The JR Newsletter is the official e-newsletter of the John Reich Collectors Society. The purpose of the John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS) is to encourage the study of numismatics, particularly United States gold and silver coins minted before the introduction of the Seated Liberty design, and to provide technical and educational information concerning such coins.
Upcoming Auction, Old Time Collections, and
I reviewed lots online for the upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries Blue Moon
Collection Part 1 Sale.
It appears that many of the coins offered in this sale are from previous Stacks
auction sales in the 1970s. For collectors of early U.S. Silver it appears that
there are early silver dollars 1794 to 1803, but no half dimes, dimes,
quarters, or half dollars in “Part 1.” At least I didn’t find any of
these denominations listed online at this time.
2538, a 1797 B-3, BB-71 10X6 Stars Dollar caught my eye. This coin
was last sold in the December 9, 10, 1974 Stack’s sale of The W. Earl Spies Collection of U.S.
SILVER DOLLARS 1794-1803. Spies had an extensive collection of early
dollars by die marriage and die state. This 1797 Dollar has been off the
market since this time.
Stack’s cataloger for this lot did not include the original lot number from the
1974 sale. This 1797 Dollar was Lot 36 in the 1974
Spies sale where cataloged as, “Uncirculated, full frosty mint lustre.
Natural sea green, golden, and iridescent toning. Just a touch of
friction on the cheek (which really is only missing tarnish) from the gem
category. A beautiful and rare coin.”
I have a
copy of W. Earl Spies’ copy of M. H. Bolender’s The Early United States
Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803 (1950 edition) that I got from Spies’
son. In the book, Spies noted that he paid $90.00 for this coin, graded
it “Unc.,” and that it came from someone named “Norman.”
I don’t know if this is a first or last name. Dealer Norman Schultz comes
to mind, but this is only a guess on my part. [Per my research, Schultz handled a number
of very nice, high grade early dollars over the years.]
noted in his book that he had a theory that 1797 B-3 Dollars were known on both
“Normal Planchet Size” and “Small Planchet.” This theory proved to be
true – the Warren Miller Collection of early dollars 1794 to 1803 (that dealer
Andy Lustig and I purchased) had two examples of the 1797 B-3, BB-71 die
marriage, one graded PCGS AU58 and struck on Large Planchet, and another
example in PCGS XF45, struck on a small planchet. Both of these coins
have been sold.
1797 Dollar is now graded PCGS AU-55 CAC (image below),
where described in the sale catalog in part as, “This lovely
original 1797 BB-71 silver dollar offers premium quality and superior eye
appeal for a Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar. Both sides are warmly and evenly
toned in olive-gray with iridescent pale gold undertones evident. The strike is
nicely centered with overall bold definition.” In addition, the catalog description
notes the pedigree as, “Provenance:
From our (Stack's) W. Earl Spies Collection sale, December 1974. Lot tag,
collector tag and paper envelope included.” Many collectors such as
myself love the old flips and envelopes that sometimes accompany coins that we
Lot 2537, a 1796
B-4, BB-61 Small Date, Large Letters Dollar in PCGS XF5 CAC in the Blue Moon Collection Part 1 sale is also ex. Spies.
There is also
what looks like a pretty nice 1794 Dollar in the sale, “Ex Herbert W. Taffs
Collection; Glendining & Co.'s sale of the Herbert W. Taffs, Esq.
Collection, November 1956, lot 425; Stack's to R.L. Miles, Jr.; Stack's sale of
the R.L. Miles, Jr. Collection, April 1969, lot 1525; Joseph Spray Collection;
Stack's sale of September 1978, lot 287.
I can’t wait to view these and other lots in this sale
next month in Baltimore. For
those attending the Baltimore show I
will have three tables (along with Gerry Fortin), all under Table 818.
Please note this table number and stop by and say hello.