Bowers and Merena and Teletrade Realize Over $15 Million in LA

by Stack's Bowers Galleries on August 11, 2009 · 0 comments

IRVINE, Calif. – Bowers and Merena Auctions, America’s leading rare coin and currency auction house, conducted its second of two official American Numismatic Association auctions for 2009 over five live sessions last week at the Los Angeles Convention Center as the Official Auctioneer of the ANA World’s Fair of Money.

Bowers and Merena and Teletrade Auctioned Rare Coins

Teletrade Certified Coin & Currency Auctions, sister company to Bowers and Merena, served as the official online auctioneer for the show, conducting auctions on Sunday and Monday, August 9-10. Together they realized a total in excess of $15 million.


"It has been a tremendous opportunity to work with the ANA over this past year, first in Portland and especially now in our own backyard of Los Angeles. The ANA consistently presents a first rate show and it was a privilege to play such an important role in this event as the only official auctioneer," said Steve Deeds, president of Bowers and Merena.

"We are very pleased with the results of the auction. This was our second largest auction in the past five years by both value and number of lots, and under the present economy I think that speaks volumes."


The standout highlight of the auction was lot 1018, a Condition Census 1796 Small Eagle Quarter, B-2, Rarity-3, graded MS-64 by PCGS and realizing an impressive $103,500. An issue that enjoys strong and unflagging demand among type collectors, the 1796 is the first Quarter struck in the United States Mint and the only one of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle design.

1796 Small Eagle Quarter

Two die marriages are known, of which the High 6 B-2 combination is the more plentiful in numismatic circles. "Plentiful" is a relative term in this context, for the 1796 as an issue is a scarce coin when viewed in the wider context of U.S. numismatics. Mint State coins are rare, and they can actually be described as very rare from a market availability standpoint. Indeed, most high-grade examples are in tightly held collections and trade only once in a long while, with this prime example logged in with a PCGS Population (both die combinations) of only 7 with 8 finer through MS-67, yielding an exceptional realization. 

Additional U.S. highlights of Bowers and Merena’s Official ANA Los Angeles Auction include lot 253, an Extremely Rare Proof 1864 L on Ribbon Indian Cent, the unique Snow-PR3 Discovery Coin, graded Proof-64 RD and realizing a notable $94,875.

1864 Indian Cent

A legendary and well-known rarity in the proof Indian Cent series, the 1864 L on Ribbon has an estimated mintage of just 20 pieces. The discovery piece for the Snow-PR3 die marriage remains unique, and it was returned to Bowers and Merena for the 2009 Los Angeles ANA Auction after appearing in the sale of the Herman Halpern & Gerald O. Warner Collections, in March 1997 at lot 232.

The Annapolis Collection produced several noteworthy lots including lot 4753, a High Condition Census 1909-D Indian Eagle, The William Thomas Michaels-John Kutasi Specimen, graded MS-66 by PCGS and realizing $53,475.

1909-D Indian Eagle

It boasts a PCGS Population of just 5, with a mere two finer graded MS-67. Also lot 4808, a Condition Census 1916-S Indian Eagle graded PCGS MS-66 with a realization of $47,150.

Currency made an outstanding showing as well, topped by lot 3216, a Rare $100 California Gold Bank Note, San Francisco, CA, $100 1870 Fr. 1162, The First National Gold Bank, Charter #1741, PMG NET Choice Fine 15, Restoration, which realized an extraordinary $207,000. Considered to be one of the greatest National Bank Note rarities of all time, this $100 Gold Bank Note from charter #1741 San Francisco is one of only eight known examples in private hands and three of the Friedberg number, this being equal to the third finest.

Other top-notch U.S. rare coin highlights include:

Lot 645 1925-S Buffalo Nickel. MS-66 (NGC). $87,400

Lot 1699 1838 Gobrecht Silver Dollar. Name Omitted. Judd-84 Restrike, Pollock-93. Rarity-5. Proof-65 (PCGS). CAC. $126,500

Lot 3151 Fr. 2220-F. 1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Very Fine 30. $83,375

Lot 4224 1852 Augustus Humbert. $50 Gold. K-11. Rarity-5. Reeded Edge. 887 THOUS. AU-58 (PCGS). $70,150

Lot 4313 1808 Capped Bust Left Quarter Eagle. BD-1, HBCC-3017, the only known dies. Rarity-4. MS-61 (PCGS). $161,000 

World and ancient items did extremely well in the auction over two dedicated sessions, realizing more than $2.3 million.


"We presented some really outstanding lots in this auction, and judging from the lot viewing traffic and the activity of the two live floor sessions, the interest level was quite high and very enthusiastic," said Richard Ponterio, executive vice president of Bowers and Merena and founder of Ponterio & Associates.

"We are reaching the whole world with our sessions, many collectors in their home countries looking for coins that represent them and their collections, whose own economies may allow them more purchasing power during this time."


The eyes of the world were on several key lots, especially lot 8701, a unique Poland Second Republic Gold Constitution 5 Zlotych that realized $132,250. According to the Parchimowicz catalog of Polish coins, there were a total of no more than four Constitution 5 Zlotych struck in gold, comprised of 3 different varieties: this 81 Pearl, a 100 Pearl, and two 100 Pearl with raised initials "SW," "WG," and the date "3/V." Believed to be UNIQUE as stated by catalogers at Sotheby’s, CNG and Stack’s when previously sold at auction and purported to be the only gold Constitution in private hands. This piece is of the highest rarity and utmost importance with an impeccable and impressive pedigree, and was auctioned for well above catalog estimate.

Also garnering worldwide attention for weeks leading up to the auction was lot 8666, an attractive Manen Oban 10 Ryo with original inking in Extremely Fine condition that realized $43,700. A beautiful specimen, it is the only type that was produced using machinery. In addition, lot 8190, a scarce Lebanon 5 Livres realized an astonishing $23,575 after a session of highly spirited floor and phone bidding during the live auction. This coin catalogs for $250 in the current Standard Catalog of World Paper Money.

Chinese coinage was very popular, as well, topped by lot 9286, a China Hunan Dollar, Year 11 (1922), graded MS-66 by NGC, which realized $18,400. It was followed by lot 9264, a beautiful large character Dragon and Peacock China Pattern Dollar, Year 12 (1923), graded MS-65 by NGC, that realized $14,950; and lot 9257, a Rare and Choice China Pattern Dollar, 1910, in NGC MS-65, that realized $13,800.

The spotlight collection of the world sessions was The Kent M. Ponterio Collection of the Coinage of Mexico Struck During the Reign of Charles and Johanna, a collection of about 100 lots that enjoyed a 98 percent sell-through. It was originally assembled as a numismatic study collection focused on assayer and mint mark combinations, and contains many pieces that largely contributed to the proper cataloging of the series, as well as the radical reassignment of assayer sequencing.

Top lots included 9092, a Very Rare and seldom-offered Mexico Carlos and Johanna Early Series 3 Reales Assayer that realized $23,000, and lot 9153, Mexico Carlos and Johanna Late Series 4 Reales, an Extremely Rare issue without Assayer or Mint Mark, which realized $12,075.

Additional U.S. coin highlights include:

Lot 130 1793 Chain Cent. S-3. Rarity-3-. AMERICA. No Periods. EF-40 (PCGS).  $50,600

Lot 139 1793 Liberty Cap Cent. S-13. Rarity-4-. VF-30 (PCGS). $57,500

Lot 413 1922 No D Lincoln Cent. FS-401 (FS-013.2). Die Pair II. Strong Reverse. MS-64 RB (NGC).  $46,000

Lot 738 1796 Draped Bust Dime. JR-4. Rarity-4. MS-65 (NGC).  $48,300

Lot 1697 1836 Gobrecht Silver Dollar. Name on Base. Judd-60 Restrike, Pollock-65. Rarity-5. Proof-64 (PCGS).  $47,150

Lot 4119 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). OGH.  $80,500

Lot 4120 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Round. MS-64 (PCGS).  $91,425

Lot 4441 1862 Three-Dollar Gold Piece. Proof-66 Ultra Cameo (NGC).  $74,750

Lot 4487 1802/1 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle. BD-7, HBCC-3076, Miller-52. Rarity-5. MS-64 (PCGS).  $54,625

Lot 4547 1864 Liberty Half Eagle. Proof-65 Deep Cameo (PCGS).  $86,250

Lot 4593 1904 Liberty Half Eagle. Proof-67 Cameo (NGC).  $46,000

Lot 4607 1909 Indian Half Eagle. Proof-67 * (NGC).  $50,600

Lot 4623 1910 Indian Half Eagle. Proof-67 * (NGC).  $48,300

Lot 4660 1797 Capped Bust Right Eagle. Large Eagle. BD-4, HBCC-3179, Taraszka-12. Rarity-4+. MS-61 (PCGS). $51,750

Lot 4737 1907 Indian Eagle. Judd-1774 (Judd-1901), Pollock-1995. Rarity-3. Wire Rim. MS-65 (PCGS).  $64,975

Lot 4747 1908 Indian Eagle. Motto. Proof-67 (NGC).  $54,625

Lot 4791 1914 Indian Eagle. Proof-66 (NGC).  $46,000

Lot 5014 1911 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Proof-66 (NGC).  $54,050

Lot 5020 1912 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Proof-67 (NGC).  $69,000

Lot 5021 1912 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Proof-66 (NGC).  $55,200

Lot 5104 1931 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. MS-65 (PCGS). $80,500 

Additional U.S. and world currency highlights include:

Lot 3044 Fr. 122. 1901 $10 Legal Tender Note. PCGS Gem New 66PPQ. $10,638

Lot 3074 Fr. 263. 1886 $5 Silver Certificate. PCGS Gem New 66PPQ. $26,450

Lot 3078 Fr. 271. 1899 $5 Silver Certificate. PCGS Superb Gem New 67PPQ. $10,925

Lot 3080 Fr. 282. 1923 $5 Silver Certificate. PMG Gem Uncirculated 66EPQ. $8,913

Lot 3151 Fr. 2220-F. 1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Very Fine 30. $83,375

Lot 3187 Fr. 1935-D. 1976 $2 Federal Reserve Note. ERROR. Double Print Serial Number.  PMG Choice Uncirculated 64EPQ. $12,075

Lot 3214 San Francisco, CA. $10 1870 Fr. 1142. The First National Gold Bank. Charter #1741. PCGS APPARENT  Very Fine 30. Minor Edge Restorations. $44,850

Lot 8043 CANADA. 1,000 Dollars, 1935. P-56. $19,550

Lot 8045 CANADA. 1,000 Dollars, 2.1.1937. P-65. $21,275

Lot 8074 CHINA. Russo-Asiatic Bank. 50 Dollars, ND (1910). P-S465.  $8,625

Lot 8146 HONG KONG. 500 Dollars, 1.6.1934. P-59s. $8,050


Lot 8278 RUSSIA–EAST SIBERIA. 5,000 Rubles, 1920. P-S1196b. $6,900

Additional world coin highlights include:

Lot 8043 CANADA. 1,000 Dollars, 1935. P-56.  $19,550

Lot 8045 CANADA. 1,000 Dollars, 2.1.1937. P-65.  $21,275

Lot 8361 KINGDOM OF MACEDON. Alexander I, 498-454 B.C. AR Octadrachm (27.59 gms). $11,500

Lot 8387 KINGDOM OF LYDIA. Kroisos, 561-546 B.C. AV Stater (8.02 gms, Sardes Mint). $10,925

Lot 8400 SICULO PUNIC. Panoramus. AR Tetradrachm (16.95 gms), ca. 350-300 B.C. $11,500

Lot 8592 GUATEMALA. 10 Pesos Gold Essai Proof Pattern by Jean LaGrange, Chief Engraver of the Paris Mint, 1894-A. $16,100

Lot 8640 ITALY. 50 Lire, 1936. $14,950

Lot 8690 PERU. 4 Escudos, (1)708-H. $14,375

Lot 8716 RUSSIA. 5 Rubles, 1762. $23,000

Lot 8717 RUSSIA. 10 Rubles, 1804. $29,900

Lot 8720 RUSSIA. 10 Rubles, 1898-AT. $17,250

Lot 9164 MEXICO. Carlos and Johanna, Late Series, 4 Reales Assayer S/L (S/L-M) V over Inverted V in "HISPANIARVM," ND (ca. 1553). $13,800

Lot 9258 CHINA. Pattern Dollar "Long Whisker Dragon," Year 3 (1911). $26,450

Lot 9287 CHINA. Hupeh. Tael, Year 30 (1904). $13,225

Lot 9404 GREAT BRITAIN. Pound, 1642. $14,950

Lot 9495 PHILIPPINES. 8 Reales, 1830. $34,500

Lot 9533 THAILAND. 2 Keping, 1835. $10,350

Prices realized for all lots in the Bowers and Merena Official Auction of the ANA Los Angeles World’s Fair of Money are available online at Bowers and Merena’s next auction will be the Official Pre-show Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Philadelphia Expo scheduled for September 21-23, 2009. Complete lot viewing and auction schedules are available at, and U.S. catalogs will be available in print and online by early September.

About Bowers and Merena Auctions

Bowers and Merena Auctions was founded in 1983 and has grown to become the world’s preeminent numismatic auctioneer with more than half a billion dollars in rare coin and currency sales. They have been awarded the prestigious honor of Official Auctioneer for the 2009 American Numismatic Association Conventions in Portland and Los Angeles, in addition to their continued service as Official Auctioneer of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Conventions three times every year.

Bowers and Merena has handled four of the five most valuable United States coin collections ever sold, including the Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection, the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection, the Garrett Collection for The Johns Hopkins University, and the Norweb Collection. In 2008, Bowers and Merena Auctions acquired Ponterio & Associates, Inc., which now serves as Bowers and Merena’s auction division for world and ancient coins and currency. Bowers and Merena Rare Coin Galleries offers direct buying and selling of exceptional quality gold and silver rare coins.

For more information about Bowers and Merena’s Official Auction of the ANA Los Angeles World’s Fair of Money in August, call 800.458.4646.  For media inquiries, ask for President Steve Deeds. Complete prices realized for all past auctions are available at

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