Ken Bressett alerted me to the passing of collector Reed Hawn.
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith kindly submitted this article on Reed and his father William. Thanks, everyone!
William Hewitt Hawn (1918-1978)
William Hawn was born in Butler County, Nebraska on April 12, 1918, the son of Texas geologist and oilman Richard Hugh Hawn (1895-1947) and Dorothy Hewitt Blakenay (1896-1967).
Hawn married Esther Jane Roark (1919-1976) on July 13, 1940. She was a sorority girl frequently mentioned in the society pages. They had two sons and were divorced on January 2, 1975. His second wife was Juanita Dial Carson Brown (1922-2012).
Hawn studied geology at the University of Texas. He went into the ranching business in 1945 and began raising Arabian horses in 1962. Hawn and two brothers inherited an oil business from their father and operated as Hawn Brothers.
He died in Oklahoma City on May 1, 1978, and is buried at Rose Hill Burial Park at Oklahoma City.
William was a coin collector who passed that interest on to his son. It appears that the 1973 Hawn auction had a significant portion from the collection of the father. Reed also benefited from the oil and gas business and Arabian horse ranch built by the father.
Richard Reed Hawn (1949-2022)
Reed Hawn was born on August 20, 1949, in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas, the son of William Hewitt Hawn and Esther Jane Roark.
Hawn began collecting coins at age nine in a way familiar to many of us. He looked through circulating coins and put them into Whitman holders.
Hawn grew up riding in horse shows. His family was active in Corpus Christi society. When he was seventeen, he escorted a young lady to a debutante ball. Also when he was seventeen, he visited Stack's and began a long business relationship with the firm. He bought from their stock and participated in their auctions.
He received an A.A. degree from Del Mar College in 1969, and received a B.A. from University of Texas in 1971.
Hawn was married to Margaret Ann Redfearn on November 2, 1972. They had three children.
He joined the ANA in 1974 as member R-81601. His address was shown as Hawn Arabian Ranch in Sisterdale, Texas. He was a generous contributor to the ANA.
Hawn collected coins that were high grade and sometimes the finest known. He consigned coins to Stack's for auction on August 28-29, 1973, when he was just 24 years old. The catalog stated that it was assembled
across the span of five decades. For most coins no pedigree was given but we might assume the collection was built, in part, by the father.
Twenty years later Hawn consigned to a Stack's sale on October 13-14, 1993. The cover illustrated the two most notable coins, an 1804 dollar and a 1913 Liberty Nickel.
Hawn acquired the
Mickley 1804 silver dollar from Stack's in January 1974 for $150,000. It was lot 735 in the 1993 sale and sold for $475,000.
He acquired the 1913 Liberty Nickel at Superior's Jerry Buss collection sale of January 28, 1985, lot 366. It was lot 245 in the Stack's 1993 sale.
In 1994 he was appointed to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Then in 2009 he was considered as a candidate for Director of the Mint. He said that, if appointed, he would reduce the number of commemorative issues and improve customer service.
Reed Hawn died on June 29, 2022.
A 1974 syndicated story appeared in at least ten newspapers. It reported,
Right after New Year's Day, Reed Hawn laid out $150,000 for a dollar. And a little later,
Now comes Reed Hawn to plunk down a record wad for Joe Bickley's rare 1804 dollar. And still later,
Hawn now holds the record for the most preposterous sum paid anywhere by anyone for an American coin.
Joe Bickley is not mentioned in the Newman/Bressett book on The Fantastic 1804 Dollar. He is not mentioned in the Bowers book on the 1804 dollars. In fact, Bickley does not show up anywhere on the Newman Numismatic Portal.
The preposterous price record held until May when a 1907 high-relief double eagle sold at Stack's for $200,000.
Smarty-Pants question of the week: Who was Joe Bickley?
The first publication of this text seems to be an article in the Nassau edition of Newsday January 23, 1974 where columnist John Pascal interviews M. H. Rubenstein of M. H. Rubenstein Co. "in Bay Shore, one of Long Island's bigger coin emporiums." A Newman Numismatic Portal search indicates Rubenstein advertised extensively in Coin World from about 1967 through 1982. Pete adds that "Martin H. Rubenstein of BayShore, New York, was born on April 27, 1938, and died on November 29, 2004."
Can anyone tell us more about this Joe Bickley reference or Rubenstein himself? Little other than his ads is found in NNP.
To read the complete Reed Hawn online obituary, see:
Richard Reed Hawn
To read the complete M. H, Rubenstein interview, see:
To read the Hawn catalogs on the Newman Portal:
The Reed Hawn Collection of United States Coins (1973)
United States Coins featuring the Reed Hawn Collection of United States Quarters (1977)
The Reed Hawn Collection of United States Coins (1993)
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
HARVEY STACK ON THE COLLECTIONS OF REED HAWN
HARVEY STACK ON REED HAWN AND BRENT POGUE
HARVEY STACK'S NUMISMATIC FAMILY, PART 115
Wayne Homren, Editor
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