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1876 set tops Doyle sale

Struck in honor of the 1876 U.S. Centennial, a complete proof set from that year went for $548,000 in Doyle New York
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Struck in honor of the 1876 U.S. Centennial, a complete proof set from that year went for $548,000 in Doyle New York?s auction of the estate of Samuel Mills Damon.

In all, the March 23 sale realized nearly $3.9 million, including the buyer premiums.

Bidding for the set opened at $250,000. ?It escalated rapidly to $400,000 and went to $475,000, its hammer price,? said Norman Scrivener, the specialist in charge of the sale for Doyle. ?There are very, very few complete 1876 Centennial proof sets, and only this one exists in its original presentation case.?

According to a Bloomberg News report, the set and 26 other lots were bought by one of Damon?s descendants. In the article, Joanne Fujita of Honolulu, Hawaii, who bid on behalf of an unidentified Damon family member, said the set will be displayed publicly in the future.

The set includes 14 coins, all of which were graded and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Among the coins is a Trade $1 graded Proof-66, four coins graded Proof-65 Cameo, and a $20 piece in Proof-64 Ultra Cameo condition.

Another highlight of the sale was an 1880 Kingdom of Hawaii bank note that sold for $268,000. It was graded by Paper Money Guaranty as XF-40.
According to Doyle, pre-sale estimates figured the total prices realized for the auction would be between $1.4 million and $1.9 million.

Housed in a safe deposit vault for many decades, the Damon Collection featured numerous U.S., Hawaiian and world rarities and previously unrecorded items. The son of a missionary, Damon was a Hawaii banker who died in 1924. The collection included almost 700 lots.

Other items of note included an unstruck Type 2 $5 gold planchet and an unstruck Type 2 $10 gold planchet, which brought $16,000 and $28,000, respectively. The price for the $10 planchet is a world record, the firm says. It is thought the $5 planchet was produced sometime between 1839 and 1908, while the $10 planchet was thought to have been manufactured between 1838 and 1933. A Type 2 planchet is one that has been through the upsetting mill to raise the rim area.

In addition to the proof set, there was a trio of six-figure 1883 Hawaii silver dollars. A piece graded MS-68 by NGC fetched $160,000, while two NGC MS-67 specimens brought in $140,000 and $110,000, respectively.

For more on the sale or Doyle New York, visit, or call (212) 427-2730, or write to: Doyle New York Auctioneers & Appraisers, 175 E. 87th St., New York, NY 10128.