|Internationally Renowned Art
Expert Joins Heritage Staff
As part of our
successful, continuing expansion in fine arts, Heritage Galleries
& Auctioneers has hired internationally-known scholar and
former Yale University curator and 18 year Kimbell Art Museum
Director, Edmund P. Pillsbury, Ph.D., as Senior Fine Arts Expert.
Heritage also is adding 21,000 square feet of space to its existing
53,000 square feet galleries to house the firm's rapidly growing
fine arts services.
Dr. Pillsbury is one of America's foremost museum professionals
who helped build the art collections of the renowned Kimbell as
well as the Paul Mellon Collection of British Art and served as the
founding director of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art housing the
Steve Wynn collection. He has an international reputation as a
connoisseur, scholar, and arts administrator. His expertise will be
a significant factor in Heritage's expansion in European and
American paintings, art glass, ceramics and decorative arts.
Heritage is the third largest auction house in the United States
with over $400 million in sales the past year in art, antiques,
rare coins and currency, books and manuscripts, Americana, comics,
vintage movie posters, sports, and Hollywood and entertainment
memorabilia. The addition of Dr. Pillsbury, 62, to Heritage's
250-member staff is expected to help significantly bolster the
firm's growth in the fine arts field.
Among his many outstanding accomplishments, Dr. Pillsbury is a
member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In
1991 New York Times art critic John Russell characterized Dr.
Pillsbury as "one of the most gifted men in the American museum
A native of Minneapolis, he is the great-grandson of the founder
of the Pillsbury Milling Company, today known to consumers as the
Pillsbury bakery division of General Mills, Inc.
A graduate of Yale University, Dr. Pillsbury holds a Ph.D. in
Italian Renaissance Art from the University of London's Courtauld
Institute of Art. His acclaimed former management positions include
Director of the Yale Center for British Art and Chief Executive
Officer of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in
London. He served as Director of the Meadows Museum and Professor
of Art History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and is
currently a Research Professor at the University of Texas at
Dallas, a position he holds part-time.
Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers is headquartered in Dallas,
at 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX, 75219.
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Found Treasures: Thanks,
by Stewart Huckaby
I'll freely admit that this particular article was inspired by a
suggestion from Bob Korver (amidst a lot of laughing in this part
of the office over its sheer brilliance and virtually universal
theme), but the idea was so inspired that I couldn't resist putting
together a few words. The basic premise: What treasure did you once
own that your mother threw out?
Most collectors that I've encountered over the years have
collections of, well, everything, and we've all heard stories about
those comic books or baseball cards that someone once owned that
now live in someone's landfill. As numismatists, we're perhaps a
bit lucky in that our coin collections were never considered just
"junk". However, coins serve a rather obvious purpose in commerce,
and while I would hope that the parents never raided your
piggybank, let alone your collection, to pay the bills, it's always
possible that you may have decided at a young age that it was more
important to use those silver coins to buy ice cream or pay for a
hot date (come to think of it, I'm probably with you on this one
;)) than to keep them in your collection.
I've been fairly fortunate in that my mother is somewhat of a
pack rat, a characteristic I obviously inherited. My baseball card
collection is still around, and anyone interested in common 1970-72
Topps cards that were handled by a ten year old would enjoy it. My
comic book collection - well, it was thrown out, but I did it
because I'd read the 10-20 comics it contained to death. (There are
some first edition Archies and Richie Rich comics from the
seventies that bit the dust this way, and I hesitate to this day to
look them up on the Overstreet Guide.) Mad magazines? Same thing -
a very low life expectancy due to extreme use.
There are a couple of coins from my youth that I wish I could
track down, though, and a mere mention of what they are - a 1904
Double Eagle and a 1882-CC GSA Dollar - would explain why. No, I
was never rich enough as a youngster to buy them, but I'm living
proof that it is possible to win a grand prize at a coin show
auction (the $20) by buying a single raffle ticket, and the dollar
came from a very similar source. It remains open to question what
happened to these coins; the two best guesses are that they are
still stranded in a safe deposit box somewhere near San Jose or
that they live somewhere in my parents' things, probably in the
general vicinity of most of my world coins somewhere near
Because we're all collectors, we all have stories about the one
that was thrown away. If you have a good one, send it along to me
and hopefully we'll get a chance to mention it in a future issue of
Coin and Currency News.
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Website Tips: Auction
If you're familiar with the Heritage website at all, you'll know
that one of the first things you see when you go to the home page
is a listing of all current Heritage auctions. Each of these
auctions is open for Internet bidding, and you can search and bid
on these items to your heart's (and wallet's) content.
Sometimes, though, you may be interested in an auction that has
not yet opened, just to see what might be available once the
auction does open for bidding. If you are interested in this kind
of information, Heritage provides Auction Previews for you. Just
look below the list of current auctions on the homepage for a list
of all auctions where previews are available.
Our auction previews let you watch our auctions grow. We post
individual lots in our previews as soon as they have either a
description or a picture, so you don't have to wait until the
auction is posted to get an idea of the items you want. It is
possible that a coin in our auction previews may not have a
complete description or an image - yet - but we will continue to
add information as we approach the auction posting date. If there's
an auction you're interested in, check back often, as information
will be added to the previews until the time the auction is ready
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Rarity Factor: Also rarity rating, rarity scale,
etc. A shorthand means of describing how rare a coin or variety is.
Catalog listings for many coins, particularly those minted before
1840 or so, include a rarity followed by a number between 1 and 8,
with 1 being the least rare and 8 the rarest. The rarity scale in
the third edition of Overton's Early Half Dollar Varieties
looks like this:
||Unique or nearly so
The rarity scale published for Large Cents in Penny
Whimsy is very similar, but not identical. Still, this scale or
a variant is used for most US coins.
Rarity scales for world and ancient coins tend to go in the
opposite direction from the above, with the lower number signifying
the rarer coin.
GSA Dollar: A Morgan Dollar encapsulated and sold by the
General Services Administration during the 1970s in an effort to
empty the Treasury's vaults of silver dollars. The vast majority of
these coins are from Carson City; however, a few coins of other
dates were released at the same time. A quick look at our Permanent
Auction Archives shows that we have sold GSA Dollars dated 1879-S,
1880-S, 1881-S, 1883, 1883-O, 1884-O, 1885-O, and 1903-O, while the
1889-CC and 1893-CC dollars are virtually if not totally unknown in
According to Walter Breen, there were a total of 2,937,695
dollars turned over to the GSA, including 27,980 coins not from
Carson City and 84,165 coins that were not uncirculated. The latter
figure should probably be taken with several grains of salt, as the
GSA considered toned coins to be circulated and some coins that
would be considered high grade now did not merit an "Uncirculated"
mention on the holder. However, some legitimately circulated coins
were placed in envelopes similar to what was used on uncirculated
Silver Ikes, but bearing a GSA label.
GSA Dollars trade based not only on the usual factors of date
and grade, but also on their rarity or lack thereof in the GSA
holder. While common Carson City coins such as the 1882-CC,
1883-CC, and 1884-CC bring little to no premium in GSA holders,
other coins can trade for significant premiums over an ordinary
coin of the date. Pieces with the original box of issue and
certificate of authenticity bring a premium over those without.
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