This 1870-CC double eagle, graded AU50 by NGC, is one of the 10 finest among the roughly 40 survivors from an original mintage of just 3,789 pieces. Because this issue served only a utilitarian purpose, no pieces were preserved for numismatic purposes; in fact, most were eventually lost to attrition. The PCGS estimate is that 40 to 50 pieces survive today, while Rusty Goe, in The Confident Carson City Coin Collector, is slightly more generous with a survival estimate of 55 to 65 pieces.
Legendary Carson City rarity
Auction: Oct. 6-9
Not only is this copy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Stride Toward Freedom signed by King, but it is also inscribed to his friend and mentor Asa Philip Randolph – the man who organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, founded the League for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation and chaired the 1963 March on Washington. Along with Randolph’s annotations throughout, this historic copy of King’s memoir of the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott contains King’s message to his mentor and the man he called “truly the Dean of Negro leaders.”
Inscribed to A. Philip Randolph
Auction: Oct. 19
Bernd and Hilla Becher’s exacting portraits of late-stage, industrial-age architecture are some of the most distinctive photographs of the last century; their near-anthropomorphic pictures of hot blast stoves (each towering construction vibrates with its own personality) are relatively rare and sought by museums and collectors the world over. The 10 imposing European and American stoves in this set, looming and silent in precise black and white, exemplify the Bechers’ work in their prime.
Gelatin silver prints, ferrotyped
Auction: Oct. 11