Sale 125 Realises $5 Million

Sunday, 13 December 2020

This sale realised the most of the three auctions conducted during 2020 that realised a total of $13 million. To start off, the highlight of a few early mis-strikes went to an attractive brockage penny, 1943I (lot 70; est $1,000) at $2,440. In historical medals, Mudie’s National Medals series of forty in bronze (1820) in presentation case to James Norton (lot 325; est $5,000) realised $6,100. A large silver Agricultural Society of NSW medal (lot 343; est. $1,000) doubled estimate, realising $2,440. The outstanding highlight of the small tokens section was the E. De Carle ‘Raglan’ penny 1855 (lot 439; est. $20,000), that realised $21,960.

The start of the first evening session saw the best NSW fifteen pence or dump, 1813 (lot 781; est. $40,000) realise $34,160. The first Adelaide gold pound, 1852 (lot 785; est. $20,000, illustrated on the front cover) realised $28,060. In the high grade Sydney Mint Sovereign collection the 1855 realised the most at $23,790 (lot 790; est. $25,000), next was the second type, 1858 (lot 793; est $9,000, illustrated on the front cover) at $16,470, third was the 1860/59 sovereign (lot 795; est. $15,000) at $14,640 and fourth the 1862 sovereign (lot 798; est. $4,000) at $11,468. The final lot in this collection, the 1870 (lot 808; est. $2,500), realised a record for the date of $5,368. In other properties, the best of the 1857s (lot 811; est. $7,500) realised $10,004 (ex Dr. I. J. Bryan Collection).

In half sovereigns, top price went to the 1855 (lot 836; est. $20,000) at $24,400, followed by an outstanding 1859 (lot 841; est. $12,000) at $20,740, both were ex David Ross Collection. The best of the shield sovereigns were the 1880 Melbourne (lot 864; est. $7,500) at $11,468 and the 1886 Melbourne (lot 875; est. $7,500) at $11,590. Top prices of the rare date George V sovereigns were the 1921 Melbourne (lot 928; est. $30,000) at $46,360, the 1922 Sydney (lot 933; est. $30,000) at $43,920, the 1923 Sydney (lot 936; est. $30,000) at $46,360, and the 1926 Sydney (lot 942; est. $35,000) at $41,480, all ex David Ross Collection, except the 1922 Sydney from Dr. I. J. Bryan Collection. In imperial half sovereigns, the top price went to the proof-like 1881 Sydney (ex Sharps Pixley and David Ross Collections) (lot 959; est. $6,000) at $17,080, followed by the 1887 Sydney young head (lot 969; est. $6,000) at $11,590. The 1918 Perth (lot 1002; est. $5,000) realised $8,540.

In patterns and proofs, top price went to the 1911 milled edge threepence (lot 1003; est. $40,000) at $46,360. Top price in the florins went to the 1924 (lot 1063; est. $12,000) at $13,420 and the 1918M (lot 1059; est. $5,000) at $7,320. In the shillings, the 1921 star (lot 1081; est. $10,000), realised $13,420 and the 1933 (lot 1086; est. $12,500) realised $14,030. The 1930 pennies (lot 1118; est. $15,000 and lot 1119; est. $10,000) realised $17,690 and  $16,470 respectively.  

To kick off the second morning, the Iceni silver unit (lot 1144; est. $1,500) realised $4,148. A contemporary counterfeit shilling of Charles I (lot 1199; est. $100) surprised the room, rising quickly on the internet to realise $1,952 and a worn Pontefract shilling 1648 (lot 1214; est. $1,000) realised $2,318. These last two coins belonged to the G. W. Sutherland Collection. The Gothic crowns realised $3,660 and $2,928 respectively (lots 1363, 1364; est. $2,500 and $2,000). 

In the afternoon the British gold kicked off with a record winning bid of $13,298 for the Gallo-Belgic Aal stater (lot 1558; est. $6,000). In world coins, the best result in the British Honduras lots, ex Mark E. Freehill Collection, went to lot 1766 (51 pieces, est. $650) at $3,660. Next best was the proof one cent 1924 (lot 1769; est $250) at $2,318. 

A collection of British North Borneo half and one cents from the Melick Collection (lot 1773; est. $800) realised $2,440. The British Trade Dollars mostly realised five to ten times estimate. Lot 1785, est. $600, did the best, bringing $8,052. The British Colonies in general half dollars, (lots 1793, 4; est. $400 each), realised $2,684 each (one was illustrated on the front cover). Cyprus was really strong, the 1881H, one piastre (lot 1849; est.  $500), featured on the front cover, realised $10,980 and lot 1851, the 1901 silver set, est. $4,000, realised a record $26,840. Both lots were from the Freehill Collection and were bought by the same collector. A collection of East Africa shillings (37) (lot 1873; est. $700) realised $3,172. A collection of Fijian coins (1934-1968) (112) (lot 1881; est. $800), realised $2,562 and four mis-strikes (lot 1882; est. $300) realised $1,952 to the same buyer. A Hong Kong half dollar, 1866, ex J. P. Melick Collection (lot 1907, est. $500) realised $4,636. A collection of Queen Victoria Jamaica coins (51) (lot 1921; est. $600), ex Freehill Collection, realised $2,562. A Keeling Cocos Islands plastic ten token set, 1968 (lot 1927; est. $900) realised $2,806. A collection of 45 Nepalese silver coins (lot 1959; est. $300) in Nicholas Rhodes described envelopes and ex Mark E. Freehill Collection realised $4,392. Five and ten cents of C. Brooke Rajah of Sarawak, 1900-1915 (11 pieces, ex Freehill Collection) (lot 1985; est. $500), realised $2,684. Straits Settlements lots were keenly contested, half cents 1872H/1932 (8) (lot 2008; est. $450) realised $2,928; one cents 1872H/1901 (25), ex Freehill Collection (lot 2009; est. $800), realised $4,148, an 1876H five cents (ex Melick Collection) (lot 2012; est. $ 1,500) realised $7,930; collections of five, ten and twenty cents (lots 2011, 2015, 2016; est. $1,000, $1,200 and $2,000) realised $3,660, $9,516 and $7,320 respectively (all ex Freehill Collection). 

Emphasising the importance of condition, a fifty cents 1886 graded uncirculated (lot 2018; est. $500), ex Melick Collection, realised a staggering $21,350, the same date but only nearly extremely fine, ex Freehill Collection (lot 2019; est. $500), realised $854. A fifty cents 1900 (lot 2032; est. $750), ex Freehill Collection, realised $4,392. A proof-like Edward VII fifty cents 1905B (lot 2040; est. $500), ex Freehill Collection, realised a record $7,930. Three Edward VII silver dollars 1903-4 (lot 2043; est. $600), ex Freehill Collection, realised a record $10,980. The next lot (lot 2044; est. $600) dollars 1907-1920 realised $8,540.

A South Africa, Cape Province, Griqua Town silver five pence (1815-16) (lot 2050; est. $2,000) realised $3,660. South Africa, threepences to shillings (total 97) (lot 2053; est. $600) realised $2,440, while the florins to crowns, all ex Freehill, (total 75) (lot 2054; est. 2,000), realised $3,904. The Southern Rhodesia collection, ex Freehill Collection, in lots 2056 (est. $400) and 2057 (est.  $500) realised $1,952 and $4,148 respectively. The 1932 proof set (lot 2058, est. $1,000) realised $3,416 after spirited bidding. 

A Thailand bullet money four baht of Rama IV (lot 2061; est. $1,000) realised $2,928. The first two Tibet lots amazed the audience in the room, both ex Freehill,  the first a six coin lot (lot 2063; est. $500) realised $15,860 and a four coin lot (lot 2064; est. $300), realised $7,564 or $23,424 for the two lots to the same buyer. Finally, a Zanzibar lot of two bronze coins, the common pysa and the rare one cent 1908 (lot 2102; est. $750), ex Freehill Collection, realised $2,257.

In world gold coins in the second night session, a China four coin proof gold and silver set of Marco Polo (lot 2231; est. $1,500) realised $4,148. The next morning in the miscellaneous session, an Egyptian antiquity, an inscribed bronze knife (lot 2434; est. $250) brought twenty times estimate, realising $5,856 after spirited bidding. An aboriginal stone churinga (lot 2476; est. $400) realised $2,928. In numismatic literature, a collection of Royal Mint reports from the Mark E. Freehill  Collection did not go unnoticed (lot 2649; est. $100), finally realising $4,636. 

The eighth session commenced with the Robert Tonner Collection of New Zealand Trading Banknotes. A keen collector in the room bought many lots, one highlight was the issued ten pounds of the Bank of Australasia (lot 3013; est. $10,000), realising $15,860, followed soon after by the prize lot, the issued one hundred pounds of the Bank of New Zealand (lot 3022; est. $80,000) at $61,000. Most of the large coloured specimen notes were purchased by one bidder in the room at around estimate. Those lots remaining unsold will be offered in the next sale, Sale 126, 23-26 March 2021. A number of hardback catalogues of Sale 125B catalogue are for sale at $100 each. In New Zealand banknotes, a D. L. Wilks five dollars star note 001 prefix (lot 3125; est. $200) realised $3,172. In the world notes that followed, a China Szechuan Military Government one yuan (1912) (lot 3160; est. $100), realised $1,342, a Fiji overprint five pounds issued in 1940 (lot 3174; est. $5,000) realised $9,760, a Malaya five dollars 1941 (lot 3273; est $700) realised $2,684, as did a Sarawak ten cents 1940 (lot 3322; est. $700), a Singapore one thousand dollars 1975 (lot 3340; est. $1,200), realised $4,148 as did a Straits Settlements ten cents 1919 (lot 3364; est. $500), another but for 1920 (lot 3363; est. $600) realised $4,880, all new records for these notes. The George V, one dollar 1935, a common note (lot 3366; est. $300) realised $4,026 owing to its condition. 

In Australian Banknotes in the third evening session, a previously unseen Rainbow pound (lot 3471; est. $5,000) realised $10,370, as did a repaired no mosaic five pounds (lot 3483; est. $10,000). A previously unseen ten shillings star note (1952) (lot 3518; est. $2,500) realised $8,540. A last serial prefix one dollar pack (DPS prefix), ex Martin J. O’Brien Collection, (lot 3532; est. $500) realised $3,416. Towards the end of the evening session, we came to the British India issues from the Mark E. Freehill Collection with more surprises, EIC copper (16 coins) (lot 3781; est. $300) realised $4,880, a William IV pattern rupee, 1834 (lot 3786; est. $5,000) realised $23,180 (the highest price), half annas including the very rare 1875C (total of 13) (lot 3797; est. $500), finally realised $16,470; a 1893 half anna (lot 3806; est. $700) realised $4,880, a group of 37 Queen Victoria as Empress quarter annas (lot 3802; est. $300) realised $4,148 and a group of 32 quarter rupees as Empress including the rare 1880C (lot 3809; est. 1,000) realised $14,030. A group of 14 half rupees (lot 3812; est. $400) realised $6,100. Three proof quarter annas, 1928, 1935C and 1942L (lot 3824; est. $1,000) realised $7,320.

Day four started with the Tenth session for Orders Decorations and Medals and after the initial offerings, mostly sold for about estimate or slightly above, a Naval General Service Medal with clasp for Trafalgar (lot 3907; est.$8,000) realised $15,006. A China War Medal to HMS Protector (lot 3997; est.$6,000) realised $10,980, then a Military Cross group of four to the Australian Light Horse (lot 4038; est.$10,000) realised $15,860. Aviation groups were the highlight, a WWI Air Force Cross group of four to the Australian Flying Corps (lot 4040; est.$20,000) realised $29,280, a rare WWII Distinguished Flying Medal and Bar (the Bar a copy) group of eight (lot 4085; est.$25,000) realised $37,820, a WWII Distinguished Flying Cross group of five (lot 4096; est.$5,000) realised $10,980, and another WWII Distinguished Flying Cross group of six (lot 4102; est.$6,000) also realised $10,980 and a WWII and Korea group of seven to a fighter pilot killed in a flying accident at Williamtown, NSW (lot 4103; est.$850) realised $4,392.

In the Militaria section a King’s Gold Medal for the RAN College (lot 4137; est.$4,000) realised $5,368. A few other interesting results included a WWI sweetheart brooch to the Australian Light Horse (lot 4156; est.$250) realised $976, and hat badges to the NSW Civil Service Volunteer Infantry Corps and the NSW Civil Service Rifles (lots 4159 and 4160; est.$500 each) realised $1,708 each. Then a British East India Company officer’s gorget (lot 4189; est.$200) realised $1,952. In the Eleventh Session was Part 2 of the late Brian Bennett’s police badge collection. The highlights were the Nauru Police lot of four badges (lot 4245; est.$100) realised $1,952, the Territory of New Guinea Police European officer’s badge (lot 4246; est.$250) realised $1,342, Pacific Islands various police badges (lot 4256; est.$100) realised $1,220, and a Sarawak Constabulary badge (lot 4259; est.$60) realised $744.

Following this was a collection of about 90 lots of powder horns and shot and powder flasks. The highlights were a New Zealand related powder horn (lot 4282; est.$400) realised $1,098, and a watered steel nautilus shaped Indian powder flask (lot 4290; est.$300) realised $1,159. Finally, a Persian niello silver sword belt (lot 4378; est.$150) exceeded all expectations when it realised $2,074, as did a Scottish Regimental plaid brooch in silver decorated with battle honours (lot 4384; est.$110) when it realised $2,196.  

The eleventh session concluded with ancient gold and Greek silver and bronze coins. The Lysimachos stater (lot 4389; est. $3,500) went to a collector in the room at $5,612, the Philip II and Alexander the Great staters went to another collector in the room (lot 4390 and 4391, est. $7,500, $3,500) at $7,564 and $8,418 respectively. The same collector bought the Carthage electrum stater (lot 4400; est. $4,500) at $5,368, while another collector acquired the trihemistater (lot 4399; est. $15,000) with an online prebid of $14,640. A Nero Claudius Drusus (father of Claudius) aureus (lot 4402; est. $6,500) realised $9,150 and a Vespasian aureus (lot 4404, est. $8,000) realised $8,540. The top price for an Athens tetradrachm went to lot 4528 (est. $3,000) at $3,416. The Elis, Olympia silver stater (ex Prospero Collection) (lot 4542; est. $8,000) realised $9,150 to a collector in the room. 

In the final session on the fourth evening, a Pontius Pilate copper prutah with clear date (lot 4653; est. $150), realised $854 and the highest price for silver issues went to the Persis, Bagadat I, tetradrachm (lot 4660; est. $5,000) at $13,420. The top priced Roman silver coin went to the Constantius II siliqua (lot 4925; est. $1,600) at $1,830. 

Our next sale takes place in Sydney at the State Library of NSW on the 23rd to the 26th of March and consignments are being received until the 5th February. 


Jim Noble

December 2020


NB The following lots were withdrawn. Lot 2699, 3738, 4120 to 4127, 4129 and 4130.


All other unsold lots are available to purchase at 70 percent or more of the estimate.

Auction news