Welcome to E-Auction 33

In 2002 we sold a collection of 229 Greek electrotypes for $12,500. A few years ago we were asked by a serious collector who remembered that lot if it might be for sale if he offered twice the amount it realized in 2002. The current owner said no.

This was not our first foray into fine copies of extreme rarities. In 1995 we averaged well over $100 each for a short run of somewhat less dramatic Greek coin copies than you will see in this sale. The pieces will not fool anyone into confusing them with the real thing. The edges are clear where the two halves go together though the pieces listed here are side-by-side examples of obverse and reverse.

If you were to walk into the British Museum to see some of the most beautiful and well preserved Greek coins known, you would be handed trays holding the originals of these 19th century copies. The copies were expertly produced in the late 1800s and early 1900s by a process that Lief has explained in detail. The best of the British Museum coins were published and finely photographed in a 19th century classic reference by the scholar Barclay Head. That book has been reissued by subsequent British Museum officials and lightly used copies of the book are available on a couple of websites for modest sums in the $20 range.

These coins represent the best of exceptional artistry and culture of ancient Greece. No coinage has ever matched the quality of the design and strike of ancient Greek silver and gold. These replicas were made directly from the actual coins capturing all the fine detail. The examples offered here (lots 47 to 58) are part of a small group we were able to purchase from a British source.


There is much more in this catalog:

  • Some exceptional gold—a beautifully centered and well struck Tincomarus quarter stater, a choice and vibrant ducat of Ferdinand and Isabella, a final issue of the Dahlonega before Rebels seized the Federal mint…
  • Greek coins—a fascinating cross section of affordable and appealing pieces from across the series with some exceptional pieces that will fit in with any fine collection—a well centered, well struck drachm of Larissa, a similarly appealing tetradrachm of Philip II, rare historic bronzes, a bit of Parthian silver…
  • Republican, Imperial—the Roman section samples a broad spectrum of Roman coinage including rare and historic issues. A small bronze (lot 78) is a superb piece, finely conceived, well centered and struck with a choice green patina. I could have commented on other pieces in this section that appeal as well but this one stuck in my mind.
  • British? The field that first drew me into professional numismatics? A bit of hammered, some appealing milled issues from the extensive Robinson collection. And Briot's beautiful Scottish Charles I 30 shillings.
  • “Conder” tokens—the last of the consignment of slabbed issues followed by some charming little pieces that were issued strictly for trade, Scottish farthings. The 17th century copper farthing issues of England appeared in Wales and Ireland but—except for two rarities—not in Scotland. The Scots made up for this in the late 18th century.
  • More? A few of the high quality pre-World War I German issues, three British trade dollars, three rare Italian pieces followed by three Swiss shooting thalers and then some interesting pieces—currency and medals—from the United States. It is just by chance that we have an example of the rare funeral medal from Boston that marked the death of George Washington for our sale just at the time when the definitive collection of Washington medals is being offered in a Baltimore auction.
  • Medals: A handful of so-called dollars, historical medals, four British anti-slavery pieces, and two lots of Las Vegas gaming tokens. Coins mark the daily lives of people and medals mark major events in those lives. Either way, we are brought to times and places far removed from where we are right now.


Our major early-in-the-year sale is well into the planning stage. There is still room for material you might wish to move on to its next home. We would be glad to hear from you.


Best wishes for the festivities of November and December.

                                 Allan Davisson

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


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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