NGC-Certified 1804 Bust Dollar Highlights Offering of The Queller Family Collection

Posted on 2/12/2008

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A legendary 1804 Bust dollar graded NGC PF62 will highlight The Queller Family Collection of United States Silver Dollars, 1794-1935, when that collection is sold on April 16-19, 2008 by Heritage Auction Galleries. The auction will be held in Rosemont, Illinois in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society Convention.

One of the most famous coins ever struck is considered a part of the Draped Bust series—the 1804 dollar. While the Mint struck 19,570 dollars in 1804, all were produced from leftover dies dated 1802 and 1803, and no dollars were struck with the date 1804. However, thirty years later, when several presentation sets of U.S. coins were needed for diplomatic gifts, the Draped Bust design was resurrected and dated 1804, as that was the last year the dollar coins had been struck. These were the so-called "original" or Class I 1804 dollars, of which just eight are known, and three reside permanently in museum collections. NGC has graded four of the five examples available to collectors. The Class II and Class III 1804 "restrikes" were produced in the late 1850s for prominent collectors of the day. Only 15 specimens are known of all three types.

Heritage Vice President Leo Frese also commented on the scope and commitment of David Queller, a dedicated collector:

"David Queller's Silver Dollar Collection represents four decades of dedicated collecting. [Queller] 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."

According to Frese: "Without question, 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. 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." The coin has resided in the Queller Collection for the last quarter century.

Mr. Queller bought his first Red Book in 1954, but he 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.

The collection is remarkable for its breadth and quality. Although there are numerous highlights, a quick survey reveals why many consider it to be among the finest collections of silver dollars ever assembled:

  • 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

With contributions from Heritage Auctions press release. See the original release:

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