Thirty United States pattern coins from the acclaimed collection of the late Texas business executive and philanthropist Harry W. Bass Jr. (1927-1998) will be offered without reserves during the Platinum Night auction conducted by Heritage Auctions Aug. 7, during the Chicago 2014 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money. Proceeds from the sale will be used for philanthropic purposes by the Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation of Dallas.
For the past 14 years, the 30 historic patterns have been on loan to the ANA and were frequently displayed in rotation with hundreds of other Bass Collection coins at the association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum at ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The coins in the upcoming auction include an 1838 plain edge Liberty Seated half dollar in copper (Judd-77), an 1865 with motto Seated Dollar in silver (J-434) and an 1875 Trade dollar in silver (J-1426). All of the consigned Bass coins are being submitted to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation for grading and will have the pedigree on the insert labels in the holders.
“These literally are museum-quality rare coins,” said Todd Imhof, executive vice president of Heritage Auctions, an official auctioneer of the 2014 ANA World’s Fair of Money.
“These amazing patterns come to the Chicago auction out of the specialized holdings of the Bass Collection that has been on display at the ANA Museum since 2000 when the ANA was selected by the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation to hold this incredible collection,” explained Imhof.
F. David Calhoun, executive director of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation stated: “Over the years, Harry Bass worked with various experts at Heritage and made purchases with our Dallas neighbor, but never consigned through their auctions. Now, we are returning selections to the marketplace. As the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation sells these coins to provide funds to support our philanthropic mission, we are seeking the highest possible return. I trust Heritage to provide that, and I look forward to working with them in this new capacity.”
Pattern coins were produced usually in small quantity to test proposed designs, and sometimes were struck in various metals. U.S. patterns are often cited by their “J” number as part of the reference system originally created by researcher and patterns reference book author, Dr. J. Hewitt Judd.
In addition to J-77, 434 and 1426 mentioned above, the 27 other patterns from the Bass Collection that will be offered at the auction are:
• 1838 Seated Liberty half dollar, J-79 original in silver
• 1850 Annular Cent, J-119 in billon
• 1855 Flying Eagle cent, J-168 in bronze
• 1861 With Motto half dollar, J-278 in copper
• 1863 Postage Currency dime, J-326 in copper
• 1863 With Motto quarter dollar, J-335 in silver
• 1863 With Motto half dollar, J-344 in aluminum
• 1865 With Motto half dollar, J-429 in silver
• 1866 Washington five cent, J-473 in nickel
• 1866 Shield nickel, J-509 in bronze
• 1868 cent, J-606 in copper
• 1869 Standard Silver quarter dollar, J-721 in silver
• 1870 half dime, J-815 in copper
• 1871 Indian Princess quarter dollar, J-1090 in silver
• 1871 Indian Princess quarter dollar, J-1092 in aluminum
• 1871 Indian Princess quarter dollar, J-1093 in silver
• 1871 Indian Princess dollar, J-1149 in aluminum
• 1872 Commercial dollar, J-1219 in silver
• 1873 Trade dollar, J-1293 in silver
• 1873 Trade dollar, J-1322 in silver
• 1874 Twenty cent piece, J-1355 in copper
• 1874 Twenty cent piece, J-1356 in aluminum
• 1879 quarter dollar, J-1591 in copper
• 1881 cent, J-1665 in aluminum
• 1882 Shield nickel, J-1697 in nickel
• 1885 Snowden dollar, J-1747 in silver
• 1896 five cents, J-1771 in nickel
“Harry W. Bass, Jr.’s collection has long been heralded as one of the most amazing collections ever put together, and we’ve been very fortunate to get to display these beautiful works of art at the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum,” said Kim Kiick, ANA executive director. “Thousands of visitors to the Money Museum have enjoyed the Bass Collection over the years, and thousands more will continue to enjoy the rest of Harry Bass’s amazing collection in the interactive Bass Gallery. We very much appreciate our long-term relationship and support that the Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation has given to the ANA.”
Bass was a life member of the ANA for more than 30 years. He received the ANA Medal of Merit in 1989, and was selected to the association’s Numismatic Hall of Fame in 1998.
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