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Press Release - January 14, 2008
$10 Million Queller Family Collection of United States Silver Dollars, 1794-1935 to be Offered at Central States Auction
Includes 1804 Silver Dollar Rarity
Dallas, TX: A legendary 1804 Bust dollar will be one of the many highlights when The Queller Family Collection of United States Silver Dollars, 1794-1935, assembled by David Queller, is auctioned by Heritage Auction Galleries at their official Central States Auctions, April 16-19, 2008. Heritage will be offering Signature and Platinum Night sessions of coins at the CSNS convention in Rosemont (Illinois), as well as Currency.
"This is an amazing collection," commented Heritage Vice President Leo Frese. "The quality of the individual coins, and the completeness of the series - especially considering the number of ultra-rarities included - suggest that this is the finest collection of silver dollars ever assembled. It includes many incredible rarities, including the 1804 dollar, an 1870-S Seated dollar, and a Gem 1802 Proof dollar. No one else has accomplished such a feat in terms of both quality and scope."
"David Queller's Silver Dollar Collection," continued Frese, "represents four decades of dedicated collecting. He grew up during the 1930s, when it was attractive for him to sell copies of the Saturday Evening Post to his schoolteachers to clear a quarter-dollar profit. Hustling to earn more, he began to deliver the Sunday edition of the NY Daily News to his classmates during the wee hours, all for a one-dollar profit. His father offered to pay him two dollars to give up the scheme and get a proper night's sleep, but David already recognized the importance of earning in motivating saving. Understanding the importance of one dollar ultimately led to his creating the greatest collection of American silver dollars."
Mr. Queller bought his first Red Book in 1954, but didn't begin collecting coins until the 1960s. Since his collecting experience as a boy had been limited to stamps and cacheted envelopes, he didn't begin pursuing rare coins until he was well grounded in the basics. His first collecting interest was half dollars, and over several decades he assembled what was arguably the finest collection of halves ever! By the late 1960s, he had expanded his collection into the dollar denomination, and the Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars became a family effort.
After four decades of dedicated collecting, the collection is remarkable for its breadth and quality. It contains:
- Over 100 different Bust dollars, mostly different BB numbers
- Complete Seated dollars, nearly all in Mint State
- Complete Seated dollar Proofs (many from the Amon Carter Collection)
- Complete Trade dollars in Mint State
- Complete Morgan dollar Proofs
- Complete Peace dollars in Mint State
"Without question," continued Frese, "the star of the collection is the fantastic Queller-Hawn-Lilliendahl-Mickley 1804 Class I silver dollar. This 1804 Silver Dollar is one of the most storied and desirable of all American rarities. One of only fifteen total 1804 dollars known, it is one of only eight known Class I examples (of which only five are available to collectors). It also comes with an incredible pedigree, tracing back to Pennsylvanian Joseph J. Mickley, who acquired it about 1850; Mickley's collection started with his search for a cent from his 1799 birth year. W. Elliot Woodward auctioned Mickley's Collection in 1867, and William A. Lilliendahl acquired the 1804 dollar. The next owner was William Sumner Appleton, who ultimately bequeathed it (and most of his collection) to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1903. The Society deaccessioned most of their numismatic items in 1970, and after a few years in a private Chicago Collection, Texan Reed Hawn acquired the Mickley Specimen. David Queller purchased the Reed Hawn 1804 dollar in 1993."
As most numismatists know, no silver dollars were struck in 1804 with that date (Mint records indicating 19,570 silver dollars struck were all dated 1803 and earlier). The Class I 1804 silver dollars were actually struck about 1834 or 1835; these are the pieces formerly called "Originals," and are the most important pieces. They were intended to be used for diplomatic and other presentation purposes, and were struck by the Mint on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to facilitate potential trade negotiations. Mint personnel checked old records, and discovered that silver dollars and eagles were last minted in 1804, so new dies were prepared with the old dates, and the 1804 silver dollar was created. The Class II and Class III coins, formerly called Restrikes, were coined from the late 1850s to the early 1870s, and were struck by the Mint for sale to coin collectors.
The 1870-S silver dollar is another of the super-rare coins sprinkled throughout American numismatics - prohibitively rare, according to some. Certainly, it is in a different class than the "incredibly rare" 1871-CC, 1873-CC, or the phantom 1873-S. The Seated dollar series has so many rarities that a complete set is a major accomplishment, but none reach the level of the 1870-S. According to Mint records, none were produced; of course, the verified existence of survivors (even though less than one dozen coins) is more persuasive evidence than the records. The same could be said for the unreported 1870-S half dime and 1870-S three-dollar piece (both unique). The pedigree for this extraordinary coin, reportedly from the Matthew Adams Stickney Collection, includes Col. E.H.R. Green, James Kelly, Jack Roe, Charles Williams, Abe Kosoff, Samuel Wolfson, and R. L. Miles, Jr. This is one of the rarest United States coins struck for circulation, and to own one is the mark of a great collection.
"Another great rarity from the Queller Family Collection of United States Silver Dollar is his Proof 1802 Bust dollar; certified as a Gem Cameo Proof by PCGS, this incredible coin just screams quality. In today's market, it will take a serious commitment to buy such a coin, imbued with rarity, quality, and eye appeal. This is unquestionably one of the greatest American numismatic treasures. This is an opportunity that cannot be ignored, as it is one of the finest early proofs prepared by the American Mint," concluded Frese.
Additional Highlights from the Queller Family Collection:
SEATED DOLLAR PROOFS
In addition to the Queller Collection, Central States will also feature Part Three of the extraordinary Seated proofs of the Kaufman Collection. To discuss consigning coins or currency to the Official Auctions at the Central States Numismatic Society convention (April 16-19, 2008), call the Heritage Consignor Hotlines at 800-872-6467 ext. 1000 (Coins); or ext. 1001 (Currency). The consignment deadline is March 6, 2008.
For more information about Heritage's auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com.
To reserve your copy of any Heritage auction catalog, please contact Client Services at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 150, or visit www.HA.com/Catalog to order by email.