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MB 40 Catalogue
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Coins from MB Auction 51  

* Note: Auctions prior to #42, do not show true number of bids. Displays as "1".
Lot # Date Variety Rarity Grade Description # of Bids * Hammer Price Maximum Bid Total Price Photos
1 1807 Bearded Goddess O.111b R.5 PCGS XF 45 CAC Soft luster throughout, more pronounced through the stars, legend and around the devices.  The coin is lightly toned.  Wear and minor circulation ticks befit the assigned grade.  In all, a paradigm XF 45.  This is a REAL Bearded Goddess.  The central die break extends from the drapery through Liberty’s chin, cheek, eye, curls, headband and – most important – into the cap.  Too many encapsulated examples of this die pair are labeled Bearded Goddess where the die break falls short of the cap.  They are properly attributed as O.111a, a somewhat more common and less desirable die state.  (A recent example is the PCGS XF 40 CAC example offered in Heritage’s Jan. 21, 2021 Sale, lot 3580, where the die break, though heavy from chin to bust, failed to reach the headband.)  Provenance of this important coin is traced to Dr. Charles Link who uncovered it in a dealer’s case in 2011.  It later passed to his BHNC colleague and friend James Ross.  (Both Dr. Link and Mr. Ross enjoy ownership of 1817/4 half-dollars!)  Our consignor acquired the coin by private treaty in 2015.  This appears to be its first appearance at auction.  It received a CAC sticker in Nov. 2020, after it was photographed.   Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000. 19 $13,800 $16,555 $15,180  
2 1807 Small Stars O.113a R.3 PCGS Shield AU 58 Crisp dentils, sharp stars and well struck centers, save for a hint of weakness in the eagle’s left wing: a rare grouping for this erratically struck issue.  Evenly toned, obverse and reverse, with subtle hints of iridescent cobalt blue, turquoise and related hues.  A faint drift mark on Liberty’s cheek will identify the coin for posterity.  The small and large star (next lot) varieties of 1807 are extraordinarily rare in this lofty grade.  The last O.113a in AU 58 to be offered at auction was lot 4881 in Heritage’s 2018 ANA auction.  It brought over $17,000.  Our consignor acquired this example by private treaty.  I find no record of it appearing at auction.   Estimate: $10,000 and up. 6 $7,751 $12,755 $8,526  
3 1807 Large Stars O.114 R.3 PCGS Shield AU 58 Silver-grey with bold luster.  The strike is first rate.  Note especially Liberty’s curls and the eagle’s exquisitely detailed feathers and claws.  A trace of cabinet friction is found – with a little imagination – on Liberty’s cap.  The coin never saw circulation.  Feathery die breaks on the reverse are typical, even in early die states.  The coin surfaced at the 2013 Summer ANA Convention in Chicago.  My friend and colleague David Kahn snapped it up and offered it to Dr. Tom Sears.  Tom did not hesitate at Dave’s asking price, $18,000.  This is its auction debut.  The appearance of an AU 58 1807 Large Stars is cause for celebration.  I have handled but three in the past decade.
  • In 2012 I bought Dick Graham’s remarkable Red Book set of Capped Bust Halves.  It included an 1807 Large Stars with this royal pedigree: Don Gunnet, BHNC #13; Don’s friend, James Allen, a connoisseur of quality coins; Michael Summers, a renowned planetary scientist, consummate cherry-picker and one of my mentors; and David Kahn, known and respected by virtually every bust-half collector of today.  (Dave passed the coin to Dick.)  At the January 2013 FUN Show the coin sold privately for $18,500.
  • A specimen owned by Dr. Charles Link, consigned to MB Sale 42 in January 2016, where lot 9 sold for $17,050.
  • The Howard Sharman example, adorned with a + sign and CAC sticker.  I purchased his #1 Everyman Registry Set of Capped Bust Half-Dollars in January 2019 and found a happy buyer for Howard’s 1807 Large Stars at $27,500.
Estimate: $12,000 to $18,000
6 $13,556 $13,556 $14,912  
4 1808/7 O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 58 A pretty example, shimmering with an iridescent blanket of azure toning, accented by vibrant splashes of silver and aqua over the cap, through most stars, the date and legend. A later die state with friction confined to the central devices.  Estimate: $3,500 to $4,500 2 $3,000 $3,251 $3,300  
5 1809 XXX Edge O.101 R.5 PCGS AU 50 This handsome, naturally toned example is generally considered the 2nd finest known of the O.101 die pair.  With only minimal wear the coin is essentially without faults.  The workhorse reverse die, in its first use, displays striking weakness in the left wing, typical of the die marriage.  The coin was a highlight of David Kahn’s collection until 2009 when Dave passed it to an equally notable die variety collector, Tim Osborne.  Our consignor pried it loose from Tim in 2019.  This is only the 2nd AU 1809 O.101 that I have seen or handled.  The other was the Farley/Meyer example offered as lot 23 in my July 2008 Selected Rarities Sale of coins from the Meyer Collection.  It brought $17,355 as a raw AU 55.  (Later encapsulated, I was told, as PCGS AU 53.)   Estimate: $10,000 and up 3 $8,500 $13,650 $9,350  
6 1809 XXX Edge O.101 R.5 PCGS XF 40 Another original example of this exceedingly rare die pair.  Rich antique grey and auburn toning fails to disguise a generous helping of luster that surrounds most devices.  The strike matches the AU example in lot 5.  The coin has never appeared at auction.  It was discovered by BHNC pioneer Bob Fritz sometime before 1998, the year our consignor acquired it from Bob by private treaty.  It recently paid its first visit to a grading service.  The XF 40 grade, frankly, is a disappointment.  Many would settle on XF 45.  Perhaps the left wing unduly influenced the graders.  Astute collectors will not let this lovely coin escape without a battle.   Estimate:  $2,500 to $3,000 5 $2,800 $2,800 $3,080  
7 1809 XXX Edge O.102 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC The reverse die is in its third and final use.  “Incused segments” over the eagle are a hallmark of the variety.  (They are absent on the O.101, first appearing on the O.110.)  Only early die states of the O.102 were struck on planchets with the XXX edge.  All examples of O.101 and O.110 have an XXX edge.  Both are rare die pairs, contributing little to the population of this scarce “experimental edge” and virtually nothing to the limited number of high grade specimens.  Here is a connoisseur’s 1809.  For the moment, ignore its rarity.  Full mint luster lies beneath an unquestionably original patina of antique grey toning.  The strike is sharp – just a hint of weakness in the left wing.  The surfaces are immaculate.  The coin last appeared in Legend’s May 2018 sale, lot 544.  It brought $8,519, a testament to its rarity and the demand for original, high grade examples.   Estimate:  $7,500 and up 8 $7,000 $8,500 $7,700  
8 1809 O.103 R.1 PCGS Shield AU 58 CAC Untoned with blinding luster.  Well struck with 13 stars showing center-points and the eagle’s head and left wing displaying only slight weakness.  There are virtually no marks on the surface.  Though CAC is known to disfavor brilliant coins the luster, strike, surfaces and eye appeal of the coin are simply irresistible.   Estimate: $2,500 to $3,500 2 $2,200 $2,400 $2,420  
9 1809 O.104 R.5- PCGS Shield AU 55 Tied for finest known!  The coin last appeared in August 2016 as lot 14 in my August 2016 ANA Sale, MB 43.  It brought $3,862, a record for the die marriage that was broken last year when it changed hands by private treaty.  The PCGS label notes a prior owner, Dr. Charles Link.  It was earlier in the collections of Charles De Olden [lot 5 Fabulous 44 Sale, 2006 Denver ANA, at $3,000] and Ralph Fox, January 2002 FUN [to De Olden at $2,250].  Tim Osborne became the proud owner in 2016.  The coin is lovely.  Original auburn and grey toning is accented by iridescent highlights at the peripheries.  The chin and left wing are weak, as always.  Soft luster flows throughout.  In all, a wonderful and particularly important coin.   Estimate:  $4,000 to $5,000 9 $4,950 $6,750 $5,445  
10 1809 O.115a R.3 PCGS Shield AU 55 Not especially rare, not Condition Census but for collectors who enjoy colorful toning a coin to suit your taste and budget.  A hummingbird would be proud to display the iridescent turquoise, gold and russet enticements offered by this 1809.  The coin traded hands in 2019 for $1,500.   Estimate: $1,000 to $1,200 11 $1,650 $1,650 $1,815  
11 1809 XXX Edge O.110 Prime R.6 PCGS Shield VF 30 When last offered in June 2000 (as a raw VF 30, MB 25 lot 209) this piece was thought to be the finer of about 10 pieces known.  A few more have appeared, including one with AU details and questionable toning (per PCGS) that I was happy to purchase at the sale of Don Frederick’s collection.  (Heritage lot 2901, April 2010.)  Two XF details have appeared at auction: Stew Witham’s coin in 2010, described as cleaned, scratched and of questionable color; and a cleaned XF, lot 964 in Stack’s/Bowers Aug. 2011 sale.  That’s it for “high grade” O.110 primes!  This piece may be the best of a tiny group of primes to earn an unqualified grade at PCGS or NGC.  Michigan dealer Wayne Taylor dba Dollars and Sense discovered the coin in 1993.  He sold it to Henry Hilgard who passed it to the consignor in MB 25.  The coin is a pleasing medium grey.  Luster survives in protected areas.  The centers, as always, show striking weakness.  A small area of darker toning atop the cap hallmarks this important piece for future generations.  Taylor’s and the MB 25 auction tags accompany the lot.   Estimate: $1,200 to $1,500 10 $1,725 $1,753 $1,898  
12 1809 XXX Edge O.110 R.4+ PCGS Shield AU 50 Two R.4 die pairs of 1809 are extreme rarities in AU or UNC, O.108 and O.110.  I have yet to see or handle a mint state O.108 (though Herrman’s latest AMBPR shows an MS 63 atop the Condition Census).  The incomparable Dosier/Prouty/Meyer/Link MS 63 O.110 may have one companion at the Mint State level.   You may count AU examples on the fingers of one hand.  Here is a pretty one.  The obverse sports a panoply of colors, undoubtedly from repose in a Wayte Raymond album.  The reverse is lighter with soft luster rolling through the fields.  BHNC notables are in the chain of title.  Tim Osborne purchased it from Dr. Link during the April 2010 Central States show.  Tim passed it to our consignor sometime thereafter.   Estimate: $3,000 to $4,000 11 $5,251 $5,555 $5,776  
13 1809 III Edge O.111a R.2 PCGS Shield AU 58 Iridescent rose and turquoise blend with antique grey, a beguiling combination.  Softly struck at the rims, typical of the die state.  Registry Set competitors will love the grade, quality and eye appeal of this Redbook variety.   Estimate: $3,000 to $3,500 4 $3,607 $4,000 $3,968  
14 1809 O.112 R.5 PCGS Shield VF 20 Natural medium grey toning, lighter on the devices.  The surfaces are surprisingly smooth for the assigned grade.  Assembling a 15-piece die variety set of 1809’s is a challenge but manageable if decent, mid-grade examples are your cup of tea.  Cherry picking tip:  the O.112, 113, 114 and 115 varieties of 1809 were struck from the same obverse die.  Look at stars 1, 7, 8 and 13.  They are about the same distance from the portrait.  Flip the coin over.  If the I in pluribus is left of the second T in states buy the coin.  It will not be the common O.115.  You have an R.5 in your hands.   Estimate:  $275 to $400 4 $360 $360 $396  
15 1809 O.113a R.5 PCGS Shield XF 40 Outrageous original toning, likely from storage in tissue paper.  Luster envelops the stars and legend.  Weakness at the eagle’s head and left wing are standard for this rare die pair.  I spotted the piece back in 1997, raw and unattributed in a Heritage Long Beach auction.  (Note the 4 equidistant stars and I left of T.)  I sold the coin to a sophisticated collector who kept it in his cabinet for the last 23+ years.  My sales tag from 1997 and the consignor’s kraft envelope with personal notes accompany the lot.  The O.113 is the scarcer die pair of the R.5 trio, O.112-113-114.   Estimate: $2,000 to $2,500 4 $2,700 $2,850 $2,970  
16 1809 O.114a R.5 PCGS Shield XF 40 Another beautifully toned R.5 from the same consignor as the previous lot.  The pale gold patina, with splashes of pastel blue, probably derives from kraft envelope storage.  Myriad die breaks cross the reverse, attesting to the later die state.  The coin was acquired in February 1997 from a Massachusetts dealer.  A wise collector will do well to keep this coin and its O.113a companion together for another quarter century.  The consignor’s storage envelope and notes accompany.   Estimate:  $2,000 to 2,500 3 $2,626 $2,626 $2,889  
17 1810 O.108 R.3 PCGS AU 58 Cartwheel luster roars across the lightly toned obverse and pale gold reverse.  A vertical die break bisects the reverse, adding charisma and character to the coin.  Choice AU 1810’s are scarce, higher numbered Overton varieties especially so.  Smooth surfaces befit the grade.  You will need a loupe to find faint signs of contact.   Estimate: $2,200 to $3,000 5 $2,600 $2,800 $2,860  
18 1811/10 O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 58+ CAC A spectacular example, ready to fill one of the top spots in a PCGS Everyman Registry Set.  Light gold toning and full luster enhance the eye appeal.  Though a later die state, the central devices are well struck; pay special attention to the detail in the eagle’s wings and claws.  Remnants of the underlying “10” appear lower left and top right of the second 1 in the date.  A showpiece coin for an advanced collection.  Ex BHNC notable Howard Sharfman.  Estimate: $5,500 to $6,500 3 $5,750 $6,500 $6,325  
19 1811 Small 8 O.109 R.2 PCGS Shield AU 58 CAC The Link provenance is shown on the PCGS label.  Untoned, flashy and virtually free of contact marks.  This is an uncirculated coin with cabinet friction on the obverse portrait.  The reverse die is on its last legs.  You have to love those die breaks!   Estimate: $2,500 to $3,000 1 $2,000 $2,000 $2,200  
20 1811 Small 8 O.113 R.5 PCGS XF 40 The “113” is a killer R.5, usually seen in low grade and with problems.  This was Tim Osborne’s set piece for over 30 years.  He acquired it in the late 1980’s from Sonny Toupard, a well known dealer in Houston, TX.  It is a handsome piece.  Original medium grey toning blankets the surfaces.  My late, great friend Henry Hilgard used to say, “Like grandma’s silver.”  The strike is exceptional for the issue.  You won’t find a nicer XF 40.  Period.  Tim passed the coin to his friend Tom Sears in June 2019.   Estimate: $2,000 to $2,750 9 $2,559 $2,577 $2,815  
21 1812/1 Small 8 O.102 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC A gloss of sunset toning on the reverse teases the eye and contrasts with the untoned obverse.  Both sides feature booming luster.  The surfaces are smooth as glass.  Red Book, Registry Set and die variety collectors know how tough it is to locate a high grade 12/1 with eye appeal.  Last offered in Aug. 2019 as part of Doug Noblet’s remarkable date and Red Book variety set.  Lot 18 of MB 49 brought $4,015.   Estimate: $3,500 to $4,000 5 $4,300 $5,500 $4,730  
22 1812 O.110 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Full luster rolls quietly under original antique toning.  The surfaces are immaculate.  Well struck devices confirm a reasonably early die state.  In all, a nifty coin for collectors putting together a first rate date set of capped bust halves.   Estimate: $2,000 to $2,500 3 $2,000 $2,000 $2,200  
23 1812 Single Leaf O.110b R.6 PCGS F.15 Struck from the same workhorse die pair as the preceding lot.  Hard to believe.  Here is a glorious exception to the homely, scratched or otherwise damaged examples we have seen of late.  Just over a dozen pieces are known.  This one has been off the market since it debuted as a raw VF 20 in MB 31, July 2005 lot 87 @ $3,631.  (My SF ANA sale that included the Burke/Parsley 1817/4.)  Here is a problem-free example with medium grey toning, lighter on the devices.  It will make a wonderful addition to an advanced Red Book or die variety collection.  I will stick with my grade, VF 20.  PCGS graders have trouble distinguishing circulation wear from soft devices attributable to aging, worn dies.   Estimate: $4,000 and up 14 $5,527 $5,527 $6,080  
24 1813 50/UNI O.101 R.2 PCGS AU 55 CAC A Prodigal Daughter from MB 49, lot 22 where it brought $4,180.  Attractive copper and blue toning with the luster expected of a nice AU.  The misplaced UNI is bold on this early die state; one wonders whether the engraver made a serious effort to erase his error.  The population of high grade “UNI” pieces is well short of that needed to meet demand for this alluring Red Book variety.  Recent auction appearances of CAC approved, PCGS graded AU 55’s include the Hamilton coin (lot 4525, Heritage, Aug. 2016 @ $4,818) and an example from the Cape Cod Collection in MB 47 (Jan. 2018, lot 26 @ $5,115).   It is your cataloger’s opinion that this coin is nicer than Hamilton’s (I sold it to him in 1990) and a notch better than the Cape Cod Coin.   Estimate: $4,000 to $5,000 16 $6,250 $7,000 $6,875  
25 1814/3 O.101a R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC This eye-catching, lustrous overdate is encased in a gossamer veil of silver, grey and blue toning.  Die breaks and clash marks run amok, a circumstance common to the die pair.  The surfaces are free of disturbing ticks or blemishes.  The coin brought $4,465 in a 2019 Legend auction.  Disappointed underbidders await a second chance.   Estimate: $3,800 to $4,800 7 $4,400 $4,400 $4,840  
26 1814 Single Leaf O.105a R.4 PCGS AU 55 CAC A marvelous 1814 Single Leaf.  I find no record of it appearing at auction.  The eye appeal is head and shoulders above the darkly toned AU 55 CAC I offered back in 2014 (lot 91, MB 39 @ $5,341, reappearing in a March 2017 Legend auction @ $6,325).  Shimmering luster graces the silver-grey toning.  The surfaces are exceptionally smooth save for a tick, right of the date; adjustment marks in the upper left of the reverse are unusual and fascinating but do not enter a discussion of value.  A glance at auction records will tell you that high grade examples of this Red Book staple are rare and in demand.  Estimate: $5,000 to $6,000 1 $4,000 $4,000 $4,400  
27 1814 Single Leaf O.105a R.4 PCGS XF 40 Evenly toned with rose highlights and luster in protected areas.  This is an XF to love.  The decently impressed central devices are a bonus.  If you do not require a Condition Census example for your Red Book set this one deserves your attention.   Estimate: $1,000 to $1,500 10 $1,852 $2,155 $2,037  
28 1814 E/A O.108a R.1 PCGS Shield AU 55 Another Red Book condition rarity - though “R.1” to die variety collectors.  Why are there so few AU or nicer examples?  I don’t have the answer.  This untoned example sports extravagant luster, obverse and reverse.  Weakness at the eagle’s head and left wing is a hallmark of the variety and stark contrast to the well-detailed obverse portrait.  Unless you find clash marks a bother, you will adore the nearly mark-free surfaces.  It was last offered by David Kahn in 2009.  The similarly graded example in MB 45, lot 14, ex Jules Reiver, brought $6,655.  Be ready for a battle!   Estimate: $3,500 to $5,000 1 $3,000 $3,000 $3,300  
29 1818/7 Large 8 O.101a R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Meyer provenance noted on PCGS label. From MB 50, lot 41 @ $2,420.  An intensely lustrous coin, mostly brilliant with hints of gold toning on the obverse.  Swampy found the coin in an NGC AU 58 holder at the April 2000 Central States Show.  It subsequently crossed to PCGS and was offered in Heritage’s April 2009 CSNS sale, lot 681 ($1,955).  The CAC sticker came later.  Well deserved, I should add.  Have you read Jim Ross’ article in the Nov. 2018 J.R. Journal where he traces the obverse die to 1813, making the coin an 1818/7/3?   Estimate: $2,500 to $3,000 3 $2,600 $3,500 $2,860  
30 1818/7 Small 8 O.102a R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC Deep, undisturbed cartwheel luster rolls beneath a pleasing veneer of pale gold toning.  Signs of actual circulation are missing.  The 1818/7 with a small 8 is generally considered tougher to find than either of the large 8 varieties, O.101 and O.103.   The O.102 die was almost certainly prepared by Robert Scott (no notch in star 13); John Reich’s failing eyesight led to his retirement in 1817.  From MB 49, lot 35, Aug. 2019 @ $4,400.   Estimate: $3,500 to $4,000 6 $4,200 $5,000 $4,620  
31 1818 O.104a R.3 PCGS AU 58 Lester Merkin sold this coin to Floyd Farley in January 1968.  Floyd, BHNC member #2, consigned the coin to my November 1999 MB Sale No. 24 (as a raw AU 55).  Keith Davignon was the winner.   He had it graded by NGC.  Voila - MS 61!  Floyd stored his coins in kraft envelopes which accounts for the lovely pastel blue, rose and silver-grey patina.  The surfaces are immaculate.  A light drift mark (planchet impurity) crosses stars 8-12.  If you appreciate die breaks on your early halves, this one has a doozy, from the date to star 3.  Davignon placed the coin in MB 39 (lot 21, August 2014) after crossing it to its current PCGS holder.  Tim Osborne prevailed at $2,482, later passing it to his friend and BHNC colleague Tom Sears.  What a coin!  What a wonderful provenance!   Estimate: $1,800 to $2,400 10 $2,476 $2,476 $2,724  
32 1818 O.115 R.5 PCGS Shield AU 55 The Frederick-Link provenance appears on the PCGS label.  For bust half intelligentsia this coin is one of the 3 most important coins in the sale.  I have never seen an uncirculated example.  (DeOlden’s NGC AU 58 generated this frank assessment in my 2006 Denver ANA Sale of his “Fabulous 44.”  A handsome piece with nice surfaces albeit generously graded.  Old timers will settle on choice XF.  It brought only $3,106.)  When Heritage presented Don Frederick’s important die variety collection at its April 2010 Central States auction it offered a bland description of his coin (offered here), casually mentioning its place in the Condition Census and telling us nothing about where Don found it.  (Don kept meticulous records.)   Dr. Link won the lot at $4,600.  Five years later he consigned it to my 2015 ANA Sale, MB 41.  Lot 33 sold for $5,627 to our current consignor, Howard Sharfman.  I described it this way.

… another important coin from the Link Collection.  This lustrous example appears to be the 2nd finest known of the rare early die state.  The familiar obverse die break is in its infancy, just a feathery line from the rim to Liberty’s lowest curls.  High rims and sharply outlined devices confirm the die state.  A pastel ring of gold encases the stars and legend.  This is a charming coin that offers rarity, charisma, eye appeal and a distinguished provenance in one package.  For the advanced collector it is a taste of caviar.  Better yet, quoting Walter Breen, it is a morsel drawn from a plate of peacock’s tongues!

 PCGS suggests a current value of $7,250.   Estimate: $6,000 to $7,000
18 $7,442 $7,808 $8,186  
33 1819/8 Sm. 9 O.101 1 PCGS AU 58 CAC There are six over-dated die pairs in 1819.  Only one was struck from a working die prepared with the “small 9” punch.  Just two CAC-approved PCGS AU 58’s have ever appeared at auction, this one and the Eliasberg coin (MB 43, lot 30, Aug. 2016 @ $3,906).  When David Kahn consigned this piece to MB 45, my 2018 ANA Sale, I described lot 77 as follows: “… 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!”  Howard Sharfman prevailed at $3,740.  His BHNC colleague Tom Sears later acquired it by private treaty.   Estimate: $3,000 to $4,000 5 $4,700 $5,100 $5,170  
34 1819/8 Lg. 9 O.102 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC A gorgeous coin with subtle aqua, gold and turquoise toning.  Luster is deep and undisturbed.  Traces of cabinet friction on the portrait.  This overdate was put away 200 years ago, saving it from the trials of a circulating coin.   Estimate: $2,800 to $3,500 4 $3,600 $4,500 $3,960  
35 1820/19 Sq. Base 2 O.101a R.3 PCGS AU 58 The Meyer provenance is noted on the PCGS label.  Swampy acquired the coin privately in 1983 and never saw a need to improve it.  Twenty-five years later I offered it for $4,150 during the 2008 ANA Convention in Baltimore.  It was snapped up by a California collector who sold his collection in 2019.  It has not been seen at auction in at least 40 years, perhaps longer.  Meyer stored the coin in the same kraft envelope that accompanied his purchase.  The coin acquired a soft gold patina akin to many of Al Overton’s coins that were similarly stored.  I am guessing that it saw brief circulation.  I note a hint of friction in the fields and a few insignificant contact marks, one behind the ribbon ends, another under the eagle’s beak.  The square base 2 overdate of 1820 is a want list fixture.  High grade examples are especially scarce.  This one comes with exceptional eye appeal and an important provenance.  Estimate: $4,500 to $5,000 4 $4,150 $6,000 $4,565  
36 1820/19 Curl Base 2 O.102 R.1 PCGS AU 58 An interesting coin.  Stone grey toning, obverse and reverse, with full cartwheel luster on the obverse and distinctly prooflike surfaces on the reverse.  Minor ticks from short term circulation may have denied this one a CAC sticker.  It is an old friend.  I purchased it at a Heritage auction in 2014 and sold it to the current consignor.  Though more common than its square base 2 sibling, no high grade 1820, overdate or not, is to be ignored.  Only the 1807 and 1815 mintages are lower in the Capped Bust series.  Six of the eight Overton die varieties are also Red Book varieties.  Estimate: $3,500 to $4,000 1 $3,000 $3,000 $3,300  
37 1820 Small Date, Curl 2 O.103 R.1 PCGS AU 58 OGH CAC Another old friend, encased in a first generation (“rattler”) PCGS holder.  I acquired the coin in 1989 and sold it to George Hamilton in October that year.  It comes with the kraft envelope in which Stack’s offered the coin as lot 759 in its March 1959 sale of The Pelletreau Collection.  With deserved hoopla Heritage offered the Hamilton collection at its 2016 Anaheim ANA Sale.  Charles De Olden prevailed at $3,760.  During the 2017 FUN Show De Olden lost several coins in a professionally planned theft.  The disheartening event prompted him to sell his remaining coins.  Dr. Link acquired this piece, later consigning it to Legend’s Sept. 2018 sale of The Konstantine Collection where it again yielded $3,760.  After previewing the lot I wrote, “Sweet AU 58 with original grey patina.”  The surfaces are immaculate, the luster deep and undisturbed.  The coin changed hands again in July 2019, selling for $4,450.  Their will be no lack of suitors for this special coin.  Estimate: $4,000 and up 1 $3,500 $3,500 $3,850  
38 1820 Lg. Date, Sq. Base 2, No Knob O.106 R.1 PCGS Shield AU 58 Extremely early die state, sharply impressed and prooflike!  The usual bulge in the obverse die, from bust to stars 1-2, is absent.   An earlier NGC label accompanies, “AU 58 PL.”  The coin is untoned with cabinet friction and lightly disturbed fields but exhibits no sign of having entered circulation.  The mirror-like surfaces showcase extraordinary detail in the dentils and central devices.  Note, particularly, the eagle’s wings and claws.  I find no record of the coin having appeared at auction.   Estimate: $2,750 to $3,500 5 $3,900 $4,100 $4,290  
39 1820 Lg. Date, Sq. Base 2, No Knob O.106 R.1 PCGS AU 53 Extravagant luster for the assigned grade.  Light toning at the peripheries.  The die bulge, mentioned above, is a hallmark of the obverse die (also used on the rare O.107).  Struck from lightly clashed dies, the coin features a balanced strike, nice surfaces and no marks worth mention.  This is a “PQ” AU 53.  Last offered in MB 36, August 2012, lot 32, where if brought $1,422.   Estimate: $1,300 to $1,700 9 $1,596 $1,675 $1,756  
40 1821 O.102 R.2 PCGS MS 62 The eye appeal is outrageous or, one might say, typical of coins from Keith’s cabinet.  He claims to have cherried this one from my inventory awhile back.  Whatever he paid, it was not enough!  The iridescent turquoise and rose toning captivates the eye, already squinting from a brazen display of mint luster.  The coin is essentially without faults, at the top of the 62 grade level.  This is a low mintage date.  Not many 1821’s come this nice.   Estimate: $2,500 to $3,000 11 $4,800 $6,000 $5,280  
41 1821 O.103 R.2 PCGS AU 58 Another 1821 with lovely peripheral toning.  The few signs of contact suggest a day or two in circulation, nothing more.  Cartwheel luster is unimpaired.  The coin is perfectly centered with all devices decently struck.   Estimate: $1,600 to $2,200 4 $1,511 $2,500 $1,662  
42 1821 O.103 R.2 PCGS AU 53 CAC A high end AU 53, last offered in my January 2014 FUN Show sale, MB 38, where it brought $1,210.  I described lot 35 this way:
A gossamer sheen of pale gold toning contributes to the exceptional eye appeal of this modestly graded half-dollar.  Bold luster encompasses the devices and smooth fields, making a strong argument for a step or two up on the ladder of AU bust halves.
It is as pretty today as it was 7 years ago.   Estimate: $1,000 to $1,300
10 $1,105 $1,235 $1,216  
43 1821 O.104 R.1 PCGS Shield AU 58 CAC Creamy-smooth surfaces come with a protective silver patina.  This is “wow” 1821.  Undisturbed luster runs miles deep.  Thirteen stars display center points.  It is a challenge to find any friction on the coin.  It would surprise no one had PCGS graded it MS 62.  Estimate: $2,000 to $2,500 6 $2,400 $2,400 $2,640  
44 1822/1 O.101 R.1 PCGS Shield AU 55 Light rub on Liberty’s cheek and neck, none in the fully lustrous fields.  The coin is untoned with minimal signs of handling or circulation.  The winning bidder will not be disappointed with his or her prize.   Estimate: $1,000 to $1,500 6 $1,412 $1,412 $1,553  
45 1822/1 O.102 R.4+ PCGS AU 55 The `22-102 is an extreme rarity in high grade.  This example is among the top 5 or 6 known.  The Condition Census is headed by the incomparable Norweb coin, NGC MS 63 CAC, offered as part of George Hamilton’s collection in Heritage’s 2016 Anaheim ANA sale.  It brought $15,275.  I am familiar with two others graded PCGS AU 58.  Don Parsley’s example (with obverse die break) appeared in my June 2000 MB 25, lot 16, selling to George Hamilton for $5,506.  (Yes, George had the #1 and #2 CC coins.)  It brought $8,510 at Heritage’s 2016 ANA sale.  Stewart P. Witham also owned a choice AU, graded “58” by PCGS.  It brought over $10,000 in Heritage’s auction of August 2010, lot 4881.   The early history of the current offering is recounted in the description that appeared in my January 2014 FUN Show sale, MB 38, lot 37.

This is Charlton Meyer’s set piece (noted on the PCGS label), acquired from Julian Leidman by private treaty at the 1988 ANA Convention in Cincinnati.  The coin appears to have been stored in a Wayte Raymond album before it was dipped some decades back.  A pastel halo of golden iridescence frames the lightly toned, lustrous centers.  The coin saw little circulation as the fields still reward us with a complete cartwheel.

The coin was consigned to MB 38 by Keith Davignon.  He purchased it at my 2008 ANA Convention sale of the Meyer Collection.  The winning bidder at $4,235 was another BHNC stalwart, Howard Sharfman, the current consignor.   Estimate: $4,000 to $5,000
3 $4,450 $5,000 $4,895  
46 1822 O.103 R.5- PCGS AU 55 CAC Near Condition Census.  The finest is a Gem Proof, ex Norweb.  It brought $211,500 in the September 2015 Stack’s/Bowers-Sotheby sale of the Pogue Collection.  This lightly circulated example is an intermediate die state.  A thin die break crosses star 6 to the bridge of Liberty’s nose.  The later-appearing break at the top of the date to drapery and star 13, required of the O.103a die state, is absent.  The coin bespeaks originality.  Its smooth, lustrous surfaces donned a crust of antique woodgrain toning.  Henry Hilgard cherried the coin sometime in the 1980’s.  He sold or traded it to Gehring Prouty a few years later.  The next owner was Tim Osborne, Gehring’s soulmate and closest friend among BHNC members.  Tim wrote the following when I told him the coin was coming to auction: I could never get Gehring to sell me any of his dupes – he just kept them all.  But in October 1996 he finally let this one go.  It was raw when I bought it, so I sent it to NGC.  It came back AU 58.  Later, in June 2013, I crossed it to PCGS as AU 55. [The NGC AU 58 label accompanies the lot.]   Tim and Dr. Tom Sears got together in 2019 to discuss a series of numismatic transactions.  Tom came away with this remarkable coin.  The slab photo was taken before it acquired a CAC sticker.    Estimate: $3,800 to $4,500 1 $3,500 $3,500 $3,850  
47 1822 O.113 R.3 PCGS MS 64 Eliasberg I will never forget the evening of April 7, 1997, session 3 of the Eliasberg sale.  The Quadrille Ballroom of the St. Moritz Hotel on Central Park South in New York City was filled.  Bowers & Merena issued tickets to qualified bidders, allowing entrance to the ballroom.  Every notable in the numismatic world was there -- in person, by agent or on the phone.  The array of high-grade, fresh coins – all “raw” – was unparalleled.  There were 402 half-dollars to be sold that night.  Nothing else.  The air was electric with anticipation.  Louis Eliasberg did not collect half-dollars by die variety.  Yet his collection included 10 of the 15 die pairs for the year 1822.  His 1822 O.113, offered here, was traced to Thomas Elder’s September 1910 sale of the Peter Mougey Collection where it had sold to John H. Clapp.  In 1942 Eliasberg negotiated a  purchase of the Clapp collection intact.  This coin remained in the Eliasberg Collection until the April 1997 sale.  It was lot 1789 and brought $2,035, selling to the late Martin Paul and Ron Karp who had joined forces for the evening.  The coin reappeared in February 2018 as lot 3880 in Heritage’s Long Beach Sale, graded NGC MS 64.  It brought $4,560.  The buyer crossed the coin to its current PCGS holder and placed it in Heritage’s 2018 Summer Fun Sale (lot 3078) where it sold for $5,760 to our consignor, Dr. Tom Sears.  The coin is a textbook example of the “Eliasberg look.”  Caky luster swirls beneath a protective silver-grey patina.  The strike and eye-appeal are first rate.  Your collection must have a representative from the most famous collection of our time.  Here is your chance!   Estimate: $4,500 to $5,250 4 $6,150 $6,150 $6,765  
48 1823 Patched 3 O.101a R.1 PCGS Shield AU 58 A gorgeous Patched 3, last sold by Heritage at a record price for this Red Book staple, $7,500.  A gloss of original pale gold toning fails to hide a generous helping of cartwheel luster.  The strike is first rate for the issue.  A short drift mark adjoins star 9.  The surfaces are lovely, exhibiting miniscule signs of contact.  We may be certain the coin never saw a day of actual circulation.   Estimate: $4,000 and up 2 $3,800 $3,955 $4,180  
49 1823 O.105 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC A regal coin.  The depth of luster, rich iridescent toning and “look” are generally reserved for bust halves graded MS 64 or 65.  The only hint of friction is on the curl behind Liberty’s ear.  It is difficult to imagine a more eye appealing “AU 58.”    Estimate: $1,300 to $1,800 12 $2,400 $2,401 $2,640  
50 1823 O.109 R.5+ PCGS XF 40 A famous rarity in the capped bust series.  The magnificent obverse die breaks make the variety easy to identify.  Yet barely more than 30 pieces have appeared since Al Overton issued his standard reference work in 1967.  PCGS has graded two other XF 40’s, five AU’s and just two uncirculated examples.  The centers are antique grey.  Light copper toning circles the stars and legend.  No marks deserve mention.  A similarly graded though less desirable 1823 O.109 needed 3 appearances in recent Heritage auctions (2017-18) to find a home, with reported prices of $2,280 to $4,230.  Keith Davignon’s CAC approved PCGS XF 40 sold for $3,751 in my 2014 ANA Sale.  If you are a serious die variety collector this is an important opportunity.   Estimate: $3,000 to $4,000 1 $2,500 $2,500 $2,750  
51 1823 Ugly 3 O.110a R.3 PCGS Shield AU 58 CAC It will be no surprise if this coin elicits more bids than any other in the auction.  High grade examples seem to be on everyone’s Want List.  Check your AMBPR and Dave Rutherford’s Internet auction price listings for confirmation.  The reverse of the coin deserves a Mint State designation.  The obverse has traces of friction on the portrait and in the fields.  Silver-grey toning puts the cartwheel luster on display.  I have had the pleasure of offering three PCGS graded AU 58’s since 2017.  Prices ranged from $6,600 to $7,994.  Only the latter enjoyed a CAC sticker.  Good luck to all and congratulations to the winning bidder!   Estimate: $6,000 to $7,000 7 $7,500 $8,255 $8,250  
52 1824/1 O.101a R.2 PCGS AU 58 “Target toning” attracted bidders in August 2019 when I offered this coin in MB 49.  Lot 60 was part of the Doug Noblet Collection, described as follow: “Deeply toned through the stars and legend from album storage.  The brilliant centers were gently wiped but retain nearly full luster.”  It brought $1,760.   Estimate: $1,300 to $1,700 9 $2,755 $3,000 $3,031  
53 1824/1 O.102 R.5+ PCGS AU 53 CAC There is little to add to the description of this extraordinary coin when it appeared in my January 2015 FUN Show Sale.  Lot 8 was part of Keith Davignon’s collection.  It brought $10,175.  Here is what I had to say:   This offering will garner many votes as the most important coin in the sale.  As a Red Book variety the 1824/1 is not rare.  Virtually all seen are O.101, an R.1 die pair.  The die variety collector knows the 1824/1 O.102 to be a consummate rarity.  In high grade it hardly exists.  The Davignon coin is probably 3rd finest of the scant population.  It has an enticing history.  It was Henry Hilgard’s set piece until John Tidwell pried it loose in 1997.  I am uncertain whether Henry or our mutual mentor Elton Dosier cherried the coin.  Elton owned a slightly finer example, considered the finest known.  The Hilgard/Tidwell coin, offered here, was lot 10 in my August 2004 Sale of Selected Rarities from the Tidwell Collection, graded AU 58 by NGC.  Charlton Meyer Jr. pounced, bringing it home at $9,922.  The last appearance of the coin was in July 2008 as lot 35 in my Selected Rarities Sale of coins from the Meyer Collection.  Davignon prevailed at $14,702, demonstrating the respect that advanced collectors hold for high grade examples of this die pair. The coin is richly toned in shades of antique grey.  The underlying luster is virtually complete.  Davignon crossed the coin from NGC to PCGS, being realistic in accepting a demotion from AU 58 to AU 53.  CAC rewarded him with a well-deserved little green bean.   Estimate: $9,000 and up 4 $11,050 $15,650 $12,155  
54 1824/4 O.110a R.2 PCGS MS 63 CAC An antique grey patina assures originality.  The peripheries are highlighted by a halo of iridescent amber, with a darker area through STATES OF AMERICA.  Mint luster surges beneath the toning, as vibrant as the day the coin left the coining chamber.  The surfaces are immaculate.  The older PCGS label shows the date as “1824/4.”  The final digit is not impressed over an earlier effort.  A proper designation is “4 over recut 4.”  No matter.  As a Red Book variety the die pair has a large following.  Dr. Link located the coin in Heritage’s June 2014 sale of the Brian Loncar Collection where it brought $4,406.  Keith Davignon relieved him of it a year later.   Estimate: $3,250 to $4,000 4 $3,600 $4,000 $3,960  
55 1824 O.111 R.2 PCGS AU 58 The Link provenance is noted on the PCGS label.  Link acquired the coin from Keith Davignon in September 2013.  Russet toning through the stars and legend frames the brilliant centers.  Exceptional luster is eye-catching and a match for coins graded Mint State.   Estimate: $800 to $1,100 5 $1,301 $1,301 $1,431  
56 1824 O.114 R.5- PCGS Shield AU 58 Al Overton assigned an R.8 rarity rating (1 to 3 known) to this die pair when he issued his 2nd edition in 1970.  I recall the thrill of cherry-picking a low grade example at a small show in San Rafael, CA sometime in 1984.  While upwards of 40 pieces are known today the appearance of a high grade specimen remains a cause for celebration.  This one has a majestic provenance.  It was first recorded in the BHNC Census during the 1970s.  Its only auction appearance over the past 50 years came in 2004, lot 11 in my sale of Selected Rarities from the Collection of John and Sophia Tidwell where it brought $8,311.  Tom Bay, Sr. uncovered the coin years before.  It passed to Henry Hilgard when Tom sold his collection to me in 1985.  The Tidwells picked it up in June 1997.  It is rivaled only by the “borderline uncirculated” Carl McClerg/Charlton Meyer specimen (Getty Sale, B&R May 1977, lot 841) and the choice AU Dosier/Prouty coin that now resides in a PCGS MS 62 holder.  Tim Osborne owned the Dosier/Prouty piece when Dr. Link proposed a trade, this coin for Tim’s.  In Tim’s words, “Not a problem for me – WOW, this coin has amazing eye appeal.  I can’t imagine a nicer AU.”  The lightly toned coin features blazing luster, immaculate surfaces and a strike that is unrivaled for this die pair.  If you crave the absolute best in R.5s, this one fills the bill.   Estimate: $7,000 to $10,000 7 $8,000 $13,703 $8,800  
57 1825 O.109 R.5 PCGS AU 55 Another AU R.5!  The consignor picked up this coin in MB 38, my January 2014 FUN Show Sale of selections from the Davignon Collection.  It was lot 55, bringing, $2,723.   The coin was probably stored in a Wayte Raymond album, emerging with iridescent gold, copper and aqua peripheries.  The centers are lightly toned.  The fields, though a little busy, retain good luster.  Dave Rutherford was the winning bidder when this coin appeared at Stack’s November 2008 sale, lot 3561, where it brought $2,760.  (Be sure that you are familiar with Dave’s Internet pricing tool for bust halves:  Dave consigned his collection to me the following year, allowing Keith Davignon to snatch this piece from my bourse table during the November 2009 Baltimore show.  A pronounced double profile will earmark this important coin for posterity.   Estimate: $2,000 to $2,500 1 $2,000 $4,050 $2,200  
58 1826 O.108 R.3 PCGS Shield AU 58+ CAC Here is a prize for members of PCGS’s Everyman Capped Bust Half-Dollars Registry Set.  It is the proverbial common date and variety - in uncommon condition.  Antique silver grey toning is a magnet for sophisticated collectors and professional coin graders.  Smooth surfaces befit the lofty grade.   Estimate: $1,250 to $1,500 4 $1,550 $1,750 $1,705  
59 1827/6 O.101 R.2 PCGS AU 58 This sharply struck overdate is ablaze with luster.  The dentils and right hand stars are wrapped in album toning. The brilliant centers are untoned.  The over-punched 6 is as strong as you will see, suggesting an early die state.    Estimate: $1,300 to $2,000 10 $2,865 $3,000 $3,152  
60 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.116 R.4+ PCGS MS 62 CAC From MB 39, lot 43, August 2014, Part 2 of Selections from the Davignon Collection.  This is a beautifully toned RARE die variety, firmly ensconced in the Condition Census.  A golden patina blankets the coin, flanked by green and turquoise iridescence through the stars and legend.  Just what the doctor ordered for those who prefer colorful coins.  The luster is without a trace of disturbance.  There can be no argument with CAC’s conclusion that the coin is “high end” for the grade.  I note that the Heifetz coin from 1989 found its way into a PCGS MS 63 holder, appearing in Heritage’s May 2008 sale at $6,900.  It is tied with the PCGS MS 63 Meyer coin.  The current offering will give those two “63s” a run for their money.  Davignon uncovered this piece in an eBay auction in September 2003.  Nice find!   Estimate: $4,000 to $4,500 5 $3,900 $4,500 $4,290  
61 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.123 R.5- PCGS AU 58 CAC This dazzling rarity is making its auction debut.  It rests at #3 in the Condition Census, behind the Overton Plate Coin, NGC MS 65, and the PCGS MS 62 Dosier/Prouty example.  Stewart Witham’s PCGS AU 58 is a notch behind this one.  (I was the winning bidder at Heritage’s 2010 ANA offering of the Witham coin, lot 4905 @ $3,000.)  Howard Sharfman uncovered this piece in a dealer’s case in 2016 and passed it to our consignor in 2019 via private treaty.  The coin is lightly toned with full luster.  It earned a CAC sticker despite the ubiquitous softness at the obverse rims and stars.  (The obverse die is in its 3rd and final use, appearing earlier on the O.121 and O.122.)   Estimate: $3,000 to $3,500 1 $3,000 $3,000 $3,300  
62 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.131 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC Blinding luster and a razor sharp strike will earn this 1827 a place in a first rate date or type set.  Note, especially, the detail in Liberty’s curls and the eagle’s claws and feathers.  The “flash” and eye-appeal of the coin mandated the application of CAC’s little green bean.   Estimate: $1,000 to $1,400 4 $1,200 $1,200 $1,320  
63 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.144 R.5+ PCGS XF 45 Untoned with nearly full cartwheel luster.  Traces of friction in the fields account for the conservative grade.  This is an important coin, earlier in the collection of Dr. Charles Link.  Our consignor acquired it privately in 2015.  The O.144 and O.145 die pairs of 1827 share a common obverse.  Each is a solid R.5, with the O.144 edging out the O.145 in absolute rarity.   Estimate: $2,000 to $2,500 5 $3,155 $3,400 $3,471  
64 1827 Sq. Base 2 O.145 R.5 PCGS AU 50 Last offered in Stack’s/Bowers 2014 ANA Sale, lot 4067 as NGC AU 53.  The coin is evenly though darkly toned.  PCGS demoted it to AU 50, considering it a tad short on luster.  Treat this one as a nice XF 45 and you will be on the right track in formulating a bid.  The strike is first rate for the issue.  High grade 145s are rare.  Expect competition.   Estimate: $1,200 to $1,500 7 $1,500 $1,500 $1,650  
65 1827 Curl Base 2 O.147 R.4 PCGS Shield AU 55 CAC Against stern competition, Dr. Glenn Peterson won this coin at a Heritage sale in October 2012 (lot 4334), paying $2,115.  The current PCGS label memorializes the Peterson provenance.  Only two die pairs of 1827 have a curl base 2, the O.146 and O.147.  The R.4 O.147 is significantly tougher to find, especially in high grade.  The coin, now CAC approved, enjoys full cartwheel luster.  The reverse has a gloss of golden toning.  The obverse is brilliant and untoned.   Estimate: $1,250 to $2,000 3 $1,400 $1,400 $1,540  
66 1828 Curl Base, Knob 2 O.107 R.2 PCGS AU 58 Brilliant, untoned with full cartwheel luster.  A trace of friction on the cheek.  There are 23 die pairs in 1828.  Only the O.107 and rare O.106 sport a curl and knobbed 2.  Chased by both Red Book and die variety collectors this “R.2” brings a hefty premium when offered in choice AU or better.  PCGS suggests $1,750.   Estimate: $1,200 to $1,600 8 $1,721 $1,930 $1,893  
67 1828 Sq, 2, Sm. 8's, Lg Let. O.116 R.2 PCGS MS 63+ CAC PCGS agreed with the + sign that NGC awarded this imposing coin in Heritage’s November 2013 offering of the Eric Newman Collection.  This was lot 33619.  Keith Davignon corralled it at $4,563.  Both the PCGS and accompanying NGC labels note the Colonel Green/Newman provenance.  Heritage retained my services to write descriptions of the Newman bust half-dollars.  For this coin I noted the impressive strike, strong luster and original “dusky gray and golden-brown toning.”  Newman stored most of his coins in kraft envelopes.  Some emerged with a patina that was too dark for the taste of many collectors.  This one is a nice exception.  Davignon’s personal notes include, “Nice grey-dirt look, not too dark.”  CAC agreed.  So will you.  This is a special coin from a special collection.   Estimate: $3,500 to $4,000 1 $3,000 $3,000 $3,300  
68 1828 Sm. Lets Rev O.119 R.3 PCGS Shield AU 58 Full, flashy luster throughout.  The untoned surfaces are immaculate.  The strike is equally impressive.  There is no chance this coin entered circulation.  On another day it might grade MS 62.  The small letter reverse die is unique for this date.  It also appears on the 1829 O.111.  In 1987 Mssrs. Gunnet and Leaman worked out the emission order for the capped bust series and found that this “1828” half-dollar was struck in 1829, right after the 1829 O.110.  Why discard a perfectly serviceable obverse die simply because the calendar had turned over?!  Be sure to check your AMBPR and Rutherford’s web site price guide before bidding.  This Red Book variety is a want list fixture in AU 58.  Our consignor found this one in 2009, hiding in a dealer’s case.   Estimate: $1,800 to $2,500 7 $2,400 $3,405 $2,640  
69 1828 Sq, 2, Sm. 8's, Lg Let. O.120 R.1 PCGS AU 58 Luster, luster and more luster!  A splash of golden toning through the stars and portions of the legend contributes to the eye-appeal of this otherwise brilliant coin.  Well struck with little cabinet friction on the cheek, nothing more.  A perfect coin for the date and type collectors.   Estimate: $800 to $1,100 14 $1,603 $1,603 $1,763  
70 1828 Sq, 2, Sm. 8's, Lg Let. O.123a R.5+ PCGS XF 45 CAC If asked to identify the toughest R.5s in the Capped Bust series, experienced collectors are likely to place this die pair in the top 3.  Here is a handsome representative of the meager population.  The coin is evenly toned, decently struck and free of any discernable blemish.  We might hope for more luster on our XF-45s but the detail of this coin justifies the CAC approved grade.  The coin comes with the usual hallmarks of the marriage: a die break at the rim between stars 5-6 and an injury to the reverse die, Overton’s “railroad tracks,” under the eagle’s left wing.   Estimate: $3,500 to $4,000 3 $3,200 $4,151 $3,520  
71 1829/7 O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Iridescent turquoise toning dominates the obverse fields and runs through the legend on the reverse.  A halo of gold encases the stars.  Here is a coin with great color and strong eye-appeal.  Friction is confined to the high points.   Estimate: $1,300 to $1,750 18 $2,601 $2,601 $2,861  
72 1829/7 O.102 R.2 PCGS Shield AU 58 CAC A good spot to use the one-lot-only option if you are a date or Red Book collector.  A translucent blanket of ancient auburn and gold toning showcases full mint luster.  A single scuffmark on Liberty’s chin is the sole contact mark.  Did the coin enter circulation?  Not a chance!   Estimate: $1,300 to $1,750 4 $2,000 $2,625 $2,200  
73 1829 O.106 R.5- PCGS Shield MS 61 CAC Link provenance noted on the PCGS label.  Last seen in MB 41, my 2015 ANA Sale, where our consignor prevailed at $4,973.   The coin still holds court as the 3rd finest known of this rare variety.  Antique toning smacks of originality.  Flecks of gold iridescence dot the stars and legend.  The luster is full, though a bit muted by the attractive toning.  No marks deserve mention.  Keith Davignon’s AU 58 brought $4,400 in MB 39 in 2014.  This CAC approved example is even nicer.  Dr. Link acquired the coin by private treaty in November 2008.  Earlier, it was in the collections of Robert Zornes and David Kahn.   Estimate: $3,800 to $4,500 6 $4,700 $4,750 $5,170  
74 1829 O.108a R.3 PCGS AU 53 Outrageous “target” toning is sure to attract attention.  Bold luster will exceed your expectations for an “AU 53.”  This lightly circulated coin has no marks that deserve mention, just a generous helping of eye-appeal.   Estimate: $300 to $450 17 $1,350 $2,001 $1,485  
75 1829 Lg Lets Rev. O.110a R.2 PCGS AU 58 Another Red Book variety with vibrant cartwheel luster.  The untoned surfaces evoke “creamy” as an appropriate descriptor.  Expect the coin to bring a modest premium over the usual 1829.  It is the only die pair of the year with a large letters reverse.  The reverse die was also used on the 1828 O.118.   Estimate: $800 to $1,100 10 $1,225 $1,435 $1,348  
76 1829 O.112 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Frosty, untoned surfaces.  Light friction on the portrait.  This is an early die state with distinct die lines between the date and star 13.  The strike is first rate.  Note the detail in Liberty’s tresses and drapery lines.  The eagle’s claws and feathers are razor sharp.   Estimate: $800 to $1,150 4 $1,060 $1,150 $1,166  
77 1829 O.114 R.3 PCGS Shield AU 58+ CAC Another untoned 1829 with blazing luster.  This one comes with a + sign and a CAC sticker.  Just a whisper of friction on the obverse.  The boldly struck reverse is uncirculated.  Both sides boast immaculate surfaces.  Last offered (without a CAC sticker) at Heritage’s February 2016 Long Beach Sale, lot 3947 @ $1,998.   Estimate: $1,200 to $1,500 4 $1,300 $1,400 $1,430  
78 1829 O.115 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC The last in a noteworthy offering of high-grade 1829s, eight in all.  Cartwheel luster glows beneath a veneer of antique toning, an attractive blend of russet and gold.  Well struck throughout.  Off the market since its appearance in a March 2014 Heritage auction, bringing a modest $911.   Estimate: $800 to $1,000 1 $850 $850 $935  
79 1830 Sm.0 O.113 R.2 PCGS Shield AU 58+ CAC Dazzling luster.  A delicate ring of copper toning frames the brilliant centers.  Decently impressed with a full motto, often a problem on dates in the 1830s.  Do you see that little die chip inside the upper knob of the 3?  Be on the lookout for it!  It is the key to the obverse of the O.113 and the exceedingly rare 1830 Large Letters, O.114.  (See the next lot.)  Here is a wonderful coin for date collectors and Registry Set participants.   Estimate: $1,100 to $1,400 8 $2,451 $3,111 $2,696  
80 1830 Lg Lets Rev O.114 R.5+ PCGS Shield AU 55 A highlight of this incredible sale.  Dr. Charles Link consigned it to my January 2014 FUN Show sale, Mail Bid 38 (lot 76).  With a winning bid of nearly $17,000 Dr. Tom Sears made sure the coin stayed in the Bust Half Nut Club and within the confines of the medical profession, moving from the oncology to the pediatric department.  The coin spent little time in circulation.  It emerged from its tour in commerce with few signs of contact, none worth mention.  It exhibits pale russet toning and subdued luster.  The strike is as good as it gets.  The obverse die, in its 2nd use, always exhibits drawn stars and a generally blunt impression.  (Review the previous lot.  The 1830 O.113 and O.114 were struck from the same obverse die, the O.113 coming first.)  The Large Letters Reverse of 1830 became a Red Book variety a few years back.  There was a predictable escalation in demand for quality examples, already established by die variety collectors.  We may expect the interest – and bids – for this lot to be as strong as any coin in the sale.   Estimate: $13,000 and up 7 $16,001 $16,001 $17,601  
81 1830 Lg Lets Rev O.114 R.5+ PCGS VG 10 Don’t need a Condition Census example of this rarity?  You have company.  Lots of it.  This coin did its job.  It circulated.  It is evenly worn with only one battle scar worth mention, a scrape from the rim inside star 6.  Cherry-pickers will have no trouble confirming the variety: the die chip in the 3 (see lot 79) is plain and the words united states run together as one word.   Estimate: $2,100 to $2,600 0 $0 $0 Not Sold  
82 1831 O.110 R.2 PCGS AU 58 CAC Another brilliant coin with scandalous luster, as vivid as the day it was ousted from the coining chamber 190 years ago.  The central devices are sharp.  Curmudgeons will note a few drawn stars and weakness in the motto.  The flash and eye-appeal of this little jewel more than compensate.  The CAC sticker is well deserved.   Estimate: $900 to $1,100 1 $750 $750 $825  
83 1832 Lg Lets Rev. O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC If you waited for the right coin to fill the hole in your set your patience is rewarded.  This is a magnificent specimen, an unscathed remnant of the 19th Century.  Mint frost runs deep.  The practiced numismatic eye will appreciate the early die state, the beauty and the originality of this coin.  The obverse sports a protective silver-grey patina.  The reverse is a virtual Rembrandt, displaying a host of iridescent colors.  Stretch for this one!   Estimate: $1,500 to $2,000 6 $2,400 $2,400 $2,640  
84 1832 Sm Lets O.103 R.1 PCGS Shield MS 64 CAC From the Keith Davignon Collection.  Keith found it in a PCGS “rattler” back in 2017 (paying $3,995).  The date and Overton variety are common.  But what a coin!  The surfaces, luster and toning ooze originality.  One look and you know that the coin has seen no effort to “improve” it.  The strike and eye-appeal are A+.    Estimate: $3,000 to $3,500 5 $3,600 $3,600 $3,960  
85 1833 O.109 R.3 PCGS AU 58 CAC Radiant luster lures the eye to this fancy 1833.  A splash of gold toning enhances the reverse.  The well struck obverse is brilliant.  Eye-appeal is the watchword for this CAC approved specimen.   Estimate: $800 to $1,000 2 $900 $1,100 $990  
86 1833 O.112 R.2 PCGS Shield MS 63 The PCGS label notes the attribution and provenance.   Another original bust half-dollar.   The protective antique grey patina is infused with delightful hues of rose and sea green.  The well struck devices and full motto are a bonus.    Estimate: $2,000 to $2,500 1 $1,800 $2,000 $1,980  
87 1833 O.115 R.5+ PCGS VF 35 Old timers know this rare die pair as the “1833 DF-1.”  It was discovered by Don Frederick in 1972, too late to be included in the 1971 2nd edition of Al Overton’s standard reference.  As time passed the rarity rating dropped from R.8 to its current R.5+.  High grade examples remain extremely rare.  The only uncirculated example, ex Jerry Schertz, Don Parsley and Charlton Meyer, brought over $19,000 when it appeared in my July 2008 sale of Selected Rarities from the Meyer Collection.  BHNC #1, Stewart P. Witham, never found anything better than a VF.  His coin (graded PCGS VF 35) sold for $2,300 when offered in Heritage’s 2010 ANA auction.  The current offering last appeared in Heritage's Feb. 2015 sale, lot 3808, as "NGC XF 40."  It brought $2,585.  It is evenly worn with natural muted auburn toning, lighter than the darkly toned Witham coin.   The shallow strike is mandatory as this is a pairing of previously used, well-worn dies (1833 O.113 obverse, 1832 O.111 reverse).   Estimate: $2,000 to $2,500 2 $2,250 $2,250 $2,475  
88 1833 O.115 R.5+ PCGS VG 08 A second offering of the elusive `33-115, one that will suit the budget of most collectors.  It is a charming coin for the grade.  Natural toning coats the surfaces, lighter on the devices.  Is it time to complete your collection of 15 die pairs from 1833?  Don’t try to steal the coin.  It is a want list fixture.   Estimate: $600 to $900 4 $601 $950 $661  
89 1834 Lg Date and Lets O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 58+ CAC Scintillating luster makes this common date and variety hard to resist.  With a CAC sticker and + sign it is a dream coin for PCGS Registry Set collectors.  Here is an uncirculated coin with cabinet friction on the cheek.   Estimate: $900 to $1,200 7 $1,450 $1,450 $1,595  
90 1834 Sm Date and Lets. O.113 R.1 PCGS Shield AU 58 CAC The smooth surfaces are infused with a panoply of iridescent colors, yielding extraordinary eye appeal.  This one won’t slip through the cracks.  It is too pretty!   Estimate: $800 to $1,000 6 $1,200 $1,327 $1,320  
91 1834 Sm Date and Lets. O.115 R.2 PCGS Shield MS 62 The PCGS label identifies both collectors.  My mentor, Elton Dosier, frequently reminded me that the Witham collection “had more true UNCs than any other.”  Here is a lovely, original 1834.  Caky luster rolls through the silver-grey fields and across Liberty's cheek.  A beguiling halo of gold and aqua iridescence circles the stars.  The reverse, with slightly darker toning, is equally lustrous and original.  In all, a nice coin with an impressive provenance.  Lot 4933 in Heritage's August 2010 sale of selections from the Witham collection. Estimate: $1,200 to $1,500 3 $1,342 $1,342 $1,476  
92 1834 Sm Date and Lets. O.119 R.4 PCGS Shield AU 58 Chances are your set lacks a high grade 1834 O.119.  This is a “sleeper” die pair, one of the few to have moved up from its original rarity rating.  It was listed as R.3 in the 1971 and 1990 editions of Overton’s standard reference.  This example is an old friend.  I offered it as part of Keith Davignon’s collection in August 2017 (MB 45, lot 46.) where Dr. Glenn Peterson prevailed at $1,650.  The Peterson provenance is noted on the PCGS label.  This was my description:  
A gossamer veneer of golden toning suggests 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.   Estimate: $1,200 to $1,500
6 $1,805 $1,805 $1,986  
93 1834 Sm Date and Lets. O.120 R.4 PCGS AU 58 Another sticky die marriage from 1834, a high mintage year that we tend to overlook.  It harbors a few nuggets amongst its 21 known die combinations.  This is a flashy, uncirculated coin with a trace of friction on the cheek.  Raucous, undisturbed luster immediately grabs your attention.  The surfaces are all but free of contact marks.   Estimate: $800 to $1,200 6 $1,100 $1,100 $1,210  
94 1835 O.101 R.1 PCGS Shield AU 58+ This is the only PCGS graded AU 58 1835 O.101 to have earned the coveted + sign.  Caky luster surges under a protective veil of antique grey toning.  A coin for the connoisseur as well as Registry Set collectors.   Estimate: $1,000 to $1,300 1 $900 $1,025 $990  
95 1835 O.106 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Creamy luster wraps the surfaces of this eye-appealing 1835.  The coin is untoned with near immaculate surfaces.  This is a high end “58.”  I’ll let you find the rub.  I struck out!   Estimate: $800 to $1,000 5 $955 $1,025 $1,050  
96 1836 O.101 R.1 PCGS AU 55 The attribution and Witham provenance are noted on the PCGS label.  When this nicely toned coin appeared in Heritage’s 2010 Boston ANA Sale I was the underbidder to my friend and colleague, David Kahn.  David passed the coin to the current consignor in July 2012.  The original “look” of the coin tells us the coin was properly stored and preserved long before Witham set it aside.   Estimate: $350 to $450 14 $706 $757 $777  
97 1836 50/00 O.116 R.2 PCGS AU 55 Pastel copper toning dominates the obverse.  The reverse is lighter with an eye-catching slice of electric turquoise through the dentils, from 6 to 9 o’clock.  This Red Book staple is a reasonably common die marriage though it remains elusive in AU or better.  Full cartwheel luster graces this well struck example.  Note the detail in the eagle’s claws and feathers.  A few signs of handling are obscured by the attractive toning.  In all, a high end coin for the grade.  PCGS suggests $2,000 for an AU 55, about right for this pretty coin.   Estimate: $1,500 to $2,000 2 $1,500 $1,805 $1,650  
98 1836 O.121 R.5+ PCGS XF 45 It was sometime in 1983 when I ran into Elton Dosier and Henry Hilgard at a small coin show in Oakland, CA.  I was carrying a custom made Capital Plastics coin holder that housed my fledgling date set of capped bust half-dollars.  They spotted the holder and wasted no time introducing themselves.  In short order I learned that they also collected bust halves and knew much more about the series than I.  It turned out that Henry’s father had been one of my professors in college.  Small world. 

In private conversations Henry told me that Elton, a supremely modest man in dress and demeanor, was the premier cherry-picker in the Bust Half Nut Club.  Floyd Farley, BHNC member #2, tagged Elton with the moniker “Scattergood.”  Elton had a near photographic memory for anything related to bust halves, including want lists of his collecting friends.  If he came upon a coin that he already had but was needed by another BHNC member, off it went, always at Elton’s cost, be it an R.1 or R.6.  He continued to scatter good until his death in 1997.  His widow, Dorothy, asked me to handle the sale of his collection which included an 1817/4. 

I brought several of Elton’s coins to the 1998 ANA Convention.  Here is Tim Osborne’s recollection of that event and the coin offered here:
  I purchased an 1836 O.121 from you at the Portland ANA in August of 1998.  It was from Elton Dosier’s set.  I remember sitting at your table, with the Farley coin in one hand and the Dosier coin in the other.  Both were raw, unslabbed coins and I was trying to make a choice.  I settled on Elton’s.  

Good choice Tim!  One cannot imagine a more wholesome bust half-dollar.  It features unquestionably original toning and surfaces.  Luster sparkles around the devices.  I will not belabor the rarity of this die pair.  If you are assembling a die variety set you know that the `36-121 is a major stumbling block in the road to success.  In 2019 Dr. Sears pried this one loose from Tim’s home in the bayous of Louisiana.   Estimate: $3,000 and up
3 $3,203 $3,650 $3,523  
99 1837 RE GR-20 R.3 PCGS Shield AU 58 Fully struck central devices and blazing luster adorn this untoned beauty.  The coin never was in circulation.  A trace of friction on the cheek and faint marks under the chin and eagle’s beak kept this one from an MS designation.  Our consignor found the coin in a 2002 Bowers & Merena - Kingswood auction.   Estimate: $700 to $900 5 $855 $855 $941  
100 1830 Sm.0 O.108 R.3 ANACS EF 40 Wrong holder and out of order!  What is this doing here?  I turned away nearly 30 coins to limit Part 1 of the sale to 100 lots and maintain the quality of coins being offered.  This ANACS graded coin was irresistible; it holds the record for the most undergraded slab I have encountered.  Cartwheel luster spins beneath the gorgeous toning.  The surfaces are without defects.  In short, the coin is a nice AU.  The consignor has owned it coin for decades.  He wondered whether it should be submitted to PCGS.  Well, yes and no.  Why spend $50 in fees, postage and insurance when a savvy collector will happily buy the coin, not the holder?  No reserve on this one.  The winner will have a lovely coin and a terrific conversation piece.   13 $520 $1,300 $572  
101 Overton Acquires and Authenticates an 1817 over 14 Half-Dollar In 1951 Overton purchased the collection of a Wichita, KS collector, E.S. Pratt.  The collection included, in Overton’s words, “a sharp extremely fine specimen of the 1817 over 14.”  Pratt said that the coin was part of a group of common-date early halves that he had purchased at a Barney Bluestone auction some years before.  Overton was not then privy to E.T. Wallis’ announcement in the October 1930 Numismatist that Wallis had discovered an “extremely fine” 1817/4 half-dollar.  Overton quickly set about the task of authenticating his “discovery.”  He arranged for the coin to be examined by Charles E. Green of Chicago, Wayte Raymond of Montauk, Long Island, NY and William L. Clark of the American Numismatic Society.  Each replied with a favorable review of the piece.  Green apologized for his inability to recall the name of the collector who had shown him an 1817/4 some 15 years earlier, when Green published his Mint Record and Type Table of United States Coins (mentioning the “unique” 1817/4 half-dollar).  The following original documents are included in this lot:
  1.      Letter dated February 3, 1952 from “R. Green” to Al Overton confirming that Green had seen the Pratt coin and was “convinced it is just what you said it was.”  (Charles E. Green did business as “R. Green,” a salute to his wife, Ruth, who worked with him. She took over the business when Charles died in December 1955.)
  2.      Letter dated February 4, 1952 from Wayte Raymond to A.C. Overton saying that he had seen “one or two specimens of this coin,” including one from a California dealer, and suggesting that Overton send his piece to the American Numismatic Society to be photographed and authenticated.
  3.      Handwritten letter dated March 19, 1952 to “Mr. Overton” from William L. Clark on behalf of the ANS, saying the coin “seemed to be alright” while apologizing for an ANS policy that prevented him from issuing a formal, signed letter of authenticity.
  4.      Letter dated April 8, 1952 from Wayte Raymond to A.C. Overton, saying that he was “quite willing” to list the coin in the next edition of his Standard Catalogue of United States Coins but did not share Overton’s idea of value and would simply mark it as “very rare.”  He added his personal recollections regarding the Los Angeles dealer E.T. Wallis and the coin Wallis uncovered in 1930.
  5.      Page 1 of a leaflet written and issued by Overton in 1962, announcing his acquisition of the Second Known Certified Specimen in 144 Years of the King of American Half Dollars – the 1817 over 14.  Overton recounts his ownership and sale of an “extremely fine specimen “to Louis Eliasberg” in 1952.”  He notes the listing of (the formerly unique) 1817/4 half-dollar in Wayte Raymond’s 1953 Standard Catalog and R.S. Yeoman’s 1955 edition of “the Guidebook.”  Overton omits any mention of the source, grade or condition of his new acquisition; he emphasizes the significance of the absence of the prominent obverse die break on the Eliasberg specimen.  (The coin referenced in Overton’s leaflet is the VF Meyer-Pogue-Link-Ross specimen, acquired by Overton in 1962 from a coin dealer in Oakland, CA.)
9 $295 $777 $324  
102 Overton Sells an 1817 over 14 Half-Dollar to Louis Eliasberg Al Overton ultimately decided to sell the 1817/4 half-dollar described in the previous lot.  It was offered in his 24th Mail Bid Sale of January 23, 1953.  The description of lot 200 recounts the circumstances of its discovery and the authentication efforts documented above.  Overton called the coin “Extremely Fine, Extremely Rare and Probably Unique.”  He related Wayte Raymond’s view that the coin is “the same as one allegedly possessed by a California dealer in the nineteen thirties … mentioned in Green’s check list book of 1936, with notation 1 known.”  Overton concluded, “I cannot say that this is or is not the same coin.  But I am positive it is the only known specimen of public record as of this date.”   

When he read of Overton’s discovery Louis Eliasberg found himself 1 coin short of the goal he thought he had fulfilled in 1951, ownership of every coin issued by the U.S Mint for circulation since 1792 (per Green's Mint Record and Type Table).  Eliasberg was vacationing in Florida the day Overton’s sale closed.  He submitted a bid of $1,500 for the 1817/4.  Overton accepted the offer (reluctantly, it is said) and the next day fired off a telegram to Eliasberg in Florida.  With admirable brevity Overton wrote: YOUR BID $1,500 ON LOT 200 OUR SALE JANUARY 23RD IS ACCEPTED COIN SHIPPED TODAY VIA REGISTERED AIR MAIL TO BALTIMORE ADDRESS.  THANK YOU – OVERTON CION [sic] CO.  

Three days later Eliasberg replied, adopting Overton’s terse style: I enclose herewith check in amount of $1,500 in payment of the 1817 over 14 Half Dollar.  I would appreciate having the history of this coin for our records.  

The following documents are included in this lot:

  1.      Overton’s copy of the Western Union Telegram to Louis Eliasberg in Ft. Lauderdale, FL wherein Overton accepts Eliasberg’s bid on the 1817/4.  The telegram is date-stamped “1953 JAN 24 AM 10:53.”
  2.      Original letter on Eliasberg Bros., Inc stationery, dated January 27, 1953, to Al C. Overton, enclosing payment for the 1817/4, signed by Doris Everding, Secretary to Mr. Eliasberg.
  3.      Pages 15-18 of the March 25, 1962 Sunday Baltimore Sun Magazine, comprising a 4-page article documenting Eliasberg’s numismatic achievements.  The story is titled, Every U.S. Coin Ever Issued and includes photos of 4 notable pieces: 1817/4 half-dollar, the Stickney 1804 dollar, an 1870-S $3 gold piece and an 1873-CC No Arrows dime.
15 $250 $2,501 $275  
103 Overton Gets His Dander Up On October 28, 1964 Al Overton wrote a scathing 3-page letter to Margo Russell, executive editor of Coin World.  He labeled it Confidential no portion to be published.  Overton feared that Coin World would publish or take sides in two disputes then brewing between Overton and numismatic luminaries John Ford, Walter Breen and Don Taxay.  Overton pulled no punches in the opening paragraph of the letter:

First Ford, then Breen, now Taxay, surely you know this trio are all of the same voice and same caliber.  They ignore facts, twist the truth and perpetuate falseness.  In my opinion, they all are a discredit to justice and to Numismatics.

  What was going on?  Two things.  First, Overton had a theory regarding the 1823 Broken 3.  He proposed that the punch for the date was altered from an 1822 date punch.  He spells out this idea in his description of the 1823 Broken 3 in his 1967 1st edition and 1970 2nd edition.  Don Parlsey included it in the 1990 3rd revised edition but dropped it in the 4th and 5th editions.  The “unholy trio” (Overton’s words in the letter) had different ideas which, in Overton’s view, did not deserve to be published.  Overton’s second bone of contention was over the question, “Who is to be credited with discovery of the 1817/4 half-dollar?”  Was it E.T. Wallis in 1930 or Al Overton in 1952?  Overton takes the position that his efforts brought the coin to light while Wallis allowed the flame to die by not allowing it to be photographed or offering “unbiased” opinions of authenticity after posting an announcement in the October 1930 Numismatist.

Page 3 of the letter consists of a “PS” to Ms. Russell: You may know I withdrew my resignation from P.N.G. in view of four basic changes for which I was fighting, plus written request from the president and board that I withdraw it.

This lot consists of Overton’s carbon copy of the 3-page letter to Margo Russell, including handwritten additions and interlineations.
3 $55 $100 $61  
104 Author-Inscribed Copy of Overton's 1967 1st Edition Early Half Dollar Die Varieties, 1794-1836 Al Overton wrote the text of his 1967 1st Edition on 5x7 index cards, one card for each variety and each subvariety.  The total came to 1,251!  (His 1970 revision greatly reduced the number of subvarieties.)  The Herculean task of transcribing Overton’s notes to book form fell to his secretary, Rita D. Brodbeck of Pueblo, CO.  After its publication Al presented Ms. Brodbeck with an autographed copy of the book.  On the facing page inside the front cover he wrote the following.
Best wishes to Rita Brodbeck, the gal that typed this whole book                                                             s/ Al C. Overton  

On September 25, 1997 Ms. Brodbeck, then known as Rita D. Tedrow, sold the book to John Manley, the late father of our consignor.  She executed a notarized affidavit to confirm that the book was signed, inscribed and given to her by Al Overton in 1967.  The affidavit accompanies this lot.  The book is pristine.  The dust jacket nearly so.
13 $266 $323 $293  
105 Exhaustive Review of Overton's 1967 1st Edition In 1967, thirty-eight years after M.L. Beistle issued his Registry of Half Dollar Die Varieties, Al Overton published the first edition of his work on lettered edge bust half-dollars.  Now in its 5th edition, thanks to the efforts of Overton’s son-in-law, Donald Parsley, Overton’s tome remains the standard reference work for collectors of this popular series.  Comments and reviews of Overton’s effort were immediate and generally favorable.  Deciphering Beistle’s arcane attribution scheme had always been a problem.  Overton’s methods promised a quicker and more certain path to identifying working dies that produced half-dollars between 1794 and 1836.  Criticism, such as it was, centered on Overton’s listing of die states and striking aberrations, including edge lettering differences, with only minor, uninteresting differences.

The most detailed and informative review of Overton’s 1967 1st edition must be that of Dr. Charles E. Weber (1922-2002), ANA LM 285.  Dr. Weber was a professor of Germanic Languages who taught at the University of Missouri, Louisiana State University and the University of Tulsa before retiring in 1982.  When Dr. Weber was 17 Sol Kaplan introduced him to numismatics.  Dr. Weber became a keen student and collector of American, foreign and ancient coins.  His scholarly writings earned him ANA Heath Literary Awards in 1963, 1965, 1971 and 1979.  In 1967 Dr. Weber’s collection included 140 capped bust half-dollars.  He shelled out $12.50, the cost of Overton’s new book, and set to work.  After thoroughly acquainting himself with Overton’s effort he submitted an 8-page review to Coin World.  In its December 13, 1967 edition Coin World published excerpts from the review.  Dr. Weber thoughtfully sent a carbon copy (on pink tissue paper) of his typewritten review to Al Overton.  That copy is offered here.  It is a fascinating document, chock-full of facts and insights that put the history of die variety collecting in perspective.  I was especially pleased to see Dr. Weber’s “thank you” to Overton for abandoning Beistle’s mysterious reference to “akcidefect” lines and marks in favor of the now accepted term, “clash marks.”  Unless Coin World retained Dr. Weber’s original review or another copy is found in Dr. Weber’s estate this document is probably unique.
4 $55 $70 $61  
106 Overton's 1970 2nd Edition Brings Questions and an Erratum Overton’s 1970 2nd Edition was a much needed improvement to Overton’s 1967 Edition.  It included updated rarity ratings and described a few newly discovered die marriages.  Most important, it substantially reduced the number of so-called subvarieties that Overton considered noteworthy.  He was inundated with written inquiries from collectors who thought they had found an UnPublished variety.  The fledgling Bust Half Nut Club labeled any such post-1970 discoveries as “UPs.”  Not many turned up.  Overton had done a thorough job.  In December 1971 he received a letter from a collector who thought that his 1812/1 was “a new variety” because it displayed a double profile.  Overton responded:

The doubling of the date, stars, profile etc. represents a die state, NOT a die variety.  There are thousands of die states that may occur on one or many coins, but all are subject to being present or absent on a given variety.  My book defines the die varieties, does not attempt to define die states except in a few of the more unusual ones ….  Many of the die states mentioned in my first book, were eliminated in the new revised edition as they are only confusing to determining die varieties.

Yes, Overton’s characterization of doubled profiles as indicative of a die state is incorrect.  They are striking aberrations, having nothing to do with the state of a working die.  A doubled profile, for example, might occur on the first or the last coin struck from a particular set of dies.  Still, his point is well taken: die breaks, clash marks, die wear and the like help us define the state of a working die, not a “new variety” -- or UP.  Overton offered the collector (Mr. Utz) some advice:

If you do not have the revised edition you should have it.  It is as much advanced over the 1967 edition as that one was over Beistle’s book.  In fact all of us who study and collect the Bust Halves thinks [sic] the 1970 Green Book [the 2nd Ed. has a green cover] is well-nigh perfect for subject and will never need to be revised.

Perfect it was not.  Paul Munson, BHNC #2, wrote Overton in August 1971.  He called Overton’s attention to the photograph of the reverse of the 1815/2 on page 98 of the “new edition.”  Oops!  It was not that of an 1815/2 half-dollar; it was an 1814 E/A O.108.  The same photo appeared on page 97 where Overton described the 1814 O.108 die pair.  Overton’s acknowledgement, chagrin and explanation for the faux pas are set forth in his reply to Munson.

This lot consists of carbon copies of Al Overton’s typewritten letters to Mr. Utz, dated December 22, 1971, and to Paul Munson, dated August 28, 1971.
3 $12 $25 $13  
107 Overton's Handwritten Notes on a UP and Lelan Rogers' 1796-97 Half-Dollars Sometime in 1971, perhaps late 1970, Paul Munson presented Overton with an 1806 half-dollar that was not listed in the 1970 2nd Edition.  Overton confirmed it as a UP.  The reverse was new, married to a well-known obverse die.  We know the coin today as the 1806 O.126, an R.7- die pair.  The VF detailed coin was holed, with a reverse scratch.  It brought $7,975 when Munson sold it in Superior’s Heifitz Collection Sale of October 1989 (lot 485).  As earlier noted, Overton used 5x7 index cards to jot down notes and die characteristics of die pairs and subvarieties.  He needed a new one to record Munson’s find.  It is headed, “Paul Munson 1806 NEW Unpub. REV.”  The remainder of the index card is filled with Overton’s handwritten notes on the obverse and reverse die characteristics.

At about the same time Lelan Rogers sent his famed 1796 16-star and 1797 half-dollars to Overton for examination.  These miraculous coins were each assigned an MS 66 grade by PCGS before appearing in the May 2015 sale of the Brent Pogue Collection.  Overton used both sides of an index card to describe obverse and reverse die characteristics of the 1797 O.101a but only 3 lines of text for the 1796 O.102.  He labeled the 1796 as “Sharp Unc.” and the 1797 as simply “B.U.”

Another index card, written in red ink, describes a “Copper – 50¢ 1831.”  The coin was submitted to Overton by R.B. White of Sheldonville, Massachusetts.  Although the piece is almost certainly a contemporary counterfeit, Overton did not proclaim it as such and dutifully noted its weight, diameter, edge and die characteristics.

Included with this lot is an undated 2-page report written before 1967 by Dr. L.H. Benedict.  The short discourse describes 3 coins from his extensive collection of bust half-dollars, “not found in either” M.L. Beistle’s 1929 Register or Al Overton’s 1964 “Early Half Dollar Die Varieties Supplement.”  Dr. Benedict offers detailed descriptions of an 1822 bust half and a pair dated 1828.  The purchaser of this lot will enjoy matching Dr. Benedict’s coins to their current Overton designations.

This lot consists of Dr. Benedict’s essay and 4 index cards written in Overton’s hand.
9 $82 $151 $90  
108 Correspondence with Numismatic Notables Al Overton died from influenza at age 65, February 11, 1972.  This lot includes copies of 18 items of correspondence to, from and about Al Overton, written during the period January 1966 through January 1972.  The correspondents, all notable collectors, dealers and numismatic publishers of the era, include the following: Charlton E. Meyer, Jr., Charles “Buddy” Byers, Paul Munson, Curt Biebel, Irv Kalter, Art and Paul Kagin, Raymond Merena, Russell Rulau, Floyd Farley and Stewart P. Witham.  Overton’s last letter, dated January 29, 1972, just 13 days before his death, was to Richard S. Yeoman, editor of the Red Book; he enclosed price recommendations for the 1973 Red Book.  The earliest letter, dated January 11, 1966 (on Whitman Publ. Co. stationery), is from Yeoman to Ralph Cleaver of the ANA Board of Governors regarding Overton’s nomination for the 1966 “Medal of Merit” award.  Overton’s June 1967 handwritten memos to Stew Witham concern Overton’s 1st edition, which he expected to be published in August that year.

In January 1986 Clifford Mishler, publisher of Krause Publications, wrote a 2-page letter to Canzada Overton, Overton’s widow, asking whether she would be “open to consideration of … an arrangement … for the presentation of a revised reprint of the Overton Book.”  It appears that nothing came of the proposal.  Mishler’s letter is included in this lot.
13 $182 $200 $200  
109 Al Overton: Lobbyist and Numismatic Activist Big things were happening in 1964 and 1965 at the United States Mints.  The composition of our dimes, quarters and half-dollars went from 90% silver to clad or, in the case of half-dollars, 40% silver.  Gresham’s law took immediate effect.  A severe coin shortage was the result.  Congress was considering bills to issue silver dollars and to keep “1964” as the date on coins minted in 1965.  Al Overton began a campaign to oppose these proposals.  In June and July 1964 he shared his thoughts with several U.S. Senators and Congressmen.  His correspondence often began,

May I urge you and your committee to oppose with every iota of power and influence you have, the ridiculous and primitive proposal to mint coins in 1965, and subsequent years, with the false date of 1964 on them.

This lot consists of 6 carbon copies of Overton’s letters to Congressmen and a pair of original replies, received in June and August 1965, from Colorado Senators Gordon Allott and Peter Dominick.
4 $6 $13 $7  
110 A Panoply of Correspondence and Documents This lot consists of more than 70 individual items.  Most carry dates between 1964 and 1972.  They relate to aspects of operating a coin shop and maintaining a national presence in the world of numismatics.  While some of the material is mundane, I find much of it to be fascinating.  A March 1971 list of “Premium Prices” paid for early half-dollars by date and die variety, in grades Fine through Unc., is educational and intriguing.  Overton includes a note, I will pay a minimum of $100 (in fine or better) for any NEW die variety, (not die state) that is not listed in my Revised Edition of Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836.  Dozens of letters to and from collectors show Overton to be one who understood the importance of personal relationships in the business of buying and selling coins.  Here is a trove of documents both riveting and of historical significance. 5 $85 $100 $94  
111 A Pair of ANA Auction Catalogs The ANA selected Al Overton to conduct its 1963 Denver and 1965 Houston summer Convention Auctions.  This lot consists of the catalogs for those two years.  Each catalog is pristine, as new, with Prices Realized tipped in.  The 1963 catalog has a nice run of early half-dollars, including the 1796 15 and 16 star varieties and a 1797, each with Beistle attributions.  The coins are plated in black and white.  Overton graded them Fine and Very Fine.  They brought from $2,300 to $2,600.  There are several Capped Bust Half-Dollars graded “Brilliant Uncirculated.”  It cost $150 to acquire a BU 1807 50/20.

The 1965 catalog is notable because all lots were donated to the ANA for inclusion in the sale.  Overton labeled it the American Numismatic Association National Home and Headquarters Donation Auction Sale.  There are fewer important coins than those consigned in 1963 and only a modest group of early halves.  The list of Donors is extensive, occupying 3 double-row pages of the catalog.  If you are of my vintage (I finished college in 1963) many names are familiar.  Try B. Max Mehl (who died in 1957 but his company survived until the mid-1960s).  Or Lester Merkin, Abe Kosoff, Art and Paul Kagin, Dean Oaks and Leo Young.  There are notable omissions as well, including John Ford, Walter Breen and Don Taxay, Overton’s “unholy trio.”  (See Lot 103.)  Here is a nice trip down memory lane, in both coin prices and numismatic personae.
10 $14 $16 $15  
112 Overton Buys the John Cobb Collection -- Including an 1817/4 It is time to set the record straight on Al Overton’s relationship with John Cobb.  For more than 50 years commentaries on this matter have been rife with speculation and misinformation.  The background is simple.  In the early and mid-1960s Cobb and Overton were separately assembling data on die varieties of lettered edge bust half-dollars.  Each knew that M.L. Beistle’s 1929 Registry was cumbersome and overdue for an update.  Cobb’s research focused on the Capped Bust series, 1807-1836.  Overton took on the full series, 1794-1836.  Cobb was headquartered in Mountain View, CA, the heart of what is now Silicon Valley.  Overton operated his coin shop in Colorado Springs, CO.  Both were PNG members.  Both were active in state and national organizations devoted to promoting numismatics.  Cobb, for example, conducted California State Numismatic Convention auctions in 1965 and 1967 and chaired the semi-annual event in 1963 and 1969.

Cobb and Overton were acquainted before Overton published his 1967 1st Edition but did not collaborate on the book.  Neither shared his research materials with the other.  Cobb told me this directly when I interviewed him April 17, 1995 at his home in Burson, CA, a sleepy town in Calaveras County, alongside foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.  I have a 2 hour recording of our conversation that day, never disseminated.  (It is a story for which the world is not yet prepared, as Sherlock Holmes remarked to Watson when speaking of an unpublished case, the Matilda Briggs, a ship associated with the giant rat of Sumatra.)

Cobb assembled a magnificent 442 page Manuscript, containing attribution keys, rarity ratings and detailed descriptions of the dies used to coin Capped Bust Half-Dollars.  (See lot 113.)  Overton never saw it until April 1969.  That month or bit earlier Cobb sold his bust half-dollar collection to Steven Markoff, President of A-Mark Coin Co., Inc.  Cobb was in the throes of an unhappy domestic situation.  He elected to abandon the coin business and move on.  Markoff, then and now, was a brilliant numismatist and businessman, known for deep pockets and a quick check.  (Google him if you are so inclined.)  Markoff contacted Overton and in short order Overton visited Markoff in his Los Angeles office.  They struck a deal.  Overton agreed to Markoff’s price, $23,000, payable 50% down, the balance “in trade or in value.”  In return Overton received 421 pieces (including Cobb’s 1817/4), consisting of the finest examples in Cobb’s die variety collection.  Overton also received the Cobb Manuscript “and all publishing rights thereto.”  Markoff said that he wanted the original Manuscript back after Overton copied it.  He would need it, said Markoff in a letter of May 16, 1969, as he would “have a heck of a time selling [Cobb’s] duplicates without it.”  (The Cobb collection was massive, around 3,000 pieces, including at least fifty 1815/2 half-dollars.)

In an October 1971 letter to Walter Breen, Overton discussed his purchase of the Cobb Collection and Manuscript.  He acknowledged the use of Cobb’s rarity ratings “as a factor” in assigning the ratings that appeared in Overton’s 1970 2nd Edition.

This lot consists of 5 documents, each of great historical significance.
  1. Original, signed letter dated April 9, 1969 from Markoff to Overton, offering Cobb’s prime collection and rights to his Manuscript for $23,000.
  2. Original invoice on A-Mark Coin Co. letterhead dated 4/14/69 to Al Overton for “Set of Bust Halves 1807-1836, Cobb’s ‘finest’ of each.  Also including his book publishing rights ….”
  3. Original letter on A-Mark Coin Company, Inc. letterhead, signed by Markoff and dated May 16, 1969, to Al Overton, enclosing “a signed copy of the manuscript release” and requesting that Overton provide a conversion table, Cobb to Overton.
  4. The original “Release,” signed and dated (May 16th ’69) in Markoff’s hand, conferring “exclusive publishing rights to any or all material in Mr. Cobb’s manuscript” to Al Overton.
  5. Carbon Copy of Overton’s letter to Walter Breen dated 10-5-71, described above.
4 $60 $175 $66  
113 John Cobb's Unpublished Manuscript on Capped Bust Half-Dollars, 1807-1836 R. John Cobb died October 28, 2018, a resident of Montana.  He was born 88 years earlier, April 16, 1930, in Beattyville, KY.  His father held a PhD in Chemistry; when offered a teaching job at Dakota Wesleyan University he took the family to Mitchell, South Dakota where John excelled in academics and athletics.  In 1947 he was named South Dakota’s outstanding high school athlete.  He ran the 440 yard dash in under 49 seconds.  Though only 5’8” his speed, tenacity and muscular physique made him the star of his high school football team.  By 1958 he had earned master’s degrees in both physics and chemistry.  His studies took him to the University of Kentucky (where he played football), the University of Colorado, U.C. Berkeley, UCLA and College of the Pacific.  His collegiate “career” was interrupted in 1950 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Officer Training School at Treasure Island.

After working at Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. in Sunnyvale, CA Cobb decided to enter the coin business.  His interest in numismatics began at age 13 when a history professor at Dakota Wesleyan showed Cobb a date-set of Indian pennies.  By the mid-1960s Cobb’s principal interest was capped bust half-dollars.  In an interview published in the Summer 1967 Calcoin News, Vol. 21, No.3, Cobb said that he was,

… cataloging die varieties of the early bust halves, specifically the turban type ….  I have approximately 7,500 of them [Cobb was prone to exaggeration; the total was probably closer to 3,000], not for hoarding purposes but to facilitate identification and to provide a permanent warehouse of information of the singular subject of the early U.S. half dollars.  Presently I have about 480 varieties .... My intention is to make a complete set and to maintain it during my lifetime as a perpetual collection which will be exhibited, updated and made available to responsible organizations on a museum basis.  Eventually it will be given to one of the national numismatic societies. 

Al Overton published his seminal 1st Edition not long after Cobb gave his interview.  Did Cobb still plan to publish his manuscript?  “Absolutely,” he told me in April 1995.  He said the same to Lee Hewitt, editor of The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, per a November 14, 1967 handwritten letter to Stewart Witham, “Was at Calif state convention and asked John Cobb what he was going to do with the book on half dollars he had written – now that Overton’s was out.  He said he was going to publish his eventually anyway.”

Cobb’s grandiose plan of publishing his manuscript while assembling and maintaining the ultimate reference set of Turban Head Half-Dollars by die variety fell apart in 1968 and 1969.  His continued association with Lockheed led him to accept work on a Top Secret governmental project; his expertise in nuclear power systems and the aerospace industry was required.  He had to relocate “in the desert,” he told me, and took a leave of absence from his coin business, leaving it in the hands of his wife and bookkeeper, Frances Cobb.  Domestic difficulties arose.  The upshot was a hasty decision to sell the manuscript and die variety collection.  The sale to Steven Markoff is described in Lot 112.

Cobb’s manuscript is awe-inspiring.  In 442 pages he laboriously describes the obverse and reverse working dies used to coin Turban Head half-dollars.  His descriptions of the 1807 Bearded Princess and the 1817 Moon Break die pairs are shown in the accompanying photos.  We know these varieties today as the 1807 Bearded Goddess, O.111a or b and the R.6 1817 O.104.  The latter die variety was discovered by Cobb before Overton published his 1st Edition in 1967.  The 2nd example was uncovered by BHNC co-founder Sam Nolt in the 1970s.

The original Cobb Manuscript found its way to the magnificent numismatic library of Dan Hamelberg in Champaign, IL.  Recall (lot 112) that although Markoff sold the Cobb Manuscript and publishing rights to Al Overton in 1969 Markoff wanted to retain the original manuscript to help him sell Cobb’s duplicate bust halves.  In October 1983, a photocopy of the manuscript turned up in Jack Collins’ sale of numismatic literature.  Armand Champa was the buyer.  John Ford and Champa then owned the finest numismatic libraries in private hands.  In March 1995 Bowers and Merena offered Part 2 of “The Armand Champa Library.”  The Cobb manuscript was lot 1150.  I was the happy buyer at $825.

It appeared to me that Don and Bonnie Parsley acquired Al Overton’s rights to the Cobb Manuscript when they inherited the Overton Collection in 1972.  Yet no copy of the manuscript appeared in Overton’s estate.  I asked Don whether he wanted a copy.  “Of course,” he replied.  I sent him the Champa copy.  Parsley made and retained a photocopy of the Cobb Manuscript on 8½ x 11 paper, placing it in a white 3-ring binder.  That copy is offered here.  With it go whatever ownership and publishing rights the Parsley’s acquired by inheritance from Al Overton or his widow, Canzada Overton.  (Bonnie Parsley is their daughter.)
8 $602 $650 $662  
114 Original Photos and Negatives Commissioned and Used by Don Parsley in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Revisions of Overton's Standard Reference Work R. I was astonished and thrilled when Don Parsley consigned this numismatic treasure.  When he undertook the 1990 Revision (3rd Ed.) of Overton’s opus Parsley and his wife owned “The Overton Collection,” a nearly complete, high grade die variety (and sub-variety) set of lettered edge bust half-dollars, 1794-1836.  (Parsley studiously added to and improved the Collection after Al Overton died in 1972.)  Parsley commissioned a professional to photograph the entire Overton Collection as well as coins from fellow collectors who owned the few die-pairs missing from the Collection or who had distinctly finer specimens.  He augmented his father-in-law's work by adding sections to the book that included photos of edge lettering (employing an edge mirror), striking errors, oddities and anomalies, altered and counterfeit coins and counter-stamped bust halves.  A new section on grading was added, providing collectors with photos of bust halves in grades good-6 through mint state-65.  The 3rd Edition concluded with a new section displaying what Parsley labeled “sixteen major groupings of design types that were used during the forty-two years of the lettered edge series.”

The Parsleys parted with the Overton Collection in July 1993.  Before doing so Don Parsley arranged for another 586 photos to be taken of coins in the Overton Collection.  The invoice for photographic services, dated June 23, 1993, is included in this lot.  These photos, as well as a few others needed to illustrate newly recognized die states and die varieties, were available for inclusion in Parsley’s 2003 and 2013 4th and 5th Editions.

All photos in this lot are black and white.  Individual photos are encased in clear plastic sleeves.  The entire assemblage is organized and housed in 3 large file-boxes; the first, labeled 1794-1815, is shown above.  On the back of each photo Parsley wrote the die variety and die state of the pictured coin.  He also noted the coin’s ownership, most often “my collection” (The Overton Collection), sometimes a colleague or collector, as in the case of the 1817/4 O.102 and R.8 1829 O.120 pictured above which were owned by Charlton E. Meyer, Jr.  Negatives for the coins are sheathed in large, clear plastic sleeves and housed in a 3-ring binder.

I am not sure of the exact number of photos contained in this lot, certainly over 1,000.  When they arrived, I had to wonder what happened to the plates and photos used by Martin Luther Beistle in his 1929 Registry of half-dollars.  Where are the photos we see in Daniel Webster Valentine’s 1931 seminal work on half-dimes or Ard W. Browning’s 1925 work on early quarters or Milford Henry Bolender’s 1950 study on bust dollars?  Are they in private hands or numismatic museums?  Have they been lost?  The purchaser of this lot will enjoy excitement and well-deserved pride of ownership; he or she must also assume responsibility for preserving these photographic records for future generations.
25 $1,434 $3,007 $1,577  

Sheridan Downey, Numismatist
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