Two of America’s most popular collecting categories – coins and sports memorabilia – will join forces for an outstanding 866-lot auction on Dec. 17 at Morphy’s.
“Certain types of collectibles never seem to lose favor,” said Morphy’s CEO, Dan Morphy. “Coins have been a favorite with collectors and investors for many generations, and important memorabilia from professional and collegiate sports just keep on setting new records at auction. We decided to put the two categories together for a holiday auction that many collectors could enjoy.”
There’s quite a story behind the Panama-Pacific coins, and it’s entwined in the lore of one of America’s greatest cities: San Francisco. Six years after the devastating earthquake of 1906, the “City by the Bay” was in dire need of an economic boost. It came in the form of the 1915 World’s Fair, also known as the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Many cities had vied for the right to host the event, with New Orleans being one of the favored contenders. After an intense advertising and lobbying campaign, however, President Taft proclaimed earthquake-ravaged San Francisco as the official host city.
The fairgrounds and buildings took three years to construct, providing much-needed jobs for out-of-work San Franciscans. The project sparked a revitalization that changed San Francisco forever, putting it on the map as one of America’s greatest and most cultured cities.
The Panama-Pacific International Exposition ran from Feb. 20 through Dec. 4, 1915, and to commemorate the fair, the United States Government authorized the San Francisco Mint to issue a $50 gold coin depicting Balboa on the obverse and an owl encircled by dolphins on verso.
“Very few of these coins were made, and an example graded this high – a ‘70’ is perfect and impossible to find – is very exciting to collectors. Today, it’s common for commemorative coins to be issued, but that wasn’t the case back then,” said Dr. John Morphy, Head of Acquisitions & Appraisals for Morphy Auctions.
In total, more than a million dollars worth of gold and silver coins will be auctioned in Morphy’s Dec. 17 sale. Another rarity that’s expected to stir interest amongst bidders is a2011 Chinese panda gold coin
, one of only 300 made, which weighs one kilo (2.23 lbs.) and is valued at $130,000-$150,000.
The sale also features more than 100 BU rolls of silver dollars
with rare dates including 1891 CC, 1882 CC, 1883 CC, 1889 S, 1897 S, and 1899. Among the more than 80 gold coins are an 1855 D 2½ dollar AU 53, 1879 $5 PF 64+ Cameo NGS, 1896 $5 PCGS PR 64D CAM, 1857 S $20 double eagle PCGS MS 61, 12 oz. Panda and more than 100 limited goldcommemorative sets
Additional lots include 1902 National Bank notes, 5 uncut sheets PCGS 69
, Tyler Texas; and many types of other coins, among them a 1909 S VDB cent, 1955 double-die cent, and a 3-legged buffalo nickel.
Sporting equipment is abundant and includes some great baseball gloves
in scarce original boxes, plus autographed game-used and store-model baseball bats
. One of the highlights of the sale is an unusual grouping of approximately 50 Mickey Mantle
autographed items, some limited edition and most originating from Mickey Mantle’s girlfriend Greer Johnson, and Mantle’s personal attorney. The autographed Mantle items include framed prints, gloves, bats, balls and his personal golf jacket
Boxing fans, get your bidding cards ready for a pair of autographed Muhammad Ali worn trunks
and autographed shoes
. These extremely desirable items were personally donated by the legendary Ali to a public auction 30+ years ago.
Sports-related ephemera will also make an appearance in the sale in the form of a personal collection of the historical publication “The Sporting News
.” There are several hundred issues with cover dates ranging from the 1930s through the 1980s. In some cases, there are runs of entire years.
Question about COINS?
Please contact: Dan Morphy
CEO, Owner – Morphy Auctions
Questions about SPORTS?
Please contact: Tommy Sage Jr.
COO, Sports & Toy Specialist – Morphy Auctions