1804 $1 Class III PR58 PCGS....
Adams-Carter 1804 Class III Silver Dollar AU58 PCGS1804 $1 Class III PR58 PCGS. The King--Pride of Ownership
The Finest Class III 1804 Available Outside Museums
The Finest Class III 1804 Available Outside Museums
Many American numismatic pieces, patterns and regular issues, are rarer than the 1804 silver dollar, with its population of 15 known specimens. Another issue, the 1933 double eagle, with an auction record in excess of $7 million, holds the title of most expensive, at least based on past sales. However, no other U.S. coin can ever be popularly accepted as the King of Coins. The 1804 silver dollar is clearly the most famous coin ever struck at a U.S. mint. Its rarity has been documented for more than 150 years.
B. Max Mehl once wrote: "In all of numismatics of the entire world, there is not today and there never has been a single coin which was and is the subject of so much romance, interest, comment, and upon which so much has been written and so much talked about and discussed as the United States silver dollar of 1804."
Mehl's words are every bit as appropriate today as they were in 1941, when he wrote them for his famous Dunham Collection catalog. The 1804 silver dollar still holds the same romance as it did then, and it will continue to do so in the future. Acquisition of any 1804 silver dollar will secure for its owner a place in numismatic immortality.
The 1804 dollar was called the "King of the U.S. series" by the Chapman Brothers at least as early as 1885. Also in 1885, George C. Evans called the coin "The King among Rarities" in History of the United States Mint. In 1907 Henry Chapman called it "The King of United States Coins" in his Matthew Stickney Collection catalog. Perhaps no one has ever done more to promote its rarity and importance than Mehl, who handled six different examples a total of eight times. Mehl was proud to offer any specimen, including this coin that he sold to Col. E.H.R. Green in 1932.
The Adams-Carter Specimen--The Specimen Presented Today
The Adams-Carter specimen was struck as a proof, as were all 1804 silver dollars. Like some other Class III coins, it was artificially worn (as discussed below) to resemble a circulated piece, in this case very lightly so. The attractive lavender-gray surfaces gradually change to steel-blue at the borders. The central areas, especially on the reverse, show some evidence of a light strike, suggesting that the reverse die was minutely sunk. The remaining areas are boldly struck. This splendid example retains some of its original proof surface in the protected areas.
History of the 1804 Dollar
Today there are 15 genuine 1804 silver dollars known to exist, as there have been since the 1950s when the King of Siam presentation set made its reappearance in the numismatic arena. Six of the 15 coins are held in museums, leaving just nine specimens available to collectors. The first 1804 dollars were minted in the mid-1830s, shortly after the second Mint building in Philadelphia opened for operation. The Department of State desired presentation sets of coins to give as gifts to foreign monarchs in 1834. Most denominations were currently in production, so proof examples of those coins were easily provided. However, it had been many years since a silver dollar or a gold eagle was coined. Mint officials researched records and discovered that the last examples of each denomination were minted in 1804.
Mint records indicated that 19,570 silver dollars had been struck in 1804, but three decades later, those in office failed to recognize that that entire mintage was dated 1803 or earlier, and there were never any 1804-dated silver dollars struck at the time. According to their beliefs, they instructed workers at the Mint to produce new dies for silver dollars and eagles, both bearing the 1804 date. Proofs of each were minted for the presentation sets, apparently along with a few additional examples.
At least by 1842, the existence of 1804-dated silver dollars came to the attention of the small numismatic community, and they were recognized as rarities. That was the year that Adam Eckfeldt and William E. DuBois published the Manual of Coins of All Nations, including an illustration of an 1804-dated silver dollar. The first private American collector to obtain an example was Matthew A. Stickney, who traded for his coin with the Mint in 1843, giving the Mint a gold Immune Columbia token and other pieces in exchange. Further examples made appearances over the next few decades.
With the rarity of the 1804 dollars firmly established at least by the late 1850s, the Mint (or certain people within the Mint) devised a plan whereby additional examples were made for collectors, perhaps as a way of enriching the Mint's coin cabinet, or possibly to enrich themselves. It is felt that the coins were made by a small number of insiders and sold secretly.
Knowledge of the diplomatic presentation sets was lost for many years, until 1962 when the King of Siam set appeared on display at the ANA convention. Eric Newman and Kenneth Bressett had just completed their manuscript for The Fantastic 1804 Dollar, and had to rewrite much of the book for publication later in the year.
Varieties and Production
The varieties of 1804 silver dollars are known as Class I, Class II, and Class III. The Class I pieces are sometimes called Originals, although that name is inaccurate, since they were struck in 1834 rather than 1804. The Class II and Class III pieces are sometimes called Restrikes, also an inaccurate name since there were technically no Originals.
A single obverse die and two reverse dies were created for all of the 1804 dollars, and it is virtually certain that the dies were all made at the same time, certainly no later than 1834. The dies were also produced by the same engraver. The two reverse dies have been designated as Reverse X and Reverse Y, following past literature on the subject.
The obverse die for the 1804 dollars was first used with reverse X in 1834 for the Class I pieces. Many years later, no earlier than 1857, it was used with Reverse Y for the Class II and Class III pieces. Meanwhile, obverse dies dated 1801, 1802, and 1803 were produced and used with Reverse X to coin the proof novodels of those dates. The exact time of production for the novodels is unknown.
A central device hub of the Draped Bust motif was used for each of the obverse dies, with individual numerals, letters, and stars entered inside a beaded border.
Reverse dies X and Y are both copies of the earlier Heraldic Eagle design used for the silver dollars of 1798 to 1803, but they are inexact copies. Both dies have identical Heraldic Eagle motifs from a hub punch that still existed after its earlier use for the silver dollars made in 1801, 1802, and 1803. The engraver added additional details from individual punches, including all of the letters, stars, berries, and berry stems. With hand-punching of the various elements, positional differences occurred between Reverse X and Reverse Y. The most important difference between the new reverse dies and the original dies of 1798 to 1803 is the border, now consisting of beads rather than pointed denticles.
Reverse X has the A in STATES positioned over the space between clouds 3 and 4, and the O in OF entirely over cloud 7. Reverse Y has the A in STATES centered over cloud 3, and the O in OF over the space between clouds 7 and 8. There are other differences, but those mentioned are sufficient for identification. Reverse X was used for the 1801, 1802, and 1803 proof novodels (sometimes called proof restrikes, which they are not), and also for the 1804 Class I dollars. Reverse Y was used for the 1804 Class II and Class III dollars.
Each of the dies was polished, as standard for proof production. Planchets were supplied, and they were also polished. Each of the Class I pieces struck before the new lower weight standard of 1837 should weigh 416 grains, and in fact, every one does--with one exception. The Parmelee specimen weighs 412 grains, close to the post-1837 standard, suggesting that it was the last of the 1804 Class I dollars minted. Some of the Class III pieces are actually on higher-weight planchets, adding to their mysterious origins. With the exception of the unique Class II piece that has a plain edge, all of the other 1804 dollars, Class I and Class III, have a lettered edge of the style used from 1794 to 1803.
The Class II and Class III pieces were all made no earlier than 1857, the date of the undertype on the unique Class II specimen. Some of the Class III pieces may have been made in the late 1850s, while others may have been made as late as the early 1870s.
Four of the six known Class III dollars were artificially worn, giving the appearance of coins long in circulation. This imbued the coins with a certain legitimacy in relation to the concocted stories of their discovery, intended to hide their true origins with persons closely tied to the Mint.
The Idler and Linderman specimens are unworn proofs. Since both of the original owners were Mint insiders, there was no reason to give those coins an artificially worn appearance. Today, both are in museum collections.
The Berg specimen was purportedly found in Austria and today is considered PR50. The Davis specimen when it first surfaced was alleged to be an original rather than a restrike, explaining the XF grade. The Ellsworth coin, now in the ANS, was first rumored to be the property of a former slave, explaining the XF grade and the surface nicks. The Adams-Carter specimen, the coin in the present sale, had a concocted provenance from an old English collection, and is graded AU58 by PCGS today.
Of the six Class III 1804 dollars known, three are now in museum collections. As the example with the least amount of artificial wear, the Adams-Carter specimen is by far the most desirable of the three Class III dollars available to collectors today.
Purpose - Presentation or Sale
At least two of the Class I 1804 dollars were specifically produced for presentation to foreign monarchs. It is believed that one or two others were also produced for the same purpose, although not delivered, eventually finding their way to collectors. The remaining Class I dollars, as well as the Class II and Class III dollars were undoubtedly made for collectors. There is no doubt that the artificially worn Class III coins were intended for distribution to collectors.
Registry of Known Specimens
The 15 known 1804 silver dollars include eight examples of Class I, one of Class II, and six of Class III. There are six 1804 silver dollars in museums and nine in private hands. A complete historical record is provided in Dave Bowers' book The Rare Silver Dollars Dated 1804 and the Exciting Adventures of Edmund Roberts. Like that in our Queller Family catalog last year, the current registry is abbreviated to include only the basic ownership information. We are indebted to P. Scott Rubin for his assistance, providing complete auction records for 50 different offerings since 1867.
Class I - The So-Called Originals
1. Sultan of Muscat Specimen.
PR68 PCGS. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; U.S. Department of State, c/o Edmund Roberts; Sayyid Sa'id-bin-Sultan (Sultan of Muscat), as part of a cased presentation set; unknown intermediaries; Charles A. Watters of Liverpool, England; Glendining & Co., London (5/1917), lot 227 (£330); Henry Chapman (6/1918); Virgil Brand, later, Brand Estate; Armin W. Brand; Horace Louis Philip Brand; Ruth and Charles Green; Charles Frederick Childs; F. Newell Childs; Charles Frederick Childs II; Walter H. Childs; Bowers and Merena (8/1999), lot 458, $4,140,000; Mack and Brent Pogue.
2. King of Siam Specimen
PR67 PCGS. Part of the King of Siam Cased presentation set. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; U.S. Department of State, c/o Edmund Roberts; King Ph'ra Nang Klao (Rama III) of Siam; presumed remaining in the family until about 1950; David F. Spink, who acquired the set personally; Elvin I. Unterman, via agent Lester Merkin; Bowers and Merena (10/1987), lot 2209, not sold; Rarities Group (Martin Paul) and Continental Rarity Coin Fund I (Greg Holloway); Superior (5/1990), lot 3364, $1,815,000 for the entire King of Siam set; Iraj Sayah and Terry Brand; Superior (1/1993), lot 1196; Spectrum Numismatics; private western collection (2001); Goldberg Coins (privately, 11/2005) to Steve Contursi and private collector.
3. Stickney Specimen
PR65 PCGS. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; Matthew Adams Stickney (1843); Henry Chapman (6/1907), lot 849, $3,600; Col. James W. Ellsworth; Wayte Raymond; William Cutler Atwater, later, Atwater Estate; B. Max Mehl (6/1946), lot 213, $10,500; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., later, Eliasberg Estate; Bowers and Merena (4/1997), lot 2199, $1,815,000; Spectrum Numismatics; private collection.
4. Dexter Specimen
PR65 PCGS. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; S.H. and H. Chapman; Adolph Weyl, Berlin (10/1884), lot 159, $216; S.H. and H. Chapman; Chapman Brothers (5/1885), lot 354, $1,000; Scott Stamp & Coin Company; James Vila Dexter, later, Dexter Estate; H.G. Brown; Lyman H. Low (10/1904), lot 431, $1,100; William Forrester Dunham; B. Max Mehl; B. Max Mehl (6/1941), lot 1058, $4,250; Charles M. Williams; Abe Kosoff and Sol Kaplan; Harold Bareford; Stack's (10/1981), lot 424, $280,000; RARCOA (Ed Milas); Leon Hendrickson and George Weingart; Auction '89 (RARCOA), lot 247, $990,000; American Rare Coin Fund, Ltd. (Hugh Sconyers, manager); Northern California collector; Superior (7/1993), lot 551, not sold; Northern California collector; Superior (5/1994), lot 761; Harlan White; private southeastern collection; Stack's (10/2000), lot 1167.
5. Parmelee Specimen
PR64 ICG. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; "an aged lady" who gave the coin to her son; E. Harrison Sanford; Edward Cogan (11/1874), lot 99, $700; Lorin G. Parmelee; New York Coin & Stamp Co. (6/1890), lot 817, $570; Byron Reed; Omaha City Library; Western Heritage Museum.
6. Mickley Specimen
PR62 NGC. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; Henry C. Young, a teller at the Bank of Pennsylvania (circa 1850); Joseph J. Mickley (circa 1858); W. Elliot Woodward (10/1867), lot 1676, $750; William A. Lilliendahl; Edward Cogan (1868); William Sumner Appleton (1868); Massachusetts Historical Society (1905); Stack's (10/1970), lot 625, $77,500; Chicago collection; Reed Hawn; Stack's (10/1993), lot 735, $475,000; David Queller; Queller Family Collection; Heritage (4/2008), lot 2089, $3,737,500.
7. Mint Cabinet Specimen
Impaired Proof, per conventional wisdom. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; Mint Cabinet; National Numismatic Collection; Smithsonian Institution.
8. Cohen Specimen
PR30. Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; Edward Cohen, Richmond, Virginia; Col. Mendes I. Cohen, Baltimore, Maryland; Edward Cogan (10/1875), lot 535, $325; Henry S. Adams; Edward Cogan (11/1876), lot 356, $500; Lorin G. Parmelee; Henry G. Sampson; Major William Boerum Wetmore; Chapman Brothers (6/1906), lot 208, $720; S.H. and H. Chapman; Thomas L. Elder; James H. Manning; B. Max Mehl (5/1921), lot 778, $2,500; Elmer S. Sears; B. Max Mehl; Lammot DuPont; Willis H. DuPont; unknown thieves, recovered in Zurich, Switzerland, on April 23, 1993; donated to the American Numismatic Association museum.
Class II - The So-Called First Restrike
9. Mint Cabinet Specimen
Proof. National Numismatic Collection; Smithsonian Institution. Struck over an 1857 Bern, Switzerland, shooting thaler.
Class III - The So-Called Second Restrikes
10. Linderman Specimen
PR63. Mint Director Henry R. Linderman, later, Linderman Estate; Lyman H. Low (6/1887), lot 40, not sold; Linderman Estate; J.W. Scott (2/1888), lot 40, $470; James Ten Eyck, later, Ten Eyck Estate; B. Max Mehl (5/1922), lot 394, $840; Lammot DuPont; Willis H. DuPont; unknown thieves; recovered March 16, 1982; loaned to American Numismatic Association; donated to Smithsonian Institution.
11. Idler Specimen
PR60 or slightly finer. Philadelphia Mint; William K. Idler; Captain John W. Haseltine; Stephen K. Nagy; Henry O. Granberg; William Cutler Atwater, later, Atwater Estate; B. Max Mehl (6/1946), lot 214, $2,875; Will W. Neil; B. Max Mehl (6/1947), lot 31, $3,125; Edwin Hydeman; Abe Kosoff (3/1961), lot 994, $29,000; Edwin Hydeman; World-Wide Coin Investments, Ltd. (John Hamrick and Warren Tucker); Bowers and Ruddy Galleries; Continental Coin Galleries; Mark Blackburn; Larry Demerer; Dr. Jerry Buss, via Superior Galleries; Superior Galleries (1/1985), lot 1337, $308,000; Aubrey and Adeline Bebee; American Numismatic Association.
12. Adams-Carter Specimen. The present example.
PR58 PCGS. Philadelphia Mint; Captain John W. Haseltine; Phineas Adams; Henry Ahlborn; John P. Lyman; S.H. Chapman (11/1913), lot 16, $340; Waldo C. Newcomer; Col. Edward H.R. Green, later, Col. Green estate; A.J. Allen; Frederick C.C. Boyd; Percy A. Smith; B. Max Mehl; B. Max Mehl (5/1950), lot 804, $3,250; Amon G. Carter, Sr.; Amon G. Carter, Jr., later, Carter Estate; Stack's (1/1984), lot 241, $198,000; John Nelson Rowe, III; L.R. French, Jr., later, French Estate; Stack's (1/1989), lot 15, $242,000; Rarities Group (Martin Paul); National Gold Exchange (Mark Yaffe); Heritage Rare Coin Galleries; Indianapolis Collection; unknown private collection; David Liljestrand; unknown Midwest collection; David Liljestrand; National Gold Exchange and Kenneth Goldman; Legend Numismatics; Phillip Flannagan; Bowers and Merena (11/2001), lot 4303, $874,000; Donald H. Kagin, Ph.D.; Bowers and Merena (8/2003), lot 2026, $1,207,500; West Coast collector, via Kevin Lipton; Heritage Rare Coin Galleries, $2,250,000; East Coast collector, the present consignor (3/2006) $2,475,000.
13. Berg Specimen
PR55 NGC. Philadelphia Mint; Captain John W. Haseltine; Koch & Co., Vienna; John W. Haseltine (3/1876), lot 194, $395; O.H. Berg; John W. Haseltine (5/1883), lot 568, $740; George W. Cogan; Thomas Harrison Garrett, later, Garrett Estate; Robert Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; Bowers and Ruddy (3/1980), lot 698, $400,000; Pullen & Hanks, later with Sam Colavita; Pullen & Hanks (2/1982), lot 1076, $190,000; Sam Colavita; Mike Levinson, in trade for eight acres of land in El Paso, Texas; Pennsylvania private collection; Bowers and Merena (6/1986), lot 1736, $187,000; Rarities Group (Martin Paul); American Coin Portfolios (Dan Drykerman); Laura Sommer.
14. Davis Specimen
PR40. Philadelphia Mint; probably, Captain John W. Haseltine; Robert Coulton Davis; John W. Haseltine; George M. Klein; W. Elliot Woodward (5/1888), lot 1940, $660; Robert Coulton Davis, via J. Colvin Randall, later, Davis Estate; John W. Haseltine; John M. Hale, later Hale Estate; R.H. Mull; Parke-Bernet Galleries (5/1950), lot 221, $3,400; Henry P. Graves, later, Graves Estate; Stack's (4/1954), lot 1333, $8,000; Ben H. Koenig; Stack's (12/1960), lot 576, $28,000; Samuel Wolfson; Stack's (5/1963), lot 1394, $36,000; Norton Simon; James H.T. McConnell, Jr., via Stack's.
15. Ellsworth Specimen, a.k.a. Driefus-Rosenthal Specimen
PR40. Philadelphia Mint; unknown intermediaries; W. Julius Driefus; Isaac Rosenthal; Col. James W. Ellsworth; Wayte Raymond; Farran Zerbe, via Guttag Brothers; Chase National Bank; American Numismatic Society.
The Adams-Carter 1804 Dollar
The Adams-Carter specimen of the 1804 Class III silver dollar has a long provenance dating to 1876 when Captain John W. Haseltine first displayed the coin. A well-known coin dealer of his time, Haseltine, who was born in Philadelphia on September 6, 1838, served as a captain in the Civil War with the second regiment of the Pennsylvania Cavalry. He saw action at Bull Run, Gettysburg, Gains Mills, and Deep Bottom during the siege of Richmond, where he was critically wounded. In 1869 Haseltine married Rose Idler, the daughter of William Idler. A member of Grand Army of the Republic Post 2 and also a Mason, Haseltine was closely acquainted with Oliver Bosbyshell, the U.S. Mint coiner. Haseltine concocted various "special provenances" for many of the rarities that he handled, when they actually came from the Mint. When he showed the "newly discovered" 1804 silver dollar, Haseltine reported that it came from a private English source. Haseltine eventually sold the coin to Phineas Adams
A Manchester, New Hampshire, collector, Phineas Adams owned this 1804 dollar from 1876 until about 1880. According to the 1880 Federal Census, a father and son, both named Phineas Adams, lived in Manchester. The father was born in Massachusetts about 1815 and was an agent for a cotton mill. Also born in Massachusetts about 1845, the younger Adams was listed as a cotton broker. One of the Adamses sold the 1804 dollar to Henry Ahlborn.
Henry Ahlborn was a Boston-area coin dealer who published coin premium lists. He was born in Germany in 1832 and immigrated in 1850. Listed as a coin dealer in the 1900 Federal Census, he lived in Malden, Massachusetts. His business location was 31 Exchange Street in Boston. Ahlborn soon placed the coin with Boston collector John P. Lyman.
John Pickering Lyman was a director and president of The National Webster Bank of Boston, later known as the Webster and Atlas National Bank of Boston. He was also a director of the Collateral Loan Company, a trustee of the Suffolk Savings Bank for Seamen, and a member of the Union Club. An 1868 Harvard graduate, Lyman, who was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on February 18, 1847, was the son of the elder John Pickering Lyman and Mary Rantoul Peabody. His sister and sole surviving relative at the time of his death lived at the family homestead in New Hampshire. On November 7, 1913, S. Hudson Chapman sold the Lyman Collection. The buyer of the 1804 dollar was Waldo Newcomer.
Waldo Newcomer displayed his prize at the 1914 American Numismatic Society meeting. A banker in Baltimore, Newcomer was also a director for "numerous railroads, utilities, and other corporations," according to the obituary in the September 1934 issue of The Numismatist. Newcomer was born in Maryland on September 14, 1867, and died on July 29, 1934. He did well in business, although reports suggest that he lost nearly everything in the 1929 stock market crash and following Great Depression. Walter Breen claimed that he committed suicide, although The Numismatist obituary states that he died of heart disease. Newcomer allowed B. Max Mehl to handle this piece on consignment in 1932, and Mehl sold it to Col. E.H.R. Green.
Edward Howland Robinson Green was no stranger to numismatics or philately. The son of Hetty Green, the "Witch of Wall Street," he dabbled in many fields. The 1804 silver dollar was a prize of his coin collection. He also owned all five 1913 nickels, and at one time he owned the entire sheet of the famous "Inverted Jenny" airmail stamp. After Green's death in 1936, Chase National Bank handled his collection. Several years later, in 1943, the 1804 dollar was sold to A.J. Allen of Plainfield, New Jersey.
Little is known of A.J. Allen, although a 1938-39 Plainfield city directory lists Albert J. Allen as a broker. The 1920 Federal Census lists Albert J. Allen, born in Maine circa 1882, and his son, also Albert J. Allen, born in New Jersey about 1913, both living in Plainfield. F.C.C. Boyd acquired this piece from Allen, either directly or indirectly, in 1946.
Frederick C.C. Boyd was born on April 10, 1886, in New York City and died on September 7, 1958. He began collecting at age 12 or 13 and continued for the rest of his life. Boyd held a variety of positions before retiring in 1946 as vice president of the Union News Company. Since he bought the 1804 dollar in that same year, perhaps it was a retirement present for himself. Boyd also served on the boards of the National Recovery Administration during and after the Great Depression and the Office of Price Administration during World War II. Boyd apparently sold his 1804 dollar a short time later to Percy A. Smith via Numismatic Gallery, but not as part of the World's Greatest Collection sales, which were held beforehand.
Percy Arnold Smith of Portland, Oregon, was born there about 1884. Smith was the president and general manager of the West-Made Desk Company. He displayed the coin in September 1946 at a meeting of the Oregon Numismatic Society. Late in 1949, Smith sold the 1804 dollar to B. Max Mehl.
Fort Worth coin dealer Mehl, a tireless promoter of the coin hobby throughout the first half of the 20th century, included the sale in his May 1950 Golden Jubilee Sale, featuring the Jerome Kern Collection and other properties. The buyer was Amon G. Carter, Sr., who paid $3,250 for it.
Amon G. Carter, Sr.
Fort Worth, Texas, newspaperman Amon G. Carter, Sr., was born in Wise County, Texas, on December 11, 1879. As a teenager, he worked in a boarding house, waiting tables and washing dishes. He also sold sandwiches to passengers at the train station in Bowie, Texas, about 90 miles northwest of Fort Worth. His newspaper career began in the advertising field, and by age 44 he was president and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A couple years later he acquired a morning newspaper, the Forth Worth Record, from William Randolph Hearst.
Amon G. Carter, Sr. became synonymous with Fort Worth. His corporation, Carter Publications, Inc., was the owner of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, WBAP radio, and the local NBC affiliate television station. The Amon G. Carter Foundation comments: "Fort Worth and much of West Texas depended on Carter Publications every day for their news and information. Thousands more had Mr. Carter to thank for their employment." Carter was also involved in the oil business and was a director of Aviation Corporation, later known as American Airlines. According to the foundation that bears his name: "Amon Carter was a tireless promoter of Fort Worth and played a major role in its development. He left many marks on his community and a legacy which continues to reflect his ideals." Amon Carter was also a numismatist, and he acquired his 1804 silver dollar in 1950. His death came five years later.
The Amon G. Carter Foundation (www.agcf.org http://www.agcf.org/ ) was established in 1945 and continues to play an important role in local projects. By the end of 2005, the organization had made charitable gifts in excess of $335 million.
Amon G. Carter, Jr.
Amon G. Carter, Jr. was born in Fort Worth on December 23, 1919, and died in Dallas on July 24, 1982. He served in World War II with the Army Field Artillery in Northern Africa and was a German prisoner of war. Considered a shy man, Amon Carter, Jr., carried on his father's business interests as publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and as a director of American Airlines. He was instrumental in moving the airline's headquarters from New York to Fort Worth. Carter also carried on his father's philanthropic and numismatic tradition.
After the death of Amon G. Carter, Jr., the Carter family consigned the collection to Stack's, which presented it for sale as part of a January 1984 auction. At the sale, John Nelson Rowe, III, was the high bidder, acting on behalf of L.R. French, Jr., a Texas numismatist from Midland County, halfway between Fort Worth and El Paso. The French Collection was sold in January 1989, with Stack's conducting the auction.
Once the French auction had concluded, several dealer intermediaries including our firm handled the coin, including four years in an unidentified Midwestern collection. In 1998 Laurie Sperber and her firm, Legend Numismatics, Inc., placed the Adams-Carter specimen with Phillip Flannagan, an Ohio businessman. Flannagan sold the dollar and the rest of his early collection to raise funds for a Christian school and youth camp near his home. Several more dealer intermediaries handled the Adams-Carter 1804 silver dollar prior to its acquisition by our present consignor.
Acquisition and Ownership
The acquisition and ownership of an 1804 silver dollar is a yardstick by which all great numismatic collections are measured, as it has been for more than a century and a half. There are many reasons why that is so. Known as the King, the 1804 silver dollar is the single most famous numismatic rarity, attracting more attention than any other single coin. Several books, numerous articles, and many auction appearances have filled countless published pages over the past 150 years. Previous owners rank among the most famous numismatists, and in some cases among the famous personalities in this country. Limited market availability means that the successful capture of one of these prizes can take a lifetime.
Once this specimen is successfully acquired, it may be some time before another example appears in the marketplace. 1804 silver dollars appear in auctions every two or three years, on average. Fifty auction records exist for all 15 1804 silver dollars, and the provenance record reads like a numismatic Who's Who. A few important owners of 1804 silver dollars include Virgil Brand, the King of Siam, William Cutler Atwater, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., William Forrester Dunham, Harold Bareford, Lorin G. Parmelee, Byron Reed, Joseph J. Mickley, Reed Hawn, David Queller, Lammot and Willis DuPont, Henry Linderman, James Ten Eyck, Dr. Jerry Buss, Aubrey and Adeline Bebee, Waldo Newcomer, Col. E.H.R. Green, F.C.C. Boyd, Amon G. Carter, Sr., Amon G. Carter, Jr., the Garrett family, Robert Coulton Davis, and Farran Zerbe. What numismatist today would not want his or her name added to such an amazing and prestigious list?
From The Joseph C. Thomas Collection.(Registry values: N1) (PCGS# 6908)
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