| Eagle dollars, was absorbed by a major
West Coast collection that is being assembled jointly
by two hobbyists. Pilitowski calls the West Coast collection
the Cardinal collection.
Pilitowski declined to reveal the transaction price
as well as the identities of the buyers.
What he did reveal is that the Cardinal collection
already had in it such pieces as a dollar discovered
at the 1995 American Numismatic Association convention
in Anaheim, Calif., an AU-53 1798 dollar, B-26, which
is the finest known and sole AU piece known.
Also in the set is the Buddy Ebsen 1801, B-1, dollar,
which is also the finest known at borderline uncirculated,
The numbers are Bolender numbers developed by Milfred
H. Bolender in his book United States Early Silver
Dollars from 1794 to 1803.
Bolender auctioned his collection of nearly 200 pieces
on feb. 23, 1952, Pilitowski said, and the vast majority
of the pieces were acquired by Maryland numismatist
K.P. Austin. Austins collection was sold privately
about 1962 by Alfred J. Ostheimer. Years later selected
specimens under the pseudonym of Clarke Gilhauses
entered the marketplace, Pilitowski said. Not since
the Austin-Ostheimer private treaty sale has such
a magnificent array of early dollars been sold
intact. he added.
Among the individual items sold were an AU-55 1795,
B-15; an EF-40 9x7 stars, small letters 1797, B-2,
condition census; an MS-63 1798, B-3, finest known;
an AU-58 1799, B-9; an MS-62 1799/8, B-3, condition
census; AU-55 1800, B-14, condition census, second
finest known; an AU-55 1801, B-1, condition census;
AU-58 1802, B-6; AU-53 1802/1, B-4, and an MS-61 1803,
B-4, condition census and finest known. All of these
pieces have been graded and authenticated by a third-party
The MS-63 1798 is a B-3 (BB-94) that appears to be
Bolenders personal specimen. It was graded and
Photo Proofed by the Numismatic Guaranty Corp. of
It is the sole known mint state coin, an R-4 rarity,
meaning 200 pieces are estimated to exist in all grades.
It combines the third Knob-9 obverse die
used for the year (the first two obverse dies being
used for the last of the Draped Bust/Small Eagle dollars),
with the first arc star pattern reverse
die used for the year.
Bolenders numbering of B-3 places this as the
very first Draped Bust/Heraldic Eagle die variety
to be coined by the United States. Q. David Bowers
numbering of BB-94 places this as the fourth Draped
Bust/Heraldic Eagle dollar die variety overall, but
the first coined with the arc stars pattern
on the reverse.
Also Photo Proofed was the AU-53 1798 dollar, B-26
(BB-114), which was graded by the Professional Coin
Grading Service of Newport Beach, Calif. This coin
is an R-6, with in all grades. It is the one discovered
at the 1995 ANA convention in Anaheim. Its pedigree,
Pilitowski noted, takes it back to Col. E.H.R. Green,
son of the famed Hetty Green, the witch of Wall
Street, who was as much noted for her extreme
frugality as Col. Green became known for his willingness
to spend money on coins and other things.
Pilitowski said the acquisition of the Denver collection
by the assemblers of the Cardinal collection has resulted
in some duplication. He will handle the sale of these
Also noted was how Pilitowski, a 41-year-old specialist
in Early American coinage, first made contact with
the hobbyists on both ends of the transaction: the
free classified ads in Numismatic News.