Welcome to E-Auction 24

What is it about gold? The stability of the metal? Its beauty, particularly since designers have almost always given their best attention to their work with it? Its relationship to an economy generally, whether it was ancient gold, medieval, Renaissance gold, modern gold?

Right now, as I write, gold is continuing a trend line that goes back to December 2017, a line of increasing value that commands attention even more in the face of recent stock market volatility (well over $1350/oz at the moment).  While some of the gold coins that begin our sale are perhaps best described as semi numismatic, all the pieces are attractive and most are historic. Auction prices we have seen recently underscore a strength in gold coinage that requires deep pockets. What you see here is both affordable and has the intrinsic worth that has been part of coinage since its beginning. (And check out the last lot of the sale, a sterling silver sovereign/half sovereign case.)

Greek coins, even in lesser grades, reflect an artistry and beauty that has never been matched. The magnificent Selinos tetradrachm offered here, one of the masterpieces of Greek coin art, is a choice coin in terms of artistic merit—a particularly realistic and lively horse, a well sculpted human form on the reverse, both indications of a skilled die-cutter.  Some horn silver on the surface reflects time and chemistry, but the special beauty of the coin is its dominant feature.  There are more historic coins in the Greek and Roman section, affordable, collectible, desirable. 

The British section samples two millennia of coinage—Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Plantagenet, Stuart, and concludes with a long run of choice milled coinage from Frank Robinson. His collection has been a rich trove of material reflecting decades of effort on his part.  Sixpences, some scarce shillings and, for the first time from his collection, florins.  I am a regular reader of English dealer price lists, sometimes scanning through pages of milled coin listings. The long runs of coins do include some choice material mixed midst pieces of lesser condition. Almost everything Frank consigned to us is choice. When a coin is not “choice” and you see it in our catalog, it is typically extremely rare. The 1854 Gothic florin, lot 136, is the best I could find in the market for the past few years.

Edward VIII? Genuine English coinage from his short reign is five or six figure material. But his reign can be represented by some of the medals and fantasy pieces as well as currency issues of some of the colonies. Six lots representing this king, all estimated at $175 or less, can be found at lots 153 to 158.

You can expect to see more 18th century (“Conder”) tokens in our sales this year. We have a choice consignment of PCGS and NGC graded pieces and I have been actively buying appealing tokens wherever I can. The Hobson piece that anchors the front cover is the best example of this issue I have ever handled. And while the rest of the group is not as rare as Hobson, they do represent some excellent “choices” for your collection. 

Finally, the American section offers a smattering of Colonial material, two choice pieces of Continental currency, a few tokens, and, in keeping with the shillings in the English section, some desirable U.S. quarters. 

Allan Davisson

Monday, February 26, 2018

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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