Welcome to E-Auction 37

It all started with cattle. If you wanted to barter, you could just herd your payment over for the trade. Oxen were the standard for barter before the Greeks found that refining and minting precious metals at standardized weights and fineness was a much more efficient means of exchange.

This somewhat wry discussion opens an 1860 publication by James Snowden, Director of the Mint, A Description of Ancient and Modern Coins in the Cabinet Collection at the Mint of the United States. It is a 400+ page volume filled with history, lists, and descriptions.

The Mint collection, begun in 1838, was formed from foreign coins held as deposits (and saved from the melting pot) as well as purchases authorized by Congress beginning in 1839 with an appropriation of one thousand dollars “for specimens of ores and coins to be preserved at the Mint.” Snowden notes that Congress would have appropriated more if asked but “it was deemed expedient ‘to set an example of moderation in a pursuit which has its temptations to extravagance and excess.’”

This reference inspired the substantial collection that we are introducing in this catalog—a multi-box assemblage of coins attributed by Krause number. The collector’s goal was to represent the mostly post-1600 European world sections of Snowden’s works by seeking examples of all the silver and base metal coins mentioned. Lots 167 to 186 represent the Swedish portion of the collection and a smattering of additional material provides a preview of other sections. The collection is “above average circulated” coins emphasizing types connecting to the day-to-day lives of the people who used this currency. 

Putting an order to all this so that we can present it in our catalogs is challenging. While an obvious starting point is individual coins of enough interest and value to catalog as single items, the harder question is how to offer the inexpensive but still historically important lesser pieces. We have put them in lots that are estimated very conservatively with enough description that you should have a clear sense of what to expect. We can ship lots for viewing for the cost of Priority shipping. For print catalog readers, we can send a black-and-white photo of the images that are available online.

While the rest of the catalog speaks for itself, the early Roman Imperial bronze collection deserves a mention. It was built by an informed American collector in Minnesota in the early 1950s. He bought coins from Spink and Glendining’s corresponding with Leonard Forrer and William French. In the US he dealt with Edward Gans at Numismatic Fine Arts in New York as well as with Earle K Stanton in Los Angeles and Paul S. Seitz in Pennsylvania. 


Allan Davisson

Thursday, October 1, 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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