Rare Proof of 1829 Half Eagle Leads Harry W. Bass Collection, Part III, at Heritage Auctions’ CSNS US Coins Event
1915-S Panama-Pacific set also among auction highlights
DALLAS, Texas (April 14, 2023) — The key elements that drive desire for important coins — rarity, condition and a history of residence in elite collections — all are in place for an elusive prize that will be available in Heritage Auctions’ CSNS US Coins Signature® Auction May 3-7.
The 1829 half eagle Large Diameter, Large Date, BD-1, R.7, PR66+ PCGS. JD-1, R.8 as a Proof that will be offered is one of just two proofs known of this magnificent coin, which is among the most coveted of 122 lots from the The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Core Collection, Part III that will be up for grabs in the five-day event.
In Heritage’s Jan. 5 The Bass Collection, Part II US Coins Signature® Auction - Orlando FUN , 30 records were set on the way to a total of $24,322,741. The event was the second installment of the collection of Harry W. Bass; proceeds from the auction 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. Part I reached $20,459,645 Sept. 29.
“The collection of Harry W. Bass is a historically significant assemblage of elite coins that has brought nearly $44.5 million so far,” Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Todd Imhof said. “His extraordinary collection, including some magnificent gold rarities, has helped his foundation benefit important Dallas-area nonprofits, focusing on early childhood education and literacy.
“This 1829 half eagle is an extraordinary coin that will make its new owner exceptionally proud, and will be a big part of the outstanding results for the Bass collection.”
The offered coin is the highest-graded of the known 1829 Large Date half eagles, and has resided in a number of elite collections, including those of John W. Haseltine, John Colvin Randall, David S. Wilson and Bass; it was on display at ANA headquarters until 2022.
Other top attractions from the Bass collection include, but are not limited to:
- A 1797 half eagle, 16 Stars, BD-4, High R.8, AU58+ PCGS is unique as a variety; for context, only six varieties of early half eagles are believed to be unique. The offered coin is one of two unique die varieties that were included in the Bass collection.
- An 1824/1 quarter eagle BD-1, R.5, PR67 PCGS. JD-1, R.8 as a Proof is the only proof in private hands and the only proof example certified by either of the leading grading services. The 1824/1 Capped Head Left quarter eagle is a popular Guide Book variety and an elusive issue, even in business-strike format. Proof examples are virtually unobtainable — only two specimens have been confirmed, one of which is included in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, forever out of reach of collectors.
- An 1804 quarter eagle 13 Stars Reverse, BD-1, High R.6, AU58 PCGS is tied for the finest certified example of this magnificent coin. It has been off the market for more than half a century, ever since Bass purchased it from Julian Leidman in 1970. No prior auction records for this coin have been found, although it may have been offered in early listings as a generic 1804 quarter eagle.
- A registry-grade example of a 1796 Capped Bust Right quarter eagle, MS63+ is the second-finest known example of this popular coin from the first year of the denomination. Both John Dannreuther and PCGS CoinFacts estimate fewer than 50 examples survive in all grades, including three in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, and Mint State pieces are especially elusive. PCGS and NGC have certified just 18 Mint State coins between them, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers.
The Bass collection is nothing short of spectacular, but to suggest all of the auction’s highlights hail from that trove would be shortsighted and inaccurate.
A 1915-S Five-Piece Panama-Pacific Set, Plus Original Box , which will be sold as a set, without reserve, includes a leatherette box and all accompanying literature. It is one of the few surviving original sets, includes the original Kraft envelopes for the lesser denominations and personally signed letters by T.W.H. Shanahan, Superintendent of the United States Mint in San Francisco. The set includes a 1915-S Panama-Pacific half dollar, MS63 PCGS, a 1915-S Panama-Pacific gold dollar, MS66 PCGS, a 1915-S Panama-Pacific quarter eagle, MS66 PCGS, a 1915-S Panama-Pacific fifty dollar Round MS64 PCGS and a 1915-S Panama-Pacific fifty dollar Octagonal MS64 PCGS. Congressional legislation mandated that the coins be produced in San Francisco and that the fifty dollar pieces be the same size as the Gold Rush-era fifty dollar “slugs” produced by the U.S. Assay Office there in 1851. The San Francisco Mint did not possess a coining press of sufficient power to strike the large commemoratives, so Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo shipped a Philadelphia Mint hydraulic press to California in 1915 to produce the fifty dollar coins.
Another stellar original set offered in this auction is an 1848 Seven-Piece Proof Set, Proof Genuine-PR65 , PCGS-certified, which includes a contemporary stretched-leather case. The set, which is being offered as a single lot, includes an 1848 half cent, Reverse of 1856, First Restrike, B-2, R.5, PR63 Red PCGS; a large cent, N-19, R.6, PR65 Red and Brown PCGS; a half dime, PR64 PCGS; a dime F-103, R.7, PR63 PCGS; a quarter, PR64 PCGS, Briggs “3-C”; a half dollar, WB-101, Die Pair 1, R.7, PR64+ PCGS; and a silver dollar, OC-P1, High R.6 — Environmental Damage — PCGS Genuin, Proof, Unc Detail.
From the Jim O’Neal Collection of U.S. half dollar Types comes an 1801 50C O-102, T-1, R.4, MS64 NGC. CAC , which is one of perhaps only three or four remaining Mint State examples; of those, the finest to appear in any recent auction graded MS63. The 1801 O-102 die marriage survives to the extent of about 100 coins, nearly all of which are circulated examples. Heritage Auctions experts are unaware of another Mint State example aside from the O’Neal coin offered in this auction. This magnificent example has held a spot in several elite collections, including those of “Colonel” E.H.R. Green and Eric P. Newman.
Other highlights include, but are not limited to:
An 1879 Flowing Hair Stella, PR67
A 1921 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, MS63+ from the Noel Thomas Patton Collection
A 1925-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle, MS65 from the Noel Thomas Patton Collection
A 1931-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle, MS65 from the Noel Thomas Patton Collection
A 1932 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, MS66
A 1915-S Panama-Pacific fifty dollar, MS66 from The Blue Ridge Collection
Images and information about all 2,730 lots in the auction can be found at HA.com/1359 .
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, Amsterdam, Brussels and Hong Kong.
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Source: Heritage Auctions
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