From Museum to Auction, Celebrated Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection Makes Golden Debut at Heritage Auctions

The first of several sales benefitting Dallas nonprofits kicks off with ‘one of the most spectacular gold rarities in the entire American series’

by Heritage Auctions l Published on September 12, 2022

DALLAS, Texas (Sept. 12, 2022) – After more than a half a century away from the public eye, one of the finest collections of U.S. gold coins and related patterns finally will be made available during Heritage Auctions’ Harry W. Bass Jr. Core Collection Part I US Coins Signature® Auction – Long Beach Sept. 29.

Heritage was announced July 13 as the auction destination for this magnificent assemblage, one of the most revered and valuable collections in numismatic history. The collection boasts an estimated value of more than $60 million, and proceeds from its sale will benefit the dozens of Dallas-based nonprofits supported by the Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation with a particular emphasis on early childhood education and literacy in Dallas.

The collection, which the late Dallas oilman and philanthropist Harry W. Bass Jr. began assembling in the 1960s, has been on display at the American Numismatic Association's Edward C. Rochette Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo., since October 2000. Earlier this year, the foundation's trustees voted to sell the collection, which contains some 450 U.S. gold coins dating to the late 1700s, to increase its annual giving, from $2 million to at least $5 million each year, depending on the results of the auction.

“Much of this collection was assembled more than half a century ago,” says Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions, “and for years was thought to be out of the reach of the collecting community. “When the Bass Foundation announced it would be deaccessioning it to increase philanthropic efforts in our corporate hometown of Dallas, we felt compelled on a personal level to present an auction proposal that the Bass Foundation’s trustees would find very enticing and professional. Needless to say, we are thrilled to be awarded the honor of handling the sale of these fabulous coins.”

The Bass Foundation’s board of trustees hired Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) co-founder and numismatics expert John Dannreuther to manage the collection's sale, including selecting an auction house and third-party graders.

Many of the coins in the collection can be traced to the celebrated auction of Louis E. Eliasberg Sr.’s gold coin collection in 1982.


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A collage of highlights from the amazing Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection 


The auction will include more than 100 lots from the Bass Collection, a list that includes:

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

Lot viewing for the Core Collection, Part I will be September 27 to 29 in Long Beach, and by appointment at Heritage Auctions’ Dallas headquarters.

Images and information about all lots in this auction can be found at HA.com/1353 .

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

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Source: Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions image Heritage Auctions is the largest collectibles auctioneer and third largest auction house in the world, as well as the largest auction house founded in the U.S. We are also the undisputed Internet leader in our field, with more than 1 million online bidder-members registered on HA.com.