The Stack’s Bowers Galleries December Showcase Auction marked a magnificent conclusion to the firm’s 2020 auction season. The firm has now auctioned 8 of the top 10 highest priced United States coins sold in 2020, including three lots that exceeded $1 million in December. Hosted at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, California, the sale witnessed remarkably strong bidder participation through the firm’s award winning website and mobile apps, an active phone bidding bank and socially-distanced floor bidding in the auction room. With over $17.8 million in overall prices realized, the results confirm Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ status as a top resource in the United States numismatic market.
The Larry H. Miller Collection, Part Two was a major highlight of the December sale, offering some of the greatest rarities in U.S. numismatics, including incredible sets of early silver dollars, Barber coinage, and Mormon gold. The top price among the Miller coins was earned by the Proof-65 (PCGS) 1804 Class I Original Draped Bust dollar that sold for $3,360,000, a new record for this grade level. This coin is among the finest of eight known survivors and was acquired directly from the U.S. Mint in 1843 by collector Matthew Stickney. The historic MS-62 (NGC) 1794 Flowing Hair dollar established a new price record for the grade at $1,050,000. An old friend of the firm, it was traded privately by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in the 1970s before it appeared in their 1976 Willing Collection sale. The incredible Proof-65 (NGC) CAC 1894-S Barber dime garnered the second highest price of the night at $1,440,000, also a new record for the grade. Another record was set by the MS-65 (NGC) 1834 Capped Head $5 that brought $198,000, breaking the all-time record for the issue set by the very same piece in the firm’s October 2005 sale. The magnificent suite of Mormon gold in the sale attracted considerable notice as one of the finest sets ever assembled. The highlight among the Mormon pieces was the 1849 $10 graded AU-53 (PCGS) CAC, which set a new all-time record for the issue at $840,000. Part Two of the Larry H. Miller Collection realized over $14.5 million in the December sale, bringing the total prices realized for the collection to more than $23.5 million.
Session Two of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries December sale highlighted rarities from several important cabinets including the Naples Bay Collection. A stunning MS-67 (PCGS) 1866 With Motto dollar took the lead for the session at $150,000, a new auction record for the issue. Gold coinage also drew considerable attention, marked by a MS-63 (PCGS) 1915-S Panama-Pacific Octagonal $50 that sold for $72,000 and a Sand Blast Proof-67+ (PCGS) 1912 Indian quarter eagle that earned $57,600.