Welcome to E-Auction 38

Something old, something new…

January is a time to revisit a few things from past auctions that failed to find homes. We have examined them closely and repriced most of them. Look for some worthwhile ancient coins. And I confess to sometimes reaching for especially appealing things that strike me as worth pursuing. A couple in this sale are estimated so that if you share my enthusiasm you can have them for less than I was willing to pay to get them.

The “new” in this sale includes some fascinating ancient coins—a small offering of Baktrian and Eastern issues, and colonial coins of portraits of the early emperors, a good way to represent them in higher grades and lower prices than their imperial counterparts command. Also look for coins from three comprehensive collections formed by committed and thoughtful individuals whose efforts have afforded us a look at what can be achieved by a strong commitment to a particular area. The milled English coins of Frank Robinson continue to highlight our sales. His professional eye and extensive effort have made coins available that are seldom seen—check out lots 84, 95, 99, and 101 for examples. 

Another “new” is a continuation of tokens from the Mike Sussman Collection. Offering lot after lot of high-grade copper pieces such as these can sometimes make it seem that exceptional condition is not all that exceptional. Anyone who has pursued this fascinating area for any amount of time knows well that the series is filled with pieces of lesser quality. Copper is not an inert metal like silver or gold so the storage and handling of well over two centuries has had destructive effects on many of these pieces. Lot 114 is a good case in point, Hampshire 65 with its portrayal of Neptune and Admiral Jervis. I have seen this token many times, almost always dark, showing marks and wear and lacking fine detail. This is an exceptional example of a piece that is fairly common in the series.

We are enjoying handling coins we have not run across before. The world coins from the collection based on the “Cabinet Collection at the Mint of the United States” prepared by Snowden, published in 1860, have been exciting to work with. The range of world coinage between 1650 or so and 1860 covers a period of time when the world underwent massive changes in politics, government, science—life overall. In this catalog the coins representing Russia are offered. The group lots in particular offer a mix of issues for the Russian monarchs who ruled during a long historic period when monarchy was the ruling norm for Europe. Figuring out fair estimates for much of this material can be a challenge—there are few auction records for most of the minor coins of this era and the values in the Krause catalogs represent someone’s best efforts a year or more back. Determining reasonable market values requires hard work, but there is no hard data for many of the pieces that any cataloger must consider. The best use of Krause published prices—or any price list in my experience—is seeing relative values rather than absolute values and then determining a fair estimate based on experience and a sense of the price ranges of roughly comparable material that has appeared in the market recently. I believe the estimates we provide are conservative and represent a fair value for both the buyer and the seller.

As you read this we are hard at work on our next major auction, number 40. It will be out soon after this sale closes and you can look forward to seeing some of the best of what we have found in the past year. But that does not mean there is not much to think about in this sale—we try to make each auction we publish a worthwhile foray into historic numismatics.

Allan Davisson

Tuesday, December 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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