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The E-Sylum (4/16/2017)

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In a Stack's Bowers blog article published April 13, 2017, Dave Bowers reflects on the recently concluded run of five sales of the D. Brent Pogue collection. -Editor

Pogue sale retrospect

It seems like only yesterday, but it was in January 2014, slightly over three years ago, that Chris Karstedt and I went to Dallas to plan the presentation of the D. Brent Pogue Collection on behalf of Mack Pogue and his son Brent. Mack and Brent had been friends for many years. I have many nice memories of both attending a number of our landmark auctions—such as the 1979-1981 Garrett sales for the Johns Hopkins University and our October 1982 sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg Collection of United States Gold Coins. Beyond that, Brent on his own has attended more of our sales and events than I can count! Along the way we became close friends.

Brent, who took the lead in forming the collection, was and still is a connoisseur par excellence. Starting as a teenager, time was on his side. He began in the right way—by assembling a fine working library of standard reference books and auction catalogs. As obvious as this may seem as a path to success, relatively few collectors do that. Today in 2017 many people will spend, say, $1,600 on a common-date double eagle, but if I suggest that they spend the same amount on books, only a few will do so.

In brief, there is no substitute for knowledge when it comes to forming collection. Although the Internet, price lists, and other sources beckon, there is no better way to gain knowledge than by purchasing books that give information about coin designs, minting procedures, and more.

Today if I were at a convention and was arranging a program, and a speaker was delayed in arriving, I could ask Brent, “Could you give a program on coins of the 1790s?” and he could do it superbly, and without preparation.

As we conclude Part V of our D. Brent Pogue Collection auction series, there is still more to do with the Pogue family. This includes completing a book that will be an overview of numismatics from 1792 to 1840, the main focus of the coins we sold in the first five sales, plus glimpses of the American scene during that time.

As a numismatic bibliophile I think nothing of spending $30-$50 on a decent new book for my library. Yet some can't be bothered to part with $5. To me and my fellow bibliophiles, the knowledge within is quite valuable, and doing his homework certainly paid off for Brent Pogue. While the Pogue family investment in the collection was large, so were the returns. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
The D. Brent Pogue Collection in Retrospect (

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