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Bryon Reed Sale Sizzles

After much legal maneuvering coins from the collection of Omaha, Nebraska collector Byron Reed were sold at auction Oct. 8&9, with the total nearly double the presale target.The auction by Spink America, a division of Christie's, brought $6,104,904. The preauction target was $3.5 million. The auction contained over 400 United States coins and more than 150 of Reed's manuscripts. Nine coin lots realized over $100,000 each. The first 174 lots of coins averaged more than $25,000 each. Demand for major rarities or superb quality coins was evident The prices are more remarkable in light of the terms: immediate payment! Many clients declined to bid because of the terms of sale. The city of Omaha, owner of Reed's collection since the 1891 bequest of Byron Reed, sought to raise $3.5 million to fund improvements to the Western Heritage Museum.The sale was contested in the courts by the local Historical Society, whose members believe provisions of Reed's will prohibited the collection's sale These coins, which had been off the market for more than 100 years were highly prized. This demand brought enthusiastic bidding ,evidenced by prices realized. Dahlonega and Charlotte coins of any denomination were highly sought. Telephone bidders competed with floor bidders to acquire lots. The major rarities brought prices well above the presale estimates. The auction house displayed a picture of the coin as it was auctioned, there was a bid board which displayed each bid in dollars, pounds, francs, marks, yen and lira. Pedigree played some role in the coins' demand, as many years have passed since their availability. Reed loved history. His collections of rare coins, books, manuscripts and medals reflect his passion for history. He did not buy coins as an investment but as a window to history and a source of enjoyment. Reed , during the mid-19th century, built his fortune in real estate,Thinking the Omaha area could be a major manufacturing center he purchased land in this area. Omaha continues to benefit from his generosity.The Western Heritage Museum, which houses his gift to the city, sold only a small portion of the more than 16,000 items entrusted to them. The proceeds from this portion will enable the remainder of the collection to be properly preserved and displayed.





Some highlights:

1796 Capped bust, Small Eagle, 8-by-8 Stars $10 Uncirculated,
$66,000.

1798/7 Capped Bust, Heraldic $10, Extremely Fine, 
$60,500.

1798 Capped Bust, Small Eagle, 16 Stars Two Berries $5, About Uncirculated,
$137,500.

1828/7 Capped Bust $5 Mint State, 
$159,500.

1829 Capped Bust, Small Date $5 Mint State, 
$374,000.

1832 Capped Bust, 12 Star, Curl Base 2 $5 Mint State,
$297,000.

1838 Classic Head, Small arrows, Large 5, Wide Spaced TEES $5, gem Uncirculated,
$121,000.

1879 Flowing Hair Stella $4 Pattern, choice Proof,
$49,500.

1868 Indian Head $3 Cold Coin, gem Uncirculated,
$34,100.

1873 Indian Head, Open 3 $3 Cold Coin, hairlines, choice Proof,
$38,500.

1796 Capped Bust, Heraldic Eagle, 8-by-8 Stars $2.50 Quarter Eagle, Prooflike Choice Uncirculated,
$231,000.

1808 Capped Draped Bust $2.50 Choice EF,
$23,100.

1864 Coronet $2.50 Choice Mint State,
$132,000.

1875 Coronet $10 $5 $3 Cold Coins, Proofs, as one lot,
$352,000.

1851 Seated Liberty, Restrike Silver Dollar,
Proof, $19,800,

1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dollar, prooflike Very Choice Uncirculated,
$176,000.