In his latest Stacks-Bowers blog post, Harvey Stack discusses the memorable coin auctions of 1954. Why didn't the Stack's go to Egypt for the Farouk sale? Read on to find out. Here's a short excerpt, but be sure to read the whole article online.
As coincidence would have it, a number of great numismatic collections entered the auction scene in 1954. The collection which received the most pre-sale publicity was the Palace Collection, that of King Farouk of Egypt. King Farouk was a ruler who spent money recklessly on palaces, food, women and partying as well as collectibles including jewels, art and coins at a time when most of his people lived in great poverty.
King Farouk was forced to abdicate, exiled to Europe, and his coin collection was confiscated by the new government and consigned to auction. Well known London dealer Fred Baldwin of A.H. Baldwin & Co. was entrusted to sell the holdings, which included an extensive collection of ancient and world coins as well as an immense cabinet of United States gold, silver and copper.
Joseph Stack and Morton Stack offered to assist Baldwin & Co. in preparing the U.S. portion of the catalog. Inasmuch as Egypt insisted that the coins must remain in Cairo and with the country of Egypt still in political turmoil, the U.S. State Department advised all U.S. citizens not to travel to Egypt in late 1952 and 1953 and the sale was to be held in 1954. The Stack brothers decided not to go to Egypt as catalogers, but began to assemble funds to be active buyers.
While the Stack’s waited for the sale of the Palace Collection to take place, they received a series of calls offering them several major collections for outright purchase. One was the Davis-Graves Collection from Massachusetts and the other was the Anderson-Dupont Collection from Connecticut. Joseph and Morton went to see the collections and were amazed at how extensive each was. They bought the collections outright in late 1953, which consumed the funds they had set aside for Egypt. But their feelings were “a bird in the hand …”
The Davis-Graves Collection included a wonderful collection from half cents to $20 gold double eagles, with a complete set of $2.50 quarter eagles, 1796 to 1929, an extensive holding of $5 half eagles, an unparalleled set of $10 eagles. The silver and copper coins included a superb collection of silver dollars, including the R. Coulton Davis 1804 silver dollar. The collection was sold in a two-part sale in April and May 1954.
The Anderson-Dupont Collection included, among other things, one of the most extensive and important sets of large cents sold in the mid 20th century. The collection was so important that Dr. William H. Sheldon, the dean of U.S. large cents and author of the then current book on the denomination, offered to research and catalog the collection for Morton Stack, and be reimbursed by the use of the new found information and photographs in the revised edition of his book, Penny Whimsy. It was a record shattering auction which Stack’s conducted in September 1954.
To read the complete article, see:
Remember When: 1954 – A Year Of Great Auctions
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster