The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 7, February 14, 2021, Article 19


The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series reviews the year 1983, including the J. Pierpont Morgan sale. -Editor

Stack Numismatic Family 1964

Stack's 1983 auction season continued with our March sale of ancient and world coins as well as a splendid general collection of United States gold, silver and copper coins. The sale contained over 1,300 lots and collectors participated in droves to find items on their want lists. The highlight was a group of U.S. silver dollars that featured 1836 and 1839 Gobrechts, 1851, 1852 and 1858 Liberty Seated pieces, and Carson City dollars from 1871, 1872 and 1873. The market was enthusiastic and we received a large number of mail bids as well as people participating in person.

In April Stack's had the honor of conducting the annual New York Numismatic Convention Sale, as had become customary for over two decades. In order to appeal to the many different collectors who participated, we presented ancient Judea coins, crowns and talers of the world, and United States coins from half cents to double eagles, as well as colonial coins. Included were additional pieces from the noteworthy Robison Collection, proceeds from which would once again be shared by Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytech. Our goal when presenting a sale, especially for a convention, was to offer "some coins for every class of collector" who might be attending the event. The 1983 convention sale contained over 1,500 exciting lots that attracted major interest.

Our June sale was similar in that again we offered numismatic items for many different collector interests, including United States colonial, copper, silver and gold coins as well as a splendid array of territorial coinage and an important group of U.S. currency. In total the sale presented 927 diverse lots of interest.

July again brought an Apostrophe Auction, which Stack's held in conjunction with Paramount, Superior and Rarcoa. As had become the tradition, each firm contributed 500 lots resulting in a sale of 2,000 lots split into four sessions. This summer event had become very popular and 1983 was no exception. The lots comprised United States type coins, rare dates and mintmarks, territorial issues and many other items, most of which were in Mint State or Gem Proof. As the "Apostrophe Auctions" reached their fifth year, they continued to provide an excellent venue where four of the leading dealers in America could attract hundreds of bidders, many of whom planned their summer holidays in order to attend.

1983 Stacks JP Morgan sale cover 1983 Stacks Oviedo sale cover

September featured two catalogs, one of which presented a small but superb group of ancient Greek and Roman coins from the J. Pierpont Morgan Collection. Although there were only 101 lots, the quality and rarity of the pieces attracted dealers and collectors from all parts of the United States and the world. That Stack's was awarded this museum collection was a great honor, and our staff of experts prepared a very special catalog for the event.

After the J. Pierpont Morgan sale we presented another special catalog, with the outstanding collection of Dr. George J. Oviedo, Jr., featuring one of the most complete and high quality groups of United States half dollars to be offered for many years. It rivaled in quality some of our previous offerings of the series, as it contained coins from the collections of Dr. E. Yale Clark, Reed Hawn and James A. Stack, all which had been sold previously in Stack's auctions. Though not complete, it included 1794, 1795 3 leaf, five different varieties of 1795, both varieties of 1796, 1797, 1801, 1802, and a number of varieties to 1807. Highlights in the Capped Bust series were a superb 1815, an 1818/17 specimen Proof, and a Proof 1836 Lettered Edge, plus a substantial number of dates and varieties from 1807 to 1839-O. Also offered was one the legendary 1838-O, a world-class rarity. While not complete, the balance of the half dollar series from 1840 to 1947 was represented by many superb and Condition Census examples of various dates and mints, in outstanding Mint State and Brilliant Proofs.

In addition this sale brought to market rare and choice type coins in all metals, rich in early dates and mintmarks. It was an exciting start to the Stack's fall season of public auctions.

To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 89 (

To read the 1983 Stack's catalogs on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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