The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series rounds out the year 1984.
In July 1984 Stack's once again, as we had since 1979, joined with joined with Rarcoa, Paramount and Superior to offer our popular "Apostrophe" auction, in this case Auction '84. As previously this event had a wealth of choice, rare and important coins, 500 lots from each company. The sale included 1802 and 1803 Proof silver dollars, 1884 and 1885 trade dollar Proofs, early Proof sets from the 1860s and more, early U.S. gold in mostly Mint State, an 1838-O half dollar, an 1800 Stella and an 1855 Round Kellogg $50 gold, just to mention some of the highlights.
Our September public auction featured a comprehensive offering that combined the collections Dr. George Kosko and Thomas A. Bergin, as well as duplicates from the Yale University Collections. It brought to auction all denominations of. U.S. coins from the half cent to the $20 double eagle, mostly in Choice Mint State and Proof condition. It was another Stack's sale that presented "something for everyone," which always attracted bidders in the thousands.
We had two very important consignments for our October 1984 auction and we decided to issue two separate catalogs: The Bartle Family Collection and the Richard Picker Collection. Having two catalogs allowed us to commemorate the endeavors of these collectors, both of whom had passed away before the sale of their coins. The Bartle Collection was a comprehensive offering of United States coins, from the half cent to the $20 gold, very complete and with many highlights. Similar to other comprehensive offerings like this, it attracted almost record-breaking attendance and very large quantities of bid sheets. Of particular note in the Bartle Collection were complete sets of Indian $2.50 and $5 gold, a complete set of Indian Head $10 gold (including both varieties of 1907 and the extremely rare 1933) all in outstanding condition. The sale also had an outstanding group of Morgan dollars and a lot of type coins, which were always popular and in demand. It took three sessions to sell the Bartle Family Collection.
Our separate catalog for the Richard Picker Collection was focused on colonial and early American coins. Richard Picker was a very close friend of both Norman and me. We all met just after World War II and as time went on, he also became good friends with Larry after Larry joined the business full time in the 1970s. In the beginning Richard earned his money by owning and servicing vending machines, and he was simply a collector, enamored with our country's early issues. He studied a lot and made many friends among the famous collectors of this historic series. His love for colonial coins led him to trading and dealing with collectors of similar issues, later becoming a full-time specialist in this fascinating area of numismatics. Since the New York area had over nine coin clubs and the ANS museum, he attended all meetings to learn more from the specialists, and started to buy and sell to many collectors. He provided collectors such as Bareford, Roper and many others with guidance as how to build a meaningful collection. Richard actually lived in the same town that Norman and I lived in with our families, and our friendship grew all the years we knew him. When we need an opinion or cataloging help Richard was there to help us. He was sorely missed when he passed away, a year before this sale.
The Picker Collection was only 326 pieces, but among them were a number of rarities and almost impossible-to-find examples. These included a Sommer Island shilling, a New England shilling, 45 Massachusetts silver coins, a Lord Baltimore piece, a Mark Newby farthing, Higley coinage, Chalmers coins, and three Continental dollars. There were also comprehensive collections of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont coppers, Albany Church pennies, Fugio cents, and 28 different Washington pieces (including the Roman Head and "Born Virginia", to mention just two). Though not as large as the Roper Collection a year earlier, it was a splendid assemblage that brought many specialists to the Stack's sale.
We closed out 1984 in December with a group of specialty collections of United States, foreign and ancient coins that had been formed by Dr. Constantine Generales, Harry H. Trackman, and duplicates from the Floyd T. Starr Collection. These collections were combined in a single catalog and the sale appealed to a large number of collectors as it covered so many areas of numismatics.
The story of Stack's in 1984 relates how broad and specialized Stack's could be as we served all our clients' needs as they built their collections. Markets change and interests vary, but by having a wide range of expertise and offering a wide panorama of items and services, Stack's found that our friends and clients responded by returning to us when they wanted to buy or sell coins or consign their collections to auction.
To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 95
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
HARVEY STACK'S NUMISMATIC FAMILY, PART 94
Wayne Homren, Editor
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