significant private treaty sale of Bust dollars in over
30 years was announced by Fort Lauderdale, Fla., professional
numismatist Thomas M. Pilitowski.
originating in Colorado that Pilitowski has dubbed the Denver
collection, which included a complete high-grade date set
of Draped Bust/ Heraldic Eagle dollars, was absorbed
by a major West Coast collection that is being assembled jointly
by two hobbyists. Pilitowski calls the West Coast collection
the Cardinal collection.
declined to reveal the transaction price as well as the identities
of the buyers.
did reveal is that the Cardinal collection already had
in it such pieces as a dollar discovered at the 1995 American
Numismatic Association convention in Anaheim, Calif., an AU-53
1798 dollar, B-26, which is the finest known and sole AU piece
the set is the Buddy Ebsen 1801, B-1, dollar, which is also
the finest known at borderline uncirculated, Pilitowski said.
are Bolender numbers developed by Milfred H. Bolender in his
book United States Early Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803.
auctioned his collection of nearly 200 pieces on feb. 23, 1952,
Pilitowski said, and the vast majority of the pieces were acquired
by Maryland numismatist K.P. Austin. Austin's collection was
sold privately about 1962 by Alfred J. Ostheimer. Years later
selected specimens under the pseudonym of Clarke Gilhauses entered
the marketplace, Pilitowski said. Not since the Austin-Ostheimer
private treaty sale has such a "magnificent array of early dollars
been sold intact." he added.
individual items sold were an AU-55 1795, B-15; an EF-40 9x7
stars, small letters 1797, B-2, condition census; an MS-63 1798,
B-3, finest known; an AU-58 1799, B-9; an MS-62 1799/8, B-3,
condition census; AU-55 1800, B-14, condition census, second
finest known; an AU-55 1801, B-1, condition census; AU-58 1802,
B-6; AU-53 1802/1, B-4, and an MS-61 1803, B-4, condition census
and finest known. All of these pieces have been graded and authenticated
by a third-party grading firm.
1798 is a B-3 (BB-94) that appears to be Bolender's personal
specimen. It was graded and Photo Proofed by the Numismatic
Guaranty Corp. of Parsippany, N.J.
It is the
sole known mint state coin, an R-4 rarity, meaning 200 pieces
are estimated to exist in all grades. It combines the third
"Knob-9" obverse die used for the year (the first two obverse
dies being used for the last of the Draped Bust/Small Eagle
dollars), with the first "arc star pattern" reverse die
used for the year.
numbering of B-3 places this as the very first Draped Bust/Heraldic
Eagle die variety to be coined by the United States. Q.
David Bower's numbering of BB-94 places this as the fourth Draped
Bust/Heraldic Eagle dollar die variety overall, but the
first coined with the "arc stars pattern" on the reverse.
Photo Proofed was the AU-53 1798 dollar, B-26 (BB-114), which
was graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service of Newport
Beach, Calif. This coin is an R-6, with in all grades. It is
the one discovered at the 1995 ANA convention in Anaheim. Its
pedigree, Pilitowski noted, takes it back to Col. E.H.R. Green,
son of the famed Hetty Green, the "witch of Wall Street," who
was as much noted for her extreme frugality as Col. Green became
known for his willingness to spend money on coins and other
Pilitowski said the acquisition of the Denver collection
by the assemblers of the Cardinal collection has resulted in
some duplication. He will handle the sale of these duplicates.
Also noted was how Pilitowski, a 41-year-old specialist in Early
American coinage, first made contact with the hobbyists
on both ends of the transaction: the free classified ads in