With the third sale of a planned series of five, the D. Brent Pogue Collection sales, presented by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in association with Sotheby’s, became the most valuable series of numismatic auctions in history. When Lot 3132, a MS-67+ (PCGS) 1807 half eagle, brought $282,000, the D. Brent Pogue sales officially surpassed the $62 million in sales netted by the 26 parts of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection between 2003 and 2013. In 158 lots, the third installment realized a total of $17,135,612.50, bringing the total sales of the three Pogue auctions held thus far to a record breaking $68,577,182.
Leading all lots, the Garrett MS-65 RB (PCGS) 1793 Chain America cent, considered the finest surviving circulation strike Chain cent, brought $998,750, surpassing its $750,000 low estimate. Among gold coins, the high seller was the finest known specimen of the extremely rare 1815 half eagle, selling for $822,500, also surpassing its $750,000 low estimate. One of just six 1815 half eagles in private hands, the Pogue example was graded MS-65 (PCGS) and was formerly included in the Virgil Brand and R.E. “Ted” Naftzger collections. The Pogue Collection of $3 gold pieces, among the finest and most complete ever assembled, netted more than $2.6 million, far surpassing the $1.985 million total of their low estimates. The individual highlight was a Proof-65+ (PCGS) example of the Proof-only 1875 $3 issue, bringing $329,000, well in excess of the $250,000 high estimate.
The first 11 lots with a face value of 5½ cents realized $4,159,500, led by the finest 18th century half cent in existence, a MS-67 RB (PCGS) 1794 Cohen-7 that sold for $940,000. The finest known 1796 No Pole half cent, graded MS-67 RB (PCGS) and formerly a star of the Louis Eliasberg Collection, brought $763,750. Only five one-cent coins were included in this auction, all dated 1793. The total price realized for these five cents was $2,320,625, including the 1793 Sheldon-1 Chain Ameri. that nearly doubled its low estimate of $250,000 ($470,000) and the Garrett 1793 Sheldon-3 Chain America that sold for nearly $1 million.
Dimes and half dollars saw strong bidding, as both sections of the sale surpassed their highest estimates. Several dimes brought multiples of their estimates, including a MS-66+ (PCGS) 1814 dime that brought $94,000 against a $20,000 to $30,000 estimate and the finest known 1821 JR-2 dime, a PCGS MS-66 example that brought $70,500 against an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. Half dollars saw similar success, led by the Earle-Eliasberg Proof 1827 Overton-121 that brought $258,500 against an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. Graded Proof-67 (PCGS), the coin is the single finest Proof Bust half certified by PCGS.
The finest known 1819 $5 gold piece, with a provenance extending back to the legendary 19th century cabinet of Joseph J. Mickley, surpassed expectations with a sale price of $423,000, far above its $275,000 to $350,000 estimate. The coin had not been offered at auction since the 1979 Garrett sale, which was its only previous auction appearance. The highest graded early half eagle in existence, an 1807 assigned a remarkable MS-67+ grade by PCGS, found a new home at $282,000, topping its high estimate.