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    Description

    1880 Proof Coiled Hair Stella, Unc Details
    Judd-1660, Pollock-1860, JD-1
    Rarest Four Dollar Issue

    1880 $4 Coiled Hair, Judd-1660, Pollock-1860, JD-1, Low R.7 -- Polished -- PCGS Proof Genuine. Unc Details. The 1879 and 1880 Coiled Hair stellas and the 1880 Flowing Hair are among the great rarities of American gold coinage, all being much more elusive than their 1879 Flowing Hair cousins. Only a handful of specimens survive of each design and the 1880 Coiled Hair is, by any measure, the rarest of the four types. PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population of the 1880 Coiled Hair at 8-10 examples in all grades. A roster of the nine examples known to us is listed below, including one specimen that resides in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. In comparison, the current 2020 Guide Book estimates 17 survivors of the 1880 Flowing Hair stella, and 12 examples of the 1879 Coiled Hair.

    Although the stellas were ostensibly produced as patterns for a proposed international goloid coinage, and included in three piece goloid sets offered to favored collectors, the stellas were actually struck on half eagle planchets that were shaved down to the proper weight. This accounts for the many parallel die striations seen on all examples of this issue. Traditionally, it was believed that Charles Barber designed the Flowing Hair stellas and George Morgan created the Coiled Hair design, but recent research by Roger W. Burdette suggests Barber may have been responsible for both motifs.

    The present coin displays sharply detailed design elements throughout and the deeply reflective fields show only minor signs of contact. Some minor hairlines are evident at certain angles and the central devices exhibit the always-seen die striations, with a uniform horizontal orientation. The vivid yellow-gold surfaces have a bright sheen from the noted cleaning, but the overall presentation is most appealing. This piece traces its history to the famous Dallas Bank Collection, a mark of distinction for any coin. It should find a home in an advanced pattern collection or gold type set.

    Roster of 1880 Coiled Hair Stellas
    1. Delp Specimen. PR67 Cameo NGC. Winner Delp Collection (Stack's, 11/1972), lot 792, realized $35,000; Summer FPL (Stack's, 1997) offered as part of a four-piece set for $875,000; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2005), lot 30044, realized $977,500; Tacasyl Collection (Bonhams, 9/2013), lot 1011, realized $2,574,000.
    2. DuPont Specimen. PR67 Cameo NGC. S. Hallock du Pont Collection (Sotheby's, 9/1982), lot 252, part of a four-piece set of stellas with the coins offered in individual lots, realized $102,300; Chicago Sale (Superior, 8/1991), lot 707, realized $440,000; Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2015), lot 5301, realized $1,821,250.
    3. Trompeter Specimen. PR65 Cameo PCGS. CAC. Will Neil Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1947), lot 2605, sold as part of a set for $3,850; Grant Pierce; 1976 ANA (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 2920, sold as part of a set for $225,000; Western Collection (Stack's, 12/1981), lot 1139, realized $135,000; Ed Trompeter Collection (Superior, 2/1992), lot 136, realized $264,000; Orlando Sale (Superior, 8/1992), lot 599; 60th Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/1995), lot 1548, realized $308,000; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 6/2015), lot 4230, realized $1,116,250.
    4. Eliasberg Specimen. PR65 NGC. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Louis E. Eliasberg, Jr.; United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 319, realized $99,000; Holecek Family Trust (Stack's, 10/2000), lot 1625.
    5. Memorable Specimen. PR65 Cameo PCGS. Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 282; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 3/1999), lot 136; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 1/2000), lot 352.
    6. Kern Specimen. PR62 NGC. Golden Jubilee Sale (B. Max Mehl, 5/1950), lot 245, sold as part of a set for $4,100; Amon Carter, Sr.; Amon Carter, Jr.; Carter Family Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 634, realized $72,250; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 7/2004), lot 1306; Santa Clara Sale (Superior, 7/2005), lot 425, realized $618,125; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 4035, realized $575,000; Los Angeles Signature (Heritage, 7/2009), lot 1246, realized $546,250.
    7. Davies Specimen. PR61 NGC. Davies-Niewoehner Collections (Paramount, 2/1975), lot 547, realized $67,500; Bowers and Ruddy Rare Coin Review #26, p. 64; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2000), lot 7519; Robert Swan & Rod Sweet Collections (Bowers and Merena, 3/2004), lot 2620.
    8. Dallas Bank Specimen PCGS Proof Genuine, Unc Details. Dr. John Wilkison; Tennessee Coin Exchange; Julian Leidman and Mike Brownlee; Paramount International Coin; H. Jeff Browning; Dallas Bank Collection (Sotheby's and Stack's, 10/2000), lot 363; Rarities Auction (Stack's Bowers, 10/2015), lot 110, realized $258,500. The present coin.
    9. Lilly Specimen. PR64. Josiah K. Lilly; National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, grade per Garrett and Guth.

    Additional Appearances
    A. Proof. H.P. Smith Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 5/1906), lot 1456, part of a three-piece Goloid set, with the coins offered in individual lots.
    B. Proof. Dewitt Smith; sold to Virgil Brand in 1908, Brand Journal number 46965.
    C. Proof. Edgar Adams; sold to Virgil Brand in 1911, Brand Journal number 57094.
    D. Proof. F.C.C Boyd; sold to Virgil Brand in 1921, Brand Journal number 105730.
    E. Proof. Albert A. Grinnell Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1943), lot 187; Fred E. Olsen Collection (B. Max Mehl, 11/1944), lot 621, part of a four-piece set of stellas with the coins offered in individual lots.
    F. Proof. King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 323, purchased by Baldwin.
    G. Proof. Public Auction Sale (Kreisberg-Schulman, 2/1961), lot 1150, part of a four-piece set of stellas.
    H. Proof. Golden Sale of the Century, Part II (Kreisberg-Schulman, 1/1963), lot 1940, part of a four-piece set of stellas, with the coins offered individually.
    I. PR64 Cameo PCGS. CAC. A specimen purchased by Legend Numismatics in a private treaty transaction, possibly sold to Robert Simpson. This may be a 10th example or a reappearance of one of the coins above.
    From The Poulos Family Collection.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Poulos Family Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    14th-18th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 26
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