Record-setting Pogue Collection sells $15.354 million in single session

Art Daily
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1854-S Half Eagle, which sold for $1.92 million.
1854-S Half Eagle, which sold for $1.92 million.

SANTA ANA, CA.- Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and negative indicators, rare coins continued to shine tonight in California. Nearly three years after Part V of the D. Brent Pogue Collection hit the market, the most valuable coin collection ever sold cemented its grip on the record books with a white glove sale adding more than $15 million to the collection total.

The two leading lots were among the most famous rarities in the whole realm of United States coinage. Leading all sales was the finest known example of the legendary 1854-S half eagle, the first $5 gold coin struck in the San Francisco Mint. The best example of the three confirmed to still exist, it realized $1.92 million. An example of the “King of American Coins,” the rare 1804 dollar, brought $1.44 million.

Among other lots, a high-quality example of the rarest early American half cent, struck in 1796, brought $336,000. Rare gold coins included a historic 1841 quarter eagle ($2.50 gold coin), a rarity known as “the Little Princess” to coin collectors, that brought $408,000. The finest known 1854-S quarter eagle realized $384,000. Several rare $20 gold pieces, called “double eagles,” exceeded $100,000, including two different 1907 High Relief pieces (at $222,000 and $456,000), a particularly high grade 1875-S $20 ($432,000), and a 1927-S $20 at $264,000.

“In his lifetime, D. Brent Pogue became one of the most prominent figures in American numismatics. Year by year, item by item, with the eye of a connoisseur he gathered the most valuable collection ever to cross the auction block,” said Stack’s Bowers President Brian Kendrella. “He always enjoyed sharing his knowledge and collecting pursuits with other hobbyists and dealers. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to honor Brent’s legacy as we present this magnificent collection to a new generation of numismatists.”

To date, the Pogue Collection has realized $122,012,480 for the coins and $131,298,560 total, including the paper money collection sold earlier this week. Originally scheduled to be held in Baltimore, the auction was moved to Stack’s Bowers Galleries headquarters in Santa Ana following the cancellation of all public events in the state of Maryland. With most bidders participating online or by telephone, the 420 lots realized 104% of their presale HIGH estimates, which were determined well before recent economic difficulties.