In the final days of his term, President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states. In March, Benjamin Harrison is sworn in as the 23rd president. In Paris, the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) opens, with the recently completed Eiffel Tower serving as the entrance arch. Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh finishes The Starry Night, which will become one of the most recognized paintings in Western art. The Wall Street Journal publishes its first issue. The Louisville Colonels become the first team in Major League history to lose 100 games in a single season.
The 1889 Morgan dollar produced at the Carson City Mint is one of the lower mintage issues of the entire series, with 350,000 coins produced. For unknown reasons, up to 325,000 of these 1889-CC silver dollars were eventually melted, boosting the rarity of this coin. Graded MS68 by PCGS, this example realized $531,875 at a January 2009 Heritage auction.
SILVER & OBJECTS OF VERTU
Early matches were unreliable and prone to spontaneously ignite. Accordingly, most people carried a safe to house their matches. While common folk had ones made of tin or brass, wealthy people had fancier match safes. This Tiffany & Co. enameled 18K gold and gold quartz match safe, with its original iguana leather case, sold for $62,500 at an October 2017 auction.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) is best known for his painting Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871), commonly known as Whistler’s Mother. An etching Whistler completed in 1889 title Bridge, Amsterdam, sold for $125,475 at a December 2007 auction.
“Cap” Anson and “Buck” Ewing were among the earliest professional athletes to endorse a product. In this case, the baseball heroes lent their names to E.&J. Burke pale ale and “extra foreign stout” beer. This 1889 poster sold for $96,000 at a February 2019 auction.
This article appears in the Spring 2021 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine.