertel/Tidwell example, XF 45, brought $11,253 in August 2004.  The Meyer coin, offered here, seems to be the best of the lot.  The surfaces feature a protective grey patina, “grey dirt,” if I may again adopt Floyd Farley’s quaint descriptor.  Luster abounds.  The coin is choice XF, closer to AU 50 than XF 40.  Meyer purchased the coin from Don Frederick many years ago.  The coin last appeared in Heritage’s Jan. 2010 FUN Sale, lot 3433, bringing $14,375.  This is a classic, high-grade rarity destined for a connoisseur’s collection.  Est. $15,000 and up. 1 $13,000
Reserve met
 
54 1807 Sm. Stars O.113a R.3 PCGS AU 55 CAC Later die state, with clash marks and die breaks through the stars and legend.  Loads of “flash” for this often low-luster issue.  Crisp dentils and sharply impressed stars frame the smooth, lustrous fields.  Lightly toned, a bit darker at the peripheries.  This coin recently surfaced in an eastern collection, having been off the market for many years.  Choice AU examples of the 1807 small and large stars remain in great demand.  Est. $5,000 to $6,000. 1 $4,500
Reserve not met
 
55 1807 Lg. Stars O.114 R.3 PCGS MS 63 Another long-hidden rarity.  The consignor purchased it raw (from your cataloguer) in 1989.  My failing memory cannot pull up the pre-sale source of this stunning coin.  The fully lustrous surfaces are bathed in original burnt-orange toning with rings of blue, rose and turquoise iridescence at the rims.  The eye appeal is A+.  The coin likely sits at #3 or 4 in the Condition Census, behind the gem Newman and Pogue coins [PCGS MS 65 and 66] and, perhaps, the NGC MS 65 Pryor/Prouty example.  I look forward to wide-eyed looks of wonder when this coin is previewed in Denver.  Est. $20,000 and up. 1 $14,000
Reserve not met
 
56 1808 O.109a R.3 PCGS Shield AU 55 Even, dove grey toning.  Soft luster throughout.  The centers are well struck despite the late die state.  If you appreciate high grade 1808’s, you have company.  Be prepared for competition.  Est. $1,400 to $1,800. 0 $0
 
57 1809 XXX Edge O.102 R.1 PCGS AU 55 The die pair is R.1, but only very early die states of the O.102 come with the coveted XXX edge.  High grade examples are like hen’s teeth – scarce.  Extremely scarce, in fact.  The only other PCGS AU 55 XXX Edge I recall handling is the Charles Link O.110, MB 41, lot 16, Aug. 2015 @ $12,718. This example has the earmarks of an early strike: hard, flat surfaces with well detailed devices and dentils, including the familiar “incused segments” on the reverse (clash marks from a loose die).  The obverse toing is original if a bit uneven.  The reverse is an even pale gold.  Here is an important coin for Red Book and PCGS Registry Set collectors.  Est. $4,000 to $5,000. 2 $3,500
Reserve met
 
58 1809 O.106 R.3 PCGS AU 53 CAC Shimmering luster belies the conservative grade.  Electric shades of gold, aqua and turquoise surround the lightly toned centers.  We wish that all our “53’s” were this pretty.  Est. $900 to $1,200. 3 $1,000
Reserve met
 
59 1809 XXX Edge O.110 R.4+ PCGS AU 53 A remarkable find, from the same eastern collection that yielded the earlier 1807 small stars (lot 54).  The surfaces, though gently wiped, are virtually free of contact marks.  Luster abounds beneath silvery-grey toning.  Veterans of die variety wars need no reminder of the difficulty one faces in finding a high-grade `09-110.  (I know of but 2 truly uncirculated examples.)  To make matters worse, the battlefield is swelled by Red Book and PCGS Registry Set collectors homing in on the XXX Edge.  Let the battle begin!  Est. $3,500 to $5,000. 2 $3,200
Reserve not met
 
60 1810 O.108a R.3 PCGS AU 55 Untoned, with flashy luster.  Worn dies account for the weak rims and drawn stars.  Swirling reverse die breaks underline and bisect letters of the legend while a massive vertical break splits the coin in two.  This is a marvelous remnant of the early Mint, coming to us with much the same look as the day in dropped from the coining chamber.   Est. $1,000 to $1,500. 0 $0
 
61 1811 Sm. 8 O.110a R.1 PCGS AU 55 The epitome of originality with fabulous eye-appeal.  Iridescent blue-grey toning accents the strong underlying luster.  Accompanied by an ancient brown envelope from Tatham Stamp & Coin of Springfield, MA with a pen and ink offering price of $2.25!  Should anyone ever ask if you have a 100% original bust half, put this one table.  Last offered in my June 2015 Fixed Price List.  It sold immediately at $2,150.  Est. $1,500 to $2,250. 0 $0
 
62 1811 Sm. 8 O.111 R.1 PCGS MS 63 Pale russet toning with a flash of rose iridescence through most of the stars.  I was surprised to see how few mint state 1811’s from this “common” die pair have appeared at auction.  Checking the latest AMBPR, an MS 63 appears as #3 in the Condition Census.  Early date UNCs are irresistible to knowledgeable collectors.  PCGS suggests a value of $5,250.  Est. $3,500 to $5,000. 0 $0
 
63 1812/1 Lg. 8 O.101a R.5 PCGS Genuine -- Cleaning -- VF Details A third, long dormant rarity from the eastern collection.  (See lots 54 and 59).  Light grey, with hairlined surfaces, obverse and reverse.  Hints of luster in star crevices are consistent with significant feather detail in the eagle’s wings.  Liberty’s central curls are blunt, as usual – a victim of the “sprung” or “warped” die that turned most of this noted rarity into “rockers.”  Without the cleaning, this is a 5-figure coin.  The culprit, however, may deserve forgiveness.  By reducing its value he also expanded the number of suitors eligible for the chase.  Is it time to complete your set of 1812’s?  Walter Breen mistakenly claimed to have discovered this charismatic variety in December 1969, while cataloguing a New Netherlands Coin Co. mail bid sale (lot 817).   Stack’s, however, had given passing mention to an 1812/1 with large 8 in its Oct. 19, 1940 sale of the A.C. Gies Collection.  The unnumbered lot simply noted, “1812 G.3 over 11, but large 8 in date.  Very fine.”  Gies was then the oldest living collector of US coins, He began collecting in 1867.  His collection focused on half-dollars.  He updated Haseltine’s Type Table with his own numbering system.  The coin brought $1.20, the same as other “common” varieties of the year.  Est. $3,500 to $5,000. 1 $3,500
Reserve not met
 
64 1812/1 Sm. 8 O.102 R.2 PCGS XF 45 Lightly toned with soft luster rolling through the fields and across the devices.  The coin would not be uncomfortable in an AU set of bust halves.  Clash marks add character.  The surfaces are happily free of distractions.  Est. $700 to $950. 0 $0
 
65 1812 O.103 R.1 PCGS AU 55 CAC OGH Encased in a first generation, undersized PCGS “rattler.”  The strike, depth of luster and virtually pristine surfaces might (should?) have earned this beauty a gold sticker at CAC.  Collectors with a practiced eye are certain to recognize the PQ status of the coin and bid accordingly.  Preview this lot or you may face disappointment.  Last offered in Heritage’s Feb. 2014 Winter ANA Sale, lot 3453 @ $2,115.  Est. $1,750 to $2,250. 0 $0
 
66 1812 O.105a R.2 PCGS MS 63 Beautifully struck with intense luster and a gloss of silvery-grey toning.  Perfectly centered.  Every star struts its center point.  Pay attention to the curl over and behind the ear.  One rarely sees such detail.  An archetype MS 63, headed to an advanced collection.   Last offered in Heritage’s June 2012 Long Beach Sale, lot 3772 as NGC MS 64, bringing $4,312.50.  The NGC label accompanies.  Est. $3,500 to $4,250. 0 $0
 
67 1813 50/UNI O.101 R.2 PCGS MS 62 Coveted early die state with UNI boldly impressed under the denomination.  Nice luster in the fields, maybe a touch of cabinet friction on the chin.  Smooth surfaces, with even medium grey toning.  Overall, a handsome coin that deserves to be called mint state.  The PCGS label omits the 50/UNI designation, a mechanical error that may be remedied without charge at the ANA Convention.  Est. $5,000 to $6,000. 1 $4,800
Reserve met
 
68 1813 50/UNI O.101 R.2 PCGS XF 45 Soft, even luster blankets the very lightly wiped surfaces.  Once again, the UNI feature is bold.  The obverse displays a ring of album toning; the reverse is brilliant and untoned.    Est. $800 to $1,000. 0 $0
 
69 1813 O.106a R.2 PCGS AU 53 Blinding luster!  Quite a shock for a mere “53.”  The graders, perhaps, were misled or put off by the worn dies.  There is precious little wear on the coin.  The surfaces are exemplary.  Clash marks abound, but there are virtually no signs of handling or of contact with other coins.  The coin deserves a 2nd look by PCGS.  Est. $900 to $1,200. 0 $0
 
70 1813 O.108 R.3 PCGS AU 55 CAC Natural grey toning shimmers with iridescent gold highlights.  This one has the look of a coin that was wrapped in tissue paper or, perhaps, stored in an envelope for a few decades ala Eric Newman’s coins.  The coin is probably better than “55.” Commercial grading, however, is influenced by strike.  This die pair is known for soft impressions.  Still, a very pretty coin -- and an 1813 to boot!  Est. $ 1,500 to $2,000. 0 $0
 
71 1814/3 O.101a R.2 PCGS AU 53 Lightly toned with ample luster for the grade.  The overdate is plain.  Clashed dies and a reverse drift mark (above the eagle) are common for the era.  Do not let the abundance of high grade coins in this sale dull your senses.  An AU 1814/3 is a challenge for Red Book and die variety collectors.  Here is a wholesome example.  Est. $2,000 to $2,400. 2 $1,800
Reserve not met
 
72 1814 O.102 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC A diaphanous veil of gold toning embraces the obverse.  The reverse is brilliant with lavish luster.  Liberty’s curls, the eagle’s feathers and claws are sharply impressed.  The surfaces display only faint clash marks.  This date is a “killer” to find in AU 58.  The CAC sticker is a nice bonus.  Est. $2,400 to $3,000. 1 $1,800
Reserve not met
 
73 1814 E/A O.108a R.1 PCGS VF 35 Tawny-amber toning throughout, clearly original.  The peripheries provide evidence of album storage with deep turquoise iridescence.  A nifty coin for the collector who does not require his busties to be AU or UNC.  Est. 600 to $800. 0 $0
 
74 1818/7 Sm. 8 O.102a R.2 PCGS AU 50 A halo of pale copper circles the obverse.  The centers are lightly toned, with flecks and swaths of soft gold.  Even luster rolls across the surfaces, befitting an AU coin.  The small 8 variety of this overdate is difficult to find in high grade – more so than its large 8 companion.  Est. $1,000 to $1,300. 0 $0
 
75 1818 O.112 Prime R.? PCGS XF 40 CAC Rare die state, lacking the customary reverse break, from 50 C to UNI.  High rims and virtually complete dentils confirm the very early die state.  Evenly toned in natural shades of medium to deep russet.  Date collectors must be wary of specialists who would love to bring home this seldom seen die state.  Est. $250 and up. 5 $250
Reserve met
 
76 1818 O.114 R.3 PCGS AU 50 Ex Benson, as noted on the PCGS label.  Colorful obverse iridescence, featuring cobalt blue, turquoise and gold.  The reverse is largely untoned, with hints of prooflike surfaces.  A few surface marks are consistent with the grade, none of significance.  The Benson half-dollars, sold by the Goldbergs in 2002, are known for their attractive toning.  Est. $700 to $900. 1 $550
Reserve not met
 
77 1819/8 Sm. 9 O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Though rated R.1, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a choice AU example of this Red Book variety.  The Eliasberg coin, also PCGS AU 58 with a CAC sticker, sold a year ago for over $3,900.  Nothing since.  This piece is beautifully struck.  The brilliant, untoned surfaces are awash in luster and devoid of marks.  A bit of antique toning flutters through ES OF AM on the reverse.  Nice!  Est. $2,500 to $3,500. 1 $2,300
Reserve met
 
78 1819 O.111 R.2 PCGS XF 45 The dominate colors are a mix of red and burnt orange.  Rings of blue iridescence circle the peripheries.  Soft luster permeates the toning.  Evenly worn, with a slightly blunt impression.  Est. $275 to $400. 23 $565
Reserve met
 
79 1819 O.114 R.3 PCGS AU 50 Deeply toned in a captivating assortment of colors: iridescent turquoise, gold and rose.  Light wear on the high points, the surfaces are free of distractions.  The left wing is a tad soft, as usual on this die pair.  Here is a coin for color enthusiasts.  Est. $550 to $800. 7 $650
Reserve met
 
80 1820 No Serifs O.107 R.5+ PCGS VF 35 Ex Charles Link.   Antique grey, tinged with auburn.  Unobtrusive scuff between IT of UNITED.  Two thin toning streaks run across the portrait.  The outside-right serifs of the A’s are missing -- an error in preparation of the working die that landed this die pair in today’s Red Book.  The extreme rarity of the issue is probably linked to the hallmark bulge in the obverse die, stars 1-2 to bust.  There are but 7 die marriages in this low mintage year.  Here is the stopper.  The 1820-107 has a poor attendance record at auction.  Hammer prices are consistently strong.  Do not be shy with your bid.  From Heritage’s Dec. 2011 NYC Sale, lot 3570, selling to our consignor, Dr. Charles Link, for $4,887.50.  Est. $4,000 to $5,000. 0 $0
 
81 1823 Patched 3 O.102 R.4 PCGS AU 58 CAC As pretty as the photo suggests.  This is one of the more important coins in the sale.  The O.102 die marriage has passed the test of time.  It is distinctly rare in all grades, scandalously so in high grade.    AU examples with strong eye appeal may be counted on the fingers of one hand.  And you won’t need all your fingers.  PCGS shows one other piece graded AU 58, the Davignon coin, ex Link.  This coin is another rarity from the earlier-mentioned eastern collection [lots 54, 59 and 63].  Original, antique pale rose toning is highlighted by intense, iridescent album toning through the stars and legend.  This is a match for the NGC AU 55 CAC example that brought $5,528 in my Jan. 2014 FUN Sale, MB 38, lot 44.  Est. $4,000 to $6,000. 1 $4,000
Reserve met
 
82 1823 Ugly 3 O.110a R.3 PCGS AU 58 Ex Robinson S. Brown, Jr.  A second PCGS AU 58 example of this sought-after variety.  Cf. lot 20.  The coin was last offered by Heritage in its Dec. 2010 Houston Signature Sale, lot 3645, then in a “fattie” NGC holder and graded MS 62.  (I sold the Brown collection in 1995 after having this and other pieces graded by NGC; the NGC labels note the Brown provenance.).  An even coat of sunset toning bathes the surfaces.  Heritage waxed eloquent, calling the “saturated patina” a “deep peach … with muted blue-green elements.”  Whatever.  This is a pretty coin, destined for an important die variety, Red Book or Registry Set collection.  Please don’t ask where the friction is on this coin.  Do ask about using the One-Lot-Only tool, pairing lots 20 and 82.  Est. $5,000 and up. 0 $0
 
83 1824/4 O.110 R.2 PCGS AU 55 A high-end AU 55, with blazing, unbroken luster and virtually no sign of wear.  A thin ring of pale copper toning flanks the brilliant, untoned centers.  This is an important Red Book variety that will fit comfortably in an uncirculated set.   Est. $800 to $1,100. 0 $0
 
84 1824 O.116 R.3 PCGS AU 55 Ex Stewart P. Witham, noted on the PCGS label.  Lot 4894 in Heritage’s Aug. 2010 sale of the Witham Collection.  Keith Davignon prevailed at $1,035.  Appearing again in my Philadelphia Rarities Sale [MB 36], Aug. 2012, lot 43.  There described:
A sleeper “R.3” in higher grades... The coin is simply superb.   Witham, it will be remembered, was a founder of the Bust Half Nut Club, holding BHNC number 1.  He was a keen student of the capped bust series and, in the words of my primary mentor Elton Dosier, “Stew had more genuine uncirculated coins than anyone else.”  Today’s knowledge-able collectors will understand Witham’s fondness for this coin: on the obverse, a subtle blue halo surrounds the original “grey dirt” centers.  The reverse is similar, with pale gold embellishments to the grey patina.  Here is an especially handsome coin that carries a distinguished pedigree.
The coin sold to Dr. Charles Link, current BHNC #1, at least in terms of completeness and quality.  The pedigree now reads Witham-Davignon-Link, a royal group of bust half collectors!  Est. $750 to $950.
0 $0
 
85 1825 O.109 R.5 PCGS VF 35 Ex Olin Carter.  Attractive grey toning, the stars and legend with rose and gold highlights.  Luster at the peripheries and through the reverse fields, belies the grade.  PCGS was too much influenced by the generally soft impression, typical of this rare die pair.  Carter carried the coin in its raw state as XF 40 after purchasing it from me in 1989.  Senior BHNC members recall “Olie” as the genial collector with a handlebar mustache who assisted me at the Long Beach shows throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, as well as a couple of ANA Conventions.  He is, perhaps, best known as a consummate cherry-picker; he discovered the R.6+ 1823 O.113 and R.7 1825 O.118.  No new capped bust variety has surfaced since Olie found the `25-118 in 1983.  Est. $700 to $900. 1 $650
Reserve not met
 
86 1825 O.116 R.3 PCGS AU 58 The untoned centers sear the eye with unfettered luster.  A ring of album toning adds to the eye appeal.  The strike is a wonder!  Look at Liberty’s curls, top to bottom.  Or focus on the detail in the eagle’s wings and claws.  A bit of planchet roughness through the date is, of course, as made.  Est. $800 to $1.200. 0 $0
 
87 1825 O.117 R.4 PCGS AU 55 OGH Housed in a first generation PCGS “rattler,” this scarce die pair will draw a crowd.  The strike is exemplary; luster flows, bold and unbroken, through the fields.  The untoned surfaces are free of distractions.  In short, the coin has all the earmarks of today’s AU 58’s.  Gauge your bid accordingly!  Do not ignore the excitement that Keith Davignon’s 1825 O.117 generated in Aug. 2014 (MB 39, lot 37) when it sold for $2,541 against an estimate of $1,400 to $2,000.  It was also graded PCGS AU 55.  Accompanied by a prior owner’s 2x2 insert, noting a 1978 purchase from Bowers & Ruddy as “BU.”  Est. $1,400 to $2,000. 0 $0
 
88 1826 O.112a R.2 PCGS AU 55 OGH Another first generation “rattler!”  This one with radiant luster and iridescent hues of aqua, gold, blue and turquoise.  A feast for the eye!  A scrape, hidden under the toning, runs to star 9 from behind the base of Liberty’s cap.  Est. $500 to $750. 2 $450
Reserve met
 
89 1826 O.114 R.4+ PCGS MS 63 OGH Ex Charlton Meyer, James Ross and Charles Link.  A protective crust of antique auburn toning took decades to develop.  Cakey luster rolls, undisturbed, beneath the patina.  The surfaces are smooth as glass save for an ancient scuff near the olive stem and denomination.  The coin surfaced, already graded, in 1991.  It was the only known mint state `26-114.  I offered it privately to Charlton Meyer.  He did not hesitate at $1,975.  At the August 2008 ANA Convention it was among the rarities from the Meyer Collection offered for private sale.  James Ross was pleased to take it home at $4,950.  He later traded it to Dr. Charles Link.  (Link now owns the NGC MS 64 offered by Heritage in its Jan. 2008 FUN Show sale, lot 1494.  It later crossed to an MS 64 PCGS holder.)  The originality of the current offering puts it in the horserace for win, place or show in the Condition Census.  Est. $5,000 and up. 0 $0
 
90 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.141 R.3 PCGS AU 58 CAC Ex Keith Davignon.  This charming 1827 was part of the Davignon consignment to Mail Bid Sale #39, August 2014.  Lot 47 sold for $1,649 and was described as follows: Halos of iridescent toning inveigle our senses, drawing us to closer examination.  Luster crosses the fields with the same intensity it displays between stars, a sure sign that the coin failed in its aspiration to enter commerce.  I find no blemishes.  Whatever friction PCGS identified seems ephemeral.  On another day this coin might have garnered an UNC designation.  From Coin Rarities Online during the 2010 Boston ANAEst. $1,250 to $1,550. 1 $900
Reserve met
 
91 1828 Sq.2, Sm.8, Lg. Lets O.114a R.3 PCGS AU 55
Ex Keith Davignon.  Another friend from Davignon’s consignment to MB 39.  Here is the description of lot 54:
Lovely peripheral toning, the centers brilliant and untoned.  Plenty of luster for a choice AU coin, just minor contact marks away from the next level.  Strong eye appeal for the grade.  Intermediate die state with the reverse cracks mentioned by Overton, not the obverse.  From Alpine Numismatics 2002.

Once again, eye appeal won out.  The coin brought $1,170 against an estimate of $650 to $850.
  Est. $700 to $900.
0 $0
 
92 1828 Sq.2, Sm.8, Lg. Lets O.120 R.1 NGC AU 58 Scintillating luster!  Faint rub on the cheek, nowhere else.  This is everyone’s “AU 58.”  Iridescent album toning fames the brilliant centers.  Well struck and perfectly centered.  This is a dream coin for the date or die variety collector.  Est. $850 to $1,250. 0 $0
 
93 1829/7 O.102a R.5+ NGC AU 55 Ex Charles Link.  A die breaks runs from the rim to Liberty’s lowest curl, bisecting the 9 in the date.  This die state is extremely rare.  I’ve never cherried an example.  It garnered unusual acclaim during the several years that the Red Book included a photo of the 29 over 7, using an O.102a exemplar.  (Check your older Red Books to see the closeup photo.)  The coin was gently wiped.  It is lightly toned with muted luster.  The die state was unknown to Al Overton.  It did not appear in the standard reference until Don Parsley issued a 5th edition in 2013.  (A 4th Ed. entry for the O.102a mistakenly described a nonexistent die break at star 1.)  Est. $1,000 to $1,500. 6 $1,800
Reserve met
 
94 1829 O.111a R.2 PCGS AU 58
Ex John Tidwell and Keith DavignonThis colorful, semi-prooflike 1829 last appeared in MB 38, lot 73 at the Jan. 2014 FUN Show.  Here is the brief description:
Dazzling orange and blue obverse toning.  The lightly toned reverse is fully prooflike as are portions of the obverse.  A pair of marks under the E of the motto are hardly worth mention.  Here is another eye-grabbing capped bust half-dollar.  Davignon Collection, from my August 2004 sale of the Tidwell collection as ANACS MS 61.
Prooflike bust halves bring out the wolves in collectors.  This one sold reasonably in 2014, bringing $1,452.  Est. $1,200 to $1,800
5 $1,200
Reserve met
 
95 1829 O.117 R.2 PCGS MS 62 Bold luster graces the smooth surfaces.  A modicum of gold toning at the peripheries, otherwise brilliant.  The strike is first rate.  A couple of slide marks on the cheek kept this pretty coin at the 62 level.   Est. $1,600 to $2,100. 0 $0
 
96 1830 Sm.0 O.104 R.3 PCGS AU 58 Ex Keith DavignonYet another tidbit from the Davignon Collection.  This one, an artist’s delight, came from MB 41, lot 79 in Aug. 2015.  The description: It is a challenge to find wear on this sensational “AU 58” from the Davignon Collection.  The surfaces are ablaze with luster.  I see a couple of stray hairlines on the cheek.  They do not look like slide marks, just miniscule signs of handling.  The obverse toning reminds us of a painter’s palette – splashes of vibrant colors across a pristine surface.  The more evenly toned reverse is equally captivating.  From Mail Bid Sale #16, Jan.1996, lot 172; then in an NGC MS 62 holder.  This is one of those rare occasions when I side with NGC in the grading wars.

It took $1,725 to bring home this choice morsel.  Treat the lot as Mint State and you’ll remain in the hunt!  Est. $1,400 to $1,750.
1 $1,200
Reserve met
 
97 1831 O.102 R.1 NGC AU 58 Strong luster throughout!  Splashes of iridescent turquoise interrupt a gossamer veneer of golden toning.  A couple of drift marks are well hidden.  The date and die pair are common.  The eye appeal is not.  Est. $700 to $900. 0 $0
 
98 1831 O.110 R.2 PCGS MS 61 Spot-on for the grade.  Not a hint of friction.  Full cartwheel luster.  The silvery surfaces show a few contact marks and the toning is a tad mottled.  In all, a superior example of the grade, with decent eye appeal.  Est. $1,400 to $1,800. 0 $0
 
99 1832 Lg. Lets. Rev. O.101 R.2 PCGS AU 50 CAC Ex Charles Link.  A handsome coin to be sure, with antique grey toning and sparkles of iridescence at the peripheries.  Its selling point, however, is the early die state.  For years we have searched for an example of this die pair to show up without its hallmark die break.  This one is close.  Just a feathery line connects the top leaves to the eagle’s left wing.  Est. $450 to $600. 0 $0
 
100 1832 Lg. Lets. Rev. O.101a R.1 PCGS XF 45 Here is the standard issue.  A massive break nearly disfigured the reverse die.  Soft luster, obverse and reverse, supports the assigned grade.  Natural grey toning.  Est. $300 to $400. 5 $250
Reserve met
 
101 1832 Sm. Lets. O.115 R.1 PCGS AU 58 A ho hum year and ho hum variety.  BUT – what a coin!  Immaculate surfaces and a whisper of friction suggest a + grade for this beauty.  The real appeal of the coin, however, rests with its sultry, antique grey patina, glowing with soft red and gold iridescence.  The consignor’s notes, written on a 2x2 insert, comes with the lot: “Fantastic surfaces and unquestionably original.  I wish my whole collection looked this this one.”  Est. $1,000 to $1,250. 0 $0
 
102 1833 O.112 R.2 PCGS AU 55 The centers better struck than most from 1833.  Professionally dipped to full brilliance, with vibrant, unbroken luster befitting a mint state specimen.  The surfaces are first rate, free of marks or distractions.  Upgrade?  Est. $600 to $800. 0 $0
 
103 1834 Sm. Dt.&Lets O.115 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC From the same consignor as lot 101, with a similar look and comparable eye appeal.  Orange iridescence flickers beneath the ancient patina.  The surfaces are virtually mark-free.  The consignor’s 2x2 insert notes an acquisition date of May 12, 2015 from Dave Kahn.  Est. $1,000 to $1,250. 2 $850
Reserve met
 
104 1835 O.101 R.1 NGC AU 58 CAC A sharply struck 1835, with terrific luster and eye appeal.  Lovely splashes of iridescent toning run through the margins.  No marks deserve mention.  This first rate 1835 earned its CAC sticker without a fuss.  From Heritage’s Sept. 2012 Long Beach Sale, lot 4556 @ $1,762.50.  I note that lot 4555 in that sale was an 1835 O.106, also graded NGC AU 58 CAC.  It yielded only $705!  Santa Claus did not attend the sale.  There is a reason the coin here offered brought over twice as much.  Est. $1,000 to $1,500. 0 $0
 
105 1836 Reeded Edge GR-1 R.2 PCGS XF 40 A classic rarity.  Luster survives in protected areas.  The balance of the coin is evenly toned a soft grey, with a glint of gold.  Wear and handling marks are what we expect for the grade.  The true mintage is unknown; the Red Book hedges, with a listing of “1,200+.”  Here is a decent coin with which to fill that hole in your date set.  Est. $2,750 to $3,250. 0 $0
 
106 1837 RE GR-9 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC This jewel belongs in a collection with the preceding lots 101 and 103. The quiet glow of a western sunset illuminates a protective patina.  The reeded edge series is rife with coins that have been abused by the numismatic community.  Here is a nice exception.  Stretch for this 1837.  You won’t go wrong.  Est. $800 to $1,250. 1 $650
Reserve met
 
107 1838 RE GR-13 R.1 PCGS AU 55 CAC Ex Benson, noted on the PCGS label.  Target toning, a reminder of the excitement that similarly toned coins brought in the sale of Eric Newman’s coins.  An electric ring of deep turquoise and copper frames the brilliant centers.  Soft, unbroken luster flows across the fields and devices.  A sweet coin to end a remarkable offering of bust half-dollars.  Est. $650 to $850. 2 $650
Reserve met
 
108 1812 D.1A R.7+ Fine This lot and those to follow are from the reference collection of Mark Glazer.  Most coins plated in Keith Davignon’s reference work, Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars, are from the Glazer Collection.  For the latest information on this engaging series visit the web site of the Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Collectors Club, http://cccbhcc.com/

Suggesting grades for counterfeit busties is an exercise in futility.  All dates before 1823 are rare.  According to the CCCBHCC just 6 examples of this 1812 die pair have been reported.  It appears to have been struck in copper, then given a silver wash.  Lettered edge.  A test gouge on the rim and scratches on both sides memorialize well-justified suspicions of those asked to accept the item in commerce. 
Glazer’s insert notes the provenance: Finkelstein/Meyer.
1 $100
Reserve met
 
109 1818 D.2B R.7 G-VG Plate coin, Davignon 1st Ed.  Lettered edge.  Struck in copper.  None of the silver wash remains.  Glossy, smooth-to-the-touch surfaces with a few ancient test scratches.  At last count, 7 examples reported.  This one came from Chuck Erb’s noted collection. 1 $75
Reserve met
 
110 1823 D.1A R.3 Fair A common variety.  Many high-grade examples are known.  Truth be told, the die preparation and workmanship was so good that this die pair fools many (most?) dealers and casual collectors.  Struck in “white metal” with lettered edge.  Ex Brad Karoleff.  A great conversation piece! 0 $0
 
111 1825 D.1A R.3 VG holed Thick planchet, cracked from the rim to Liberty’s headband.  This is a common variety that was so well-made that it fooled astute BHNC members when it first appeared.  There is a hilarious exchange of correspondence between Floyd Farley (who knew the coin was bogus) and Don Frederick (who did not) when Frederick first encountered an example.  Lettered edge.  Struck from the usual “white” or “base” metal, a mix of antimony, lead, billon and German silver. 0 $0
 
112 1829 Flip Over Dbl Strike D.7G R.7 Gd-Fine Damaged Flip Over Double Strike!  An off-center outline of Liberty’s cap and headband are easily seen under the eagle’s left wing.  The letters BER are especially prominent.  Remnants of an initial reverse strike are a challenge to find on the obverse.  I wonder whether the first strike may have been a uniface “test” strike of the obverse die.  Struck in white metal with bold edge lettering.  Disfigured by the “incision” shown in the photo.  Only 8 examples recorded by the Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Collectors Club. 7 $75
Reserve met
 
113 1834 D.1A R.4 XF Struck in copper on an oversized planchet.  Plain edge.  Test mark on rim, above star 7.  A common variety in unusually good condition. 1 $50
Reserve not met
 
114 1834 D.9I R.7 Fine “Very scarce,” notes Davignon.  Seven examples reported.  This coin, from Davignon’s original collection, is evenly worn, suggesting that it passed muster in commerce or, perhaps, spent time as a “pocket piece.”  Made from German silver.  The edge is an interesting combination of letters and reeds. 0 $0
 
115 1836-O D.4D R.7 F-VF A wonderful relic of the 1840’s or thereabouts.  The scoundrels saw legitimate 1839-O pieces and thought it appropriate to place a mintmark above the date.  Note, also, that the denomination is of the 1838-39 style, HALF DOL rather than 50 Cents.  The planchet is slightly undersized with a reeded edge.  Ten examples reported. 1 $100
Reserve not met
 
116 1840 D.1B R.7+ VG Plate coin, Davignon 1st Ed.  We enter the realm of hilarity and extreme rarity.  Just 3 or 4 of this die pair are known.  There were, of course, no capped bust half dollars coined at the US Mint after 1839.  Don’t allow that fact to alter your goal of assembling a complete date set.  This piece, of base metal, has its defects, both in die preparation and from post minting indignities.  The craftsmanship, however, is decent; the edge is reeded, not lettered; and the HALF DOL reverse is appropriate for the type. 2 $200
Reserve met
 
117 1842 D.1A R.7 VF+ Plate coin, Davignon 1st Ed.  The final year of the capped bust design, or so thought the numismatically challenged counterfeiters.  The reverse, with the denomination appearing as “50 C,” is modeled after lettered edge halves, 1807-1836.  So is Liberty’s portrait.  The edge left our boys confused.  Unable to decide whether to incorporate letters or reeds, they did both!  FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR spans the edge as does an overlaid set of reeds.  I’m guessing the composition to be mostly copper.  We need Winston Zack to do his X-ray fluorescence before making a final decision.  This rarity is in remarkably good shape.  Hints of bogus luster survive in protected areas.  Be warned: bust half-dollars of 1842 invariably bring serious competition! 1 $300
Reserve met
 

About Sheridan Terms Of Sale

Sheridan Downey, Numismatist
Oakland, California
sdowney3@aol.com
(510) 479-1585      (800) 597-9403

©2017 Sheridan Downey
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2017-07-20 10:30:46 am