The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 37, September 14, 2003, Article 7


  Len Augsburger writes: "Regarding the catalog compilation
  project, Darrell Low and myself currently have a series of
  articles in the Gobrecht Journal covering significant auctions
  of seated coinage by denomination since 1985 (further info
  on the publication is at
  Should anyone attempt a similar undertaking for other series,
  I would recommend also classifying sales by the number and
  quality of the plates."

  W. David Perkins writes: "Per your and Denis Loring's
  "E-Sylum Challenge," I'll take a shot at the four best sales (in
  my opinion) for early silver dollars 1794-1804.  I actually listed
  five sales, as the Ostheimer collection was sold in two sales,
  one in 1968 and the other 1975:

  Haseltine Type Table Sale - November 28-30, 1881.  The sale
  of John W. Haseltine's personal reference collection of early
  silver dollars

  Important as it is the first extensive date and die variety
  collection ever sold at public auction, the "Haseltine Reference
  Collection."  No plates.  Some varieties disposed of prior to
  the sale are listed in the back of the catalog (1794 H-1; 1795
  H-8; 1802 H-7 and 1804 H-1).  B. Max Mehl reprinted
  the Type Table in 1927. Introduced "Haseltine (H) Numbers."
  [as many NBS members know, Haseltine published this
  classification without credit to J. Colvin Randall]"

  Peter Koch writes:  "In last week's (Sept. 7th) E-Sylum edition
  Denis Loring posed the possibility of listing the most significant
  auction sales held of American series of coins, tokens, and
  specialties. Denis' suggested list was a large cafeteria from
  which to dine. It included some forty collectible series: from
  Massachusetts Silver and other Colonials; copper, silver and
  gold U.S. Mint products; Territorial and California Gold; to
  Hard Times and Civil War tokens; and for dessert the list
  rounded out with Errors.

  It's a wonderful idea and challenge. Simply including Errors
  could theoretically double the size of the list, but that's for
  another day.  We've been working, on and off the last year
  or so, on just such a list for two of my favorites: Half Cents
  and Hard Times tokens.

  We certainly don't want to make more of it than it is, but
  soon after diving into a project like this one can sense the
  mild tremor of debate. A listing of "significant" Large Cents
  catalogues we might recommend to this publication may be
  slightly different from a list appearing in EAC's Penny-Wise.
  Are you practical or poetic?  Hardcore or hardbound in love?
  Is it gallant personalities and hot gold stamping, or die state
  3.5 and diagnostic photography?  Of course, we'd like the
  best of both worlds.  Nothing new, we want it all. It's a minor
  problem we faced when collating our "SASHTt" list,
  significant auction sales of Hard Times tokens.  The
  work-in-progress list by the way, that we distributed to a
  handful of significant dealers recently at ANA Baltimore.  The
  usual drill of listing auctions simply containing the most varieties
  in a specific series is nice but not enough.  We found ourselves
  having to go all the way back attaching at least a brief
  background to each sale. There's more than you first think.
  Actually, the SASHTt list grew out of frustration. Catalogers
  will often cite pedigree, if applicable, but without identifying the
  sale / catalogue. If trying to unearth the important Robert Vlack
  Collection of HTts one would have to know it was nestled within
  B&M's Andrew Alexander Collection sale of November '96.
  Or to track a specimen from the large Chester Krause Collection
   a collector would need Presidential's Hard Times Sale book of
  March, '99-yes, we know Krause's HTts were sold by private
  treaty but a smaller number of pieces made their appearance in
  this PCAC sale.   In any event, for what it's worth:

  For Half Cent collectors we come down on the side of
  practicality, thus recent Superior Galleries catalogues get the
  nod.  In terms of detailed descriptions, diagnostic plates,
  current catalogue availability, and in no small part the
  collaboration of McCawley and Grellman, specialists can be
  fairly comfortable in feeling they are using state-of-the-art
  presentations with this trio.

  Dr. Wallace Lee Collection, May, 2003; Bill Weber
  Collection, June, 2002; and the classic February, 1992 sale
  of Roger S. Cohen Collection. This catalogue was a stand-alone
  sale, the entire book was the Cohen HC collection. Not many
  are produced like that. Sans M&G, every lot was given royal
  treatment with most lots plated, every one sized with its grains'
  weight. The book is usually available at a premium-price. To
 complement the above, and generally available for less than
  $100 each: Stack's 1963 Fixed Price List of Joseph Brobston's
  HC collection reprinted a few years ago (may still be available
  from Stack's); Roger Cohen's second 1982 edition of American
  Half Cents--The Little Half Sisters; and Ron Manley's 1998
  The Half Cent Die State Book-1793-1857.

  For suggestions to Hard Times aficionados:

  While we subscribe to "today's research is better than research
  on the same topic from fifty years ago" an emotional
  recommendation for New Netherlands' May, 1953 sale with
  its elegant run of Low (HT) numbers must be made.  Imagine
  John Ford and Walter Breen working together in the same
  room ready to conquer the world.  Crafting tight, eloquent
  descriptions of the classic American series of HTts.  Ford has
  always had a warm spot for the series... "collect what they don't
  have a lot of." NN catalogues are a quick-moving read,
  conversational, and get a lot of information packed into one
  sentence-and not afraid to take a stand.  Over the years, the
  catalogue has appeared on most short lists of recommended HTt
  literature; we'll gladly join the fold.  Stack's vibrant November,
  1988 offering of Herbert M. Oechsner's Collection commands
  a premium whenever it appears. Wide range of varieties,
  exquisite high grades, and attachments back to Adams, Miller
  and Tilden.  Of more recent vintage, the second Gilbert Steinberg
  HTt Collection sold by B&M November, 2002 can be
  proclaimed a classic reference for the specialist. Not many
  varieties were missing from this collection.  High quality, multiple
  specimens, elusive rarities, and well written by knowledgeable
  cataloguers who enjoyed and respected the series. The book's
  introductory pages reveal John Kraljevich was lead in
  showcasing the Steinberg Collection " a manner we hope
  you will find to be interesting as well as enticing." Indeed!"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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