Sale 123 Realises $3.4 Million

Wednesday, 08 April 2020

This was our first sale for the year and owing to the coronavirus emergency conditions, the first online only auction we have conducted. It was a great success considering the social restrictions imposed. The sale was called by Simon Noble with great efficiency and clarity within our office. There was great support from our regular clients and the number of bidders was at the same level as our most recent sales. The clearance rate of lots was at over 88 percent at 116 percent of estimate for lots sold, except for a consignment accepted at the owner’s valuations which were above our guidelines, bringing the overall clearance to 81 percent. 


Highest price went to the Elizabeth I silver eight testerns or dollar (lot 2092; est. $100,000) at $97,600 ($80,000 hammer price plus buyer’s premium with GST or 122 percent, as for all the following quoted prices realised).  This outstanding coin, pedigreed back to the Cuff Collection in 1854, is regarded as the finest known and deservedly realised a world record price for the type (equivalent to £50,000). I remember buying it for Bob Climpson at the Cooper Collection sale at Glendinnings, London for £5,400 in November 1978. The other three coins in the Portcullis set also realised world record prices to two additional buyers. The four testerns (lot 2093; est. $30,000) realised $31,720, the two testerns (lot 2094; est. $35,000) realised $41,480, and the one testern (lot 2095; est. $30,000) realised $35,380 or a total of $206,180 for the set of four. 


The second highest price in the sale went to the Perth Mint proof gold one kilo kangaroo nugget ten thousand dollars coin, 1991 (lot 252; est. $60,000) at $90,280. Going in sale order, other highlights are a reverse brockage 1943I penny (lot 77; est. $500) at $1,098, a mule dollar, 2000 (lot 114; est. $3,000) at $3,660, an Olympic Sydney 2000 millennium coin collection (lot 190; est. $4,000) at $7,564. 


The third session saw the sale of a New Zealand Waitangi proof set, 1935 in card case of issue (lot 556; est. $9,000) realise $10,370, and one of the finest known 1944 halfcrowns (lot 558; est. $1,500) realised $2,074. In tokens, a really choice W.D.Wood Hobart penny (lot 600; est. $750) realised a record $1,464. Top price for tokens went to the Birmingham halfpenny of Harrold & Co. (lot 603; est. $2,500) at $3,294. A German Concentration Camp, Liverpool NSW medalet in aluminium (lot 613; est. $500) realised $1,120. A convict token (lot 618; est. $6,000) realised $6,100. A NSW exhibitor’s gold medal awarded in Paris in 1878 (lot 626; est. $5,000) realised $6,954. A Perth Exhibition medal 1881 in gold (lot 629; est. $3,500) realised a record $5,368 and a vintner’s medal for the Queensland Exhibition 1897 in gold (lot 640; est. $3,500) realised $5,490. The Commonwealth Celebration Pass to the first Prime Minister Edmund Barton 1901 (lot 641; est. $12,500) realised a record $11,590. A badge in gilded enamel (1915) to welcome home wounded soldiers (lot 657; est. $150) realised $1,159. 


In the fifth session the NSW holey dollar, ex Bostonian Collection, (lot 1086; est. $25,000) realised $32,940. A NSW fifteen pence or dump (lot 1087; est. $20,000) realised $21,960 while a worn example doubled estimate (lot 1088; est. $1,000) realising $2,440. The best of three Adelaide pounds, 1852 (lot 1090; est. $12,000) realised $12,220, the following two lots realised $10,614 each on $7,000 estimates. The 1855 Sydney Mint sovereign (lot 1094; est. $5,000) realised $10,248.


In the PCGS graded collection of Australian Commonwealth pre decimal coins, highlights were a specimen 1919 penny (lot 1188; est.18,000) at $20,862; a proof 1928 florin (lot 1190; est. $25,000) at $28,975; a 1913 florin (lot 1199; est. $12,500) at $14,488; a 1914H florin (lot 1201; est. $30,000) at $34,770; a 1915 florin (lot 1202; est. $12,500) at $14,488 and a 1932 florin (lot 1218; est. $20,000) at $23,180. In pennies, highlights were a 1918I (lot 1260; est. $6,000) at $7,320; a 1920 dot above London die (lot 1268; est. $250) realised thirteen times estimate at $3,416, a 1920 double dot penny (lot 1269; est. $6,000) at $6,954, a 1930 penny (lot 1285; est. $15,000) at $20,740 and a 1953 Melbourne penny (lot 1327; est. $350) at $1,586.


The start of the second day saw very spirited bidding for the Mark Freehill Collection of British West Indies cut and countermarked coins with most bringing multiples of the estimate. Highlights were a British Honduras dollar (lot 1343; est. $200) at $1,769, a Dominica four bitts (lot 1348; est. $350) at $1,708 and an 1816 two bitts (lot 1349; est. $250) at $2,440, a Guadeloupe twenty sous (lot 1350; est. $350) at $1,952; a Montserrat quarter dollar (lot 1352; est. $400) at $3,660; a Saint Lucia six livres fifteen sols (1813) (lot 1354; est. $500) at $3,416; a Tortola cut half of two reales (lot 1362; est. $150) at $2,501 and a Trinidad nine bitts  (lot 1365; est. $500) at $2,928. The Mark Freehill British West Africa lots were bought by the same buyer (lots 1415-20 and 1422; total est. $6,150) for $14,884, while the trial (lot 1421; est. $400) realised $3,660. 


In world coins, the Chinese cash collection formed by George Mihailuk (lot 1454; est. $300), realised $2,440. A Fukien province fifty cash (c1831) (lot 1462; est. $100) realised $1,952. A President Tuan Chi-jui facing bust dollar (lot 1468; est. $1,500) realised $12,220.


In world gold coins, highlights were a French one hundred francs 1867A (lot 1764; est. $2,000) at $3,660, a Greek twenty drachmai 1833 (lot 1766; est. $5,000) at $6,710; an Indian mohur of 1841 (lot 1793; est. $3,000) at $5,490; a restrike proof mohur 1870 (lot 1794; est. $12,500) at $13,420, a three coin Rhodesia proof set, 1966 (lot 1821; est. $3,000) at $4,880; a Russian ten roubles 1773 (lot 1822; est. $2,000) at $4,392.


Three gold nobles opened the British gold at the start of the eighth session at 2.30pm with the Richard II (lot 1967; est. $3,500) bringing $6,710; the Henry VI (lot 1968; est. $6,000) bringing $7,930 and the Edward IV (lot 1969; est. $5,000) bringing $9,760, all to the same buyer. A George III sovereign 1817 (lot 1987; est. $3,000) realised $4,392 and a five pounds, 1887 (lot 2050; est. $3,000) realised $6,100.


In British silver, the Lord Rodney Smith and Cornwall collections 1553/2 crown (lot 2085; est. $15,000) realised $18,300; the Charles I Oxford Mint silver half pound 1642 (lot 2101; est $7,000) realised $11,590; a young head George II crown, 1741 roses (lot 2141; est. $7,500) realised $8,540 and a British Trade dollar 1895B (lot 2425; est. $200) realised $2,501). A gold medal of Winston Churchill by Spink & Son Ltd (lot 2458; est. $3,000) realised $5,612. 


The highlight of world banknotes went to the Southern Rhodesia five pounds, 1945 (lot 2527; est. $750) at $6,100. Highlights of the New Zealand notes went to the one dollar star note with OC prefix (lot 2570; est. $1,500) at $9,882. In Australian pre federation notes the highest was the NSW treasury note (lot 2606; est. $9,000) that realised $10,492. In Commonwealth pre decimal issues the top price went to a Collins/Allen (1913) pound (lot 2657; est. $4,500) at $6,344, followed by a crisp ten pounds (1940) (lot 2729; est. 3,000) at $4,514. 


Third morning commenced with a whole session of ancient Greek silver and bronze coins, mostly made up from the George Mihailuk Collection. Highlights here were a Rhegion tetradrachm with a facing lion’s head and ex the J.P. Morgan and Strozzi collections. (lot 2954; est. $15,000) at $21,960; a Terina silver stater or nomos (lot 2955; est. $1,000) at $5,490; a Gela tetradrachm (lot 2969; est. 2,500) at $5,490; a Himera tetradrachm (lot 2971; est. $800) at $3,416, a Thermae Himerensis tetradrachm (lot 2973; est. $8,000) at $20,740; the Syracuse tetradrachm by Eucleidas (lot 2999; est. $30,000) at $39,040, another (lot 3000; est. $12,500) at $15,250, a Demetrios I Poliorketes tetradrachm (lot 3043; est. $15,000) at $32,940 after a two horse bidding war from $9,000; a Pale tetrobol (lot 3101; est. $500) at $4,148 again after a two horse bidding war. The Alabanda tetradrachm (lot 3136; est. $5,000) realised $10,370. The next session commenced with ancient gold, the Lysimachos staters (lots 3211, 3212; est. $6,000, $2,500) realised $7,686 and $5,856 respectively .The King Croesus stater (lot 3225; est. $15,000) realised $20,740 while the Ptolemy II pentadrachm (lot 3227; est. $15,000) soared to $29,280. The Mark Antony portrait aureus (lot 3230; est. $40,000) realised $48,800 while the Severus family issues aureus (lot 3236; est. $35,000) realised $47,580. A Caracalla aureus (lot 3240, est. $25,000) realised $28,060, and the Maximianus aureus (lot 3244; est. $15,000) realised $19,520. 


The final session on Thursday afternoon saw the offering of military medals. Despite the COVID-19 travel restrictions and limited viewing opportunities as well as job losses, there were some excellent results such as for the group of four that included a QSA with nine bars and a WWI trio to a soldier killed in action on Hill 60 at Gallipoli (lot 3629; est. $5,000) that realised $7,320. A very rare Boer War presentation silver salver exceeded all expectations when it realised $12,810 (lot 3638; est. $7,500) and a Military General Service Medal 1793-1814 with a later strong and interesting connection to the Illawarra region of NSW, Australia realised $10,980 (lot 3644; est. $8,500). Also a good price was paid for a China Medal 1900 awarded to an Able Seaman on H.M.S.Protector which realised $10,370 (lot 3690; est. $6,500).


Another lot with an outstanding result was the Polar Medal issued to S.N.Jeffryes who served with Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14 and unfortunately suffered ‘winter madness’. It realised $20,740 (lot 3696; est. $12,000). A Military Medal group awarded for hand-to-hand combat during a fierce enemy assault during the Korean War realised $11,590 (lot 3724; est. $10,000). Some good prices were achieved in the militaria section with almost all the tribute fobs and sweetheart badges exceeding estimates (see lots 3768 – 3779), and almost all the helmet lots exceeded estimates (see lots 3785 – 3793). A couple of good results were also achieved for a few very scarce items, namely a 29th Light Horse, Port Phillip Horse V.M.R. hat badge that realised $4,148 (lot 3755; est. $2,250) and a Naval Transport Coaling Battalion lapel badge which realised $2,440 (lot 3764; est. $300).  


The next sale will take place on July 14th-16th with further inclusions from the Flynn, Freehill and Woolmore collections. Consignments can be received up to May 22nd.


Jim Noble

April 2020

Auction news