Ron Guth has been researching the Col. Robert C.H. Brock collection, and could use some help. Can anyone assist?
I started poking around in the ANS Mantis database for the J.P. Morgan proof coins, many of which reportedly came from the Col. Robert C.H. Brock collection. This led to a side trip down the road to the Brock collection, the University of Pennsylvania, and the various purchasers of the Brock collection.
I’ve Googled just about every possible iteration of Brock, Morgan and everyone and everything else associated with the collection, but this just led to more questions. I hope someone with more knowledge can help answer some of them. Perhaps some of the old-timer with first-hand experience have insight that has not been captured yet on the Web or in publications.
When did Brock donate his collection to the University of Pennsylvania? This would put a terminal date on his collecting, after which Morgan would have been on his own. Conversely, Brock died in 1906 and the last full Proof set in the Morgan donation is from 1901.
Is there any confirmation that Brock actually obtained Proof coins directly from the Mint, or is this an assumption? According to the Mantis database, many of the 1859 and later Proof sets are incomplete. If they were purchased from the Mint, where are the missing coins. Or, were the sets “put-together?”
Did J.P. Morgan buy coins directly from Brock or directly from the Penn Museum?
When did J.P. Morgan purchase the Brock coins?
If B. Max Mehl was the successful bidder after the University of Pennsylvania deaccessioned the Brock coins in 1952 (after beating out John Ford), how did Philip Ward’s name get added to the pedigree of so many of the best coins? This suggests that the advisor to the collection (Ward) ended up with better coins than the purchaser of the collection (Mehl).
The Philip Ward Collection, sold by Stack’s in 1964 has a couple of highlights and lots of widgets, but none of the big “stars” that carry his pedigree. Did he sell the big coins privately, or is he being given credit for coins he never handled? Does documentation exist to confirm his association with the big coins?
How about Dochkus and Saab, whose names are appended to many of the Ward pedigrees? They seem to have purchased many of the big coins, as well. Anyone with information about them or whether their association with the pedigrees is legitimate?
Thanks in advance for any and all help.
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