Welcome to Auction 39

Our 39th major auction is a long way from our first such sale in April of 1993. We began by noting “We have been publishing fixed price catalogs…for well over two decades. We are excited about assembling and publishing our first major bid sale.”

Well, we are still excited about our annual major sale. We start thinking about it a year in advance, seeking special items to feature. Our first auction catalog had well over 300 lots—gold coins (31 lots), Greek coins including a couple of rare staters from Crete, Roman Republican coins (23 lots), Roman through Ostrogothic, 122 English, Scottish and Irish coins, tokens, medals and a run of books. The photos were black-and-white at the end of the text.

This catalog is a strong successor to that early beginning. The photos are in color in the text. The mix is similar. The terms are little different. In 1993 we noted that “There is NO ten percent buyer’s fee.” The only change here is that hardly any auction firm now limits the buyer’s fee to ten percent.


Some thoughts on what we have found for this sale:

Gold coins in this sale range from ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Celtic to hammered English to an early 19th century US rarity. Many are affordable pieces that would make handsome additions to a collection. We put back some hammered English gold coins for this sale, enabling us to offer better quality pieces at a time of strong prices for high quality hammered gold.

The ancient Greek and Roman sections are representative of the broad and exciting world of ancient coins. Look for some exceptional tetradrachms, and many rare and special coins throughout. We had an old collection of ancient coins to pick from and the rarity and quality are exceptional, the estimates modest.

In addition to high quality British hammered coins, some exceptional foreign crowns, and a small group of Colonial and early American coins, two areas deserve special mention:

•The Frank Robinson Collection: In this sale we begin his collection of crowns—an exceptional run of high quality pieces. A “good Extremely Fine” crown with attractive old toning is a very satisfying piece to have in a collection. The pieces that particularly amazed me are the coins in the specimen and proof sets. To find complete sets with choice coins throughout is highly unusual. These sets are as fine or finer than any I have seen and when I talked with Frank about them he commented about how careful he had been in acquiring them.

•The Mike Sussman Collection of British Tokens is a strong sampling of some of the best and scarcest tokens in his nearly 500 piece collection. He formed the collection over the past few years picking up material from such major sales as the Baldwin Basement Sale series. He sought the best possible quality and was willing in many cases to pay a premium. The estimates are conservative and many of the rarities are pieces you seldom see. (We offered his Pidcock tokens in an earlier sale and one of the pieces sold was an RRR piece that Waters reported as “not traced.”) For all the years I have worked with tokens I was surprised myself to see a few pieces I had not seen before and that were even lacking in the massive 1998 Noble sale.


When I look back at our old catalogs I see things that I will not see again. Some coins are available almost anytime if you are willing to pay the price. Some things are here now but may well end up gone for generations. Some of what we offer fits in this latter category. Each of our sales has had items that I now realize were a fleeting opportunity. 

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support. I hope you enjoy this sale.

Allan Davisson

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


How Bidding Works


Davissons Ltd uses a soft close for its auctions, which means no lot closes until everyone is done bidding. Every time a bid is placed within the final 40 seconds of a lot closing, the timer is reset to 40 seconds. This continues until no bids are placed for 40 seconds, at which point the lot closes. There will never be more than one lot closing at once, as the next lot is not allowed to begin closing until the current lot closes.

To bid: enter your maximum bid into the text box, and click submit. Only round dollar amounts are accepted. You are then required to confirm your bid. Once confirmed, all bids are final. If you have placed a bid in error you must call during office hours and speak to one of us. If you are the current high bidder then it will display “Current High Bidder: YOU” If you are not the high bidder, or if you are not logged in, then the current high bidder will be identified by their 5 digit client ID. You may find your client ID under the Account tab.

Bids are reduced automatically, so feel free to bid your maximum and it will be reduced to one increment over the current high bid. If a user places a bid that is higher than necessary to be the current high bidder on the lot, the displayed bid will reflect one advance over the next lower bid. For example, if a user "A" places a bid of $120 on a lot which opens at $100, "A" will be winning that lot at $100. If another user "B" bids $110, the winning bidder will be "A" at $120, one advance over the supporting bid of $110. If user "B" in this example instead placed a bid at $120, then user "A" will still be winning at $120 because they placed that maximum bid value first.

Increments can be viewed here. The next bid will always be on the next increment, so if a user is winning a lot at $100, or $105, or $109, the next bid will still always be $110.

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