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1804 dollar sale brings anticipation, hunger

I was hungry. The market for rare coins was hungrier last night. The Queller family collection featuring an 1804 dollar attracted a crowd. Hundreds packed the auction room at the convention center in Rosemont, Ill.

Bob Merrill opened the Heritage sale by introducing a formally attired Leo Frese as auctioneer just past 6:30 p.m.

I was hungry because I had had no supper. Bob Van Ryzin and I had gone directly from the bourse floor to the auction room. I was talking to as many people for as possible. Ironically, many of them were eating.

The sense of anticipation was strong. Dave Queller’s son, Howard, said it was like waiting for a wedding. That was a good way to put it. When the bride, the 1804 dollar, became the center of attention it brought $3,737,500. That includes the 15% buyer’s fee. It was sold to an Internet buyer who had never seen it.

After the sale, instead of rushing the buyer, which they couldn’t do since he wasn’t there, many individuals approached David Queller to ask him to autograph their auction catalogs, which he graciously did.

He told me afterwards that his knees were still shaking. That sounds like a father of the bride, too.

Then it was over. The market was fed. I got fed at 9 p.m.