Most Important Collection of the 20th Century
0

23 posts in this topic

113 posts

Dave Bowers said that the Garrett collection was the most important collection of the 19th century. What would you say the most important collection of the 20th century was? 

By the way, I have his book on the Garrett collection and I just bought his book on the Pogue collection in which he highlights the 100 most important coins of the that outstanding collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,708 posts

Of those I know, I'd rate Eliasberg first or maybe Norweb, definitely above all the most prominent today except maybe Tyrant.  My criteria gives a lot more weight to the scope and the number of rare and elite coins in the available quality versus using the TPG grade or "eye appeal".  Common is common no matter how nice the coin looks.  I also wouldn't ever rank any collection first which is was overly concentrated in one area.

The Norweb collection was "world class" in many segments which is evident in how they sold it.  B&M sold the US portion while multiple firms (to my recollection) sold the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,277 posts

Norweb and Eliasberg certainly have to vie for the top spot, who is best will depend on each persons criteria in making a choice.  I would probably go with Eliasberg but that is perhaps because I know more about that collection than any other. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
756 posts

Eliasberg, but a lot of modern "rump osculators" will say a more modern collection in order to be looked favorably upon by said collector. There's no more extra business to be had now by telling the factual truth, and getting the business of the NEXT big collection is what's it's always about with these clowns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,708 posts
On ‎9‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 2:01 PM, Mk123 said:

Eliasberg mostly dealt with US or was he also into World Coins?  For the 21st century it would have to be the Tyrant Collection for world coins.........wow wow wow!

Stacks sold the Eliasberg world gold collection in 2005.  It consisted of about 3600 lots, though I don't recall what was in it.  I have not been able to find anything for world crowns and minors.

I don't know what is in the Tyrant collection except by reputation.  I'd put it above Simpson or Hansen precisely because the latter two collections only include US. 

The other collection many US based collectors would presumably consider a contender is Pogue.  It's one of the best US federal collections ever put together but never heard it included US colonial or territorial gold and can't remember anything about patterns.  To my recollection it's predominantly US circulation coinage (including some proofs) dated up to 1834.  Versus the other consensus elite collections, it's claim to fame is quality measured by increments in the TPG grade and whether the coins in it are eligible for CAC stickers.  There are numerous (though not an absolutely large number of) other collections which owned most of the coins in it, just in (slightly) lower quality.  I don't place anywhere near equivalent emphasis on this type of quality difference as most of the more affluent US collectors do today and in the recent past.

Ultimately, it is dependent upon someone's subjective criteria.  However, I'd never rate a collection as elite if the primary criteria for acquiring it is an outsized checkbook to predominantly buy coins that aren't really that hard to buy except for having the money, and this includes exaggerations by US collecting since TPG grading came to predominate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12,835 posts
On 9/27/2019 at 12:55 PM, VKurtB said:

Eliasberg, but a lot of modern "rump osculators" will say a more modern collection in order to be looked favorably upon by said collector. There's no more extra business to be had now by telling the factual truth, and getting the business of the NEXT big collection is what's it's always about with these clowns.

I haven’t witnessed or heard of “these clowns” doing anything even remotely similar to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12,065 posts

There are several European collections that far out rank any that have been mentioned. They will likely remain within their owner-families for a long time.

Among US collections Eliasberg is well known, but only for its claim to completeness. If other criteria are considered, then Norweb and several others are the "best." Bowers gives no definition for "important" so I can't comment on that. (Almost every collection sold at auction was "important" .... )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
770 posts
3 hours ago, RWB said:

There are several European collections that far out rank any that have been mentioned. They will likely remain within their owner-families for a long time.

Among US collections Eliasberg is well known, but only for its claim to completeness. If other criteria are considered, then Norweb and several others are the "best." Bowers gives no definition for "important" so I can't comment on that. (Almost every collection sold at auction was "important" .... )

Roger, what are the European collections that you mentioned? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12,065 posts
21 hours ago, World Colonial said:

I'd like to know too. :)

All I'm at liberty to tell you is that one is in Switzerland but owned by an Italian family. Another is in France but the core was originally Russian. A third is supposed to be owned by a Dutch family business, but the source was skimpy on details.

In addition several excellent European collections were stolen by the Nazi SS, but only partially recovered and repatriated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
410 posts

I suppose this topic is assumed to be private collections, otherwise the Smithsonian / NNC would have to rank up there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
770 posts
On October 26, 2019 at 3:06 PM, RWB said:

All I'm at liberty to tell you is that one is in Switzerland but owned by an Italian family. Another is in France but the core was originally Russian. A third is supposed to be owned by a Dutch family business, but the source was skimpy on details.

In addition several excellent European collections were stolen by the Nazi SS, but only partially recovered and repatriated.

They don't count if they aren't publically known :roflmao:.  Kind of like a tree that falls in the middle of the woods and no one hears it. (Maybe someday - we will know and appreciate).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12,065 posts

There are many privately held collections. They certainly account for many excellent coins. Lots of people are very discrete about things they own and do not boast of, or flaunt their material properties.

(A tree falling with no one to hear it is part of an infallible conjecture dependent entirely on human perceptions of sound and hearing. The physical conditions remain identical whether or not a human observes the event. See Albert Einstein's assertion that the moon does not exist except when it is observed.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
770 posts

If I had that kind of money - I'd be discrete too. Thanks for the Einstein reference, I'll have to look that up. I remember seeing it some years ago.

Edited by Zebo
Spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
756 posts
16 hours ago, RWB said:

There are many privately held collections. They certainly account for many excellent coins. Lots of people are very discrete about things they own and do not boast of, or flaunt their material properties.

(A tree falling with no one to hear it is part of an infallible conjecture dependent entirely on human perceptions of sound and hearing. The physical conditions remain identical whether or not a human observes the event. See Albert Einstein's assertion that the moon does not exist except when it is observed.)

...or Yogi Berra's quote, "You can observe a lot just by watching."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
410 posts

Einstein was actually questioning the Uncertainty Principle in quantum mechanics. To him, the implication was that the moon doesn't exist unless he's looking at it, and he believed in an "objective reality" independent of our observation of it. He wasn't asserting that the moon doesn't exist except when observed; he asserted the opposite. He is famous for ultimately being wrong about quantum mechanics.

As it applies to these European coin collections, they don't exist unless I see pictures of them. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,708 posts
On 10/26/2019 at 3:06 PM, RWB said:

All I'm at liberty to tell you is that one is in Switzerland but owned by an Italian family. Another is in France but the core was originally Russian. A third is supposed to be owned by a Dutch family business, but the source was skimpy on details.

In addition several excellent European collections were stolen by the Nazi SS, but only partially recovered and repatriated.

Any idea of the composition?  I assume most of the holdings are a combination of European, ancient and maybe colonial coinage.

I have on occasion wondered if some of the rarer and best quality (not necessarily measured by TPG grade) coinage is owned by "old money".  Some banks like Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS) used to have coin departments as part of their wealth management divisions.  (It's now Sincona.)  A few other Swiss banks also but never heard of any others.  I doubt they made much (if any) money off of it but offered it as a customer accommodation to their wealthier clients.  

SBC sold at least of the few of the better Spanish colonial collections which interest me most.  One is Sellschopp.  However, I suspect that as with what is available publicly, that there isn't much better material in hiding from colonial Spain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12,065 posts

The large European collections I'm seen are superb in Europe, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and have huge ancient sections from Indian subcontinent to the Atlantic plus North Africa. Medieval are often very impressive and rival the great British museums. Weak areas a usually Asia. North America coins tend to be spotty and more rare and type oriented.

Several Asian collectors are buying large quantities of coins from Asian countries through Muslim Caliphates including many pieces never seen in the west.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0