An example of the first variety of the first U.S. gold $10 coin sold for $402,500 in Stack?s May 21-22 auction of the Minot collection, a sale that totaled about $5,939,000.
The 1795 $10, classified as Bass-Dannreuther 1 and Taraszka 1, with small eagle reverse and 13 leaves below the eagle, was graded MS-63 by Professional Coin Grading Service with Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker.
Stack?s catalogers traced the eagle?s pedigree to their May 1970 sale of the Gaston DiBello collection as well as a July 1983 auction.
The following comments were included in the catalog description of the coin: ?The planchet quality is superb. ... The hair details of Miss Liberty are above average, with most having minute details, and the stars are as nice as can be found on an eagle of this year. The eagle is very well struck. ... This design is particularly attractive, was used only for a few years, and was inspired by an ancient onyx cameo. ... To the preceding can be added superb eye appeal.?
Second-highest realization of the sale was $120,750, bid for a bronze cast of Hermon MacNeil?s approved obverse design for the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter design. It includes design elements that did not appear on the issued Standing Liberty quarter.
The cast has dimensions of about 6 by 5-5/16 inches, the design portion having a diameter of 5-1/8 inches. It weighs 358.64 grams.
Roger W. Burdette, who cataloged this and a related lot in the sale, said MacNeil sent one obverse bronze cast like this to the Philadelphia Mint in September 1916, intended for preparation of dies. This second example apparently was not sent to the Mint, and may have remained in MacNeil?s College Point, N.Y., studio until his death.
The related lot in the sale, MacNeil?s bronze cast for the reverse of the 1917 Standing Liberty quarter design, went for $21,850.
A no stars 1796 gold $2.50 coin graded AU-53 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and referenced as Bass-Dannreuther 2, Breen 1, reached $109,250.
Next was a proof 1913 Saint-Gaudens double eagle in NGC Proof-67 that brought $94,300. ?One of only 58 proofs struck,? Stack?s catalogers said, citing NGC census data of 10 seen in this grade and two finer.
A ?sandblast finish? proof 1912 $20, NGC Proof-66, followed at $92,000.
From the S.S. Central America shipwreck came a Kellogg & Humbert gold ingot, No. 250, 31.69 oz., with face value of $577.13 stamped on it. It sold for $80,500.
Also fetching $80,500 was a proof 1867 gold $5 in NGC Proof-65 Cameo.
Catalogers said 50 of these proofs were struck, and that this is the finest known with NGC?s Cameo designation, though they noted that an example graded NGC Proof-65 Ultra Cameo is in the census.
An oil painting titled ?Otis Kaye?s Coin Collection? brought $74,750. The painting shows ?fourteen coins, accurately depicted, standing on edge or laying flat, on the three shelves of a time-worn wooden cabinet,? catalogers said. Dimensions are 9-1/2 x 6-5/8 inches. Catalogers said Kaye lost his family?s fortune in the stock market crash of 1929 and turned to painting coins out of anger and bitterness. This painting previously appeared in Christie?s sale of Nov. 30, 2006, and at Berry-Hill Galleries in New York City.
A 1799 small stars gold $10, BD-2, T-14, in NGC MS-63 reached $65,550. ?The Dannreuther reference infers that perhaps only 35 to 45 examples of this elusive variety are currently extant in all grades,? catalogers wrote.
An 1878-CC gold $5, PCGS AU-58, sold for $63,250. The PCGS population report was quoted as showing eight certified this grade and none finer.
Finishing at $57,500 was a uniface lead 1781 Libertas Americana medal reverse cliche, ?a fascinating early trial of what may be America?s most historical medal,? catalogers said as they graded it about uncirculated.
Top silver coin in the sale was an 1895 Morgan dollar in PCGS Proof-63 Cameo. It sold for $47,150.
A bank note was next in the top results. It was a $2 from the Knickerbocker Bank of the City of New York dated June 1, 1852. Graded choice fine by Stack?s catalogers, it went for $43,700. Its popularity is enhanced by a depiction of Santa Claus at lower right on the face. Once part of the Herb and Martha Schingoethe collection, catalogers noted that it recently sold for $24,150 in Smythe?s March 2006 auction and in 1982 had sold in a Dennis Forgue (O.N.E.) sale.
A 1787 Fugio cent, Newman 11-A, with pointed rays and UNITED above STATES, graded MS-63 RB by the firm, hit $36,800. This piece was formerly part of the Robert Vlack collection.
Finally, an 1807 dime in NGC MS-65 realized $35,765. Catalogers said, ?Though this date can be found without difficulty in most grades, we note that the present coin is among the 15 finest grading events registered by NGC for the date.? They cited NGC census data of 12 in this grade and three finer, finest being MS-67.
For more information about this auction or future Stack?s sales, contact Stack?s, 123 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019; telephone (800) 566-2580. Or contact Stack?s, P.O. Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894; telephone (866) 811-1804.
The firm?s Web site is www.stacks com.