Martin Kaplan passed along this lot from the upcoming Heritage March 14-16 auction that has its own interesting discovery story. Thanks.
The series of events that led to the discovery of this Premium Gem Cameo stella is straight out of a Hollywood movie.
According to her niece and nephew, Aunt Mary had always been generous, sharing her time and energy as a community leader, and helping to pay for
school and other necessities when family members were in a bind. But she was equally careful, never spending extravagantly on herself and always
living within her means. She lived in the same understated home for half a century.
As Aunt Mary's health deteriorated, she warned her niece, who made regular trips up to Stockbridge: "Be careful before giving things
away." Without being explicit, she put her niece on notice. Still, after Aunt Mary's death it came as a total surprise that the quaint,
colonial house nestled in the Berkshire Mountains contained a variety of often well-hidden antiques, paintings, and other valuables, including a
bottle of rye whisky that had been casked in 1863 and bottled in 1913, and a landscape painting by renowned 19th century French artist,
The present coin was found in an old safe among a pile of coins, including a couple of Spanish gold cobs and American double eagles. Aunt Mary had
never made any mention of the coins, so the executors of the estate brought the cache to a local coin shop for an appraisal. Having no idea what
their coins were worth, they were delighted when the coin dealer jumped out of his chair and exclaimed that he had never handled a stella in more
than 30 years. As it turned out, Aunt Mary's niece and nephew had inherited a significant rarity.
Unfortunately, nothing is known about the prior history of this coin. The current consignors believe it may have been accepted as payment from a
client by their uncle, Mary's husband, who owned his own business.
To read the complete lot description, see:
Flowing Hair, Judd-1635, Pollock-1833, JD-1, R.3, PR66 Cameo PCGS....
Wayne Homren, Editor
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