Sale 127 Realises $4.3 Million

Monday, 27 September 2021

This sale was a great success with 94 percent of the lots sold at 144 percent against estimate for a total of $3.5 million hammer or $4.3 with the buyer’s premium. The three most valuable lots (853, 1232, 2516), with a combined total estimate of $625,000 remain available for purchase. What makes this sale even more remarkable was that it had to be held online only without a public viewing in a sale where we had more multiple or bulk lots than ever in different categories and viewing was one reason for postponing the sale date for five weeks.


There were nearly 900 successful bidders out of several thousand who registered to bid on both platforms plus pre bids at our website and postal or absentee bids. The total of 144 percent against estimate is the best result we have had. Demand is probably greater for our services during lockdowns when coin fairs and retail shops are closed.

The sale commenced on Monday 30th August at 9:30am, in the mis-strikes, two halfpennies struck together ‘a saddle strike’ (lot 99; est. $2,500) realised $3,904 ($3,200 hammer price plus buyer’s premium with GST, as are all quoted results). In decimal proofs, an original RAM mailing box with five 1966 proof sets (lot 115; est.$1,100) raced away to realise $5,124. The second session included the German New Guinea coins, here many new records were set. The gold twenty marks, 1895 (lot 475; est. $50,000), originally auctioned by us in March 1981 for $13,000 realised $84,180 to a bidder on the phone. The proof silver five mark, 1894 (lot 476; est. $10,000) realised $32,940, the two currency strikes (lots 477; est. $5,000; 478; est. 2,000) realised $11,590 and $12,200 respectively. The proof silver two mark 1894 (lot 479; est. $3,000) realised $10,980 and the currency version (lot 480; est. $1,250) realised $5,124, a proof silver half mark (lot 482; est. $1,500) realised $7,320. The New Zealand Waitangi proof set (lot 519; est. $6,000) realised $11,590.

The fourth session at 4:30pm was devoted to Australian historical medals. The Fort Academy, Kent Street North, Sydney medal in silver, 1843 from Gregory J. Smith’s Collection (lot 860; est. $1,500) realised $4,392. The Sydney International Exhibition passes, medals and ephemera mostly went to a buyer on the phone, the Committee Member’s gold pass by Evan Jones (lot 875; est. $1,500) realised $5,124. The large silver medal (76mm) (lot 877; est. $750) realised $3,660. In Agricultural medals a silver medal by Evans Jones for Cootamundra (lot 892; est. $200) realised $1,464. The Towers Pastoral Agricultural & Mining Association 1885 in silver (48mm) (lot 897; est. $700) realised the highest price in this category at $1,952. A Messina Earthquake medal 1908 awarded to an Australian Quartermaster realised a record $2,928 (lot 956; est. $800). Highest price in the session went to the NSW Rugby League prize medals in gold (lot 958 est. $5,000) at $7,930. An art nouveau medal by Franz R. Stelling from the late Bill Mira’s Collection surprised by realising $854 (lot 965; est. $80).

The evening session commenced at 8:30pm with Proclamation coins, a Portugal John V half Johanna 1746 (lot 1162; est. $1,500) realised $5,612. The Gregory J. Smith holey dollar (lot 1163; est. $35,000) finally realised $63,440 after being keenly contested for by three collectors. The best of the NSW Dumps (lot 1165; est. $35,000) realised $42,700, the next (lot 1166; est. $30,000), realised $36,600. The ex jewellery cracked die Adelaide pound 1852 (lot 1174; est. $10,000) more than doubled estimate realising $25,620. The NGC graded 1855 sovereign (lot 1175; est. $30,000) raced away to realise $59,780. An 1860 sovereign (lot 1178; est. $4,800) more than doubled estimate at $12,810.

A 1910 florin realised a new level (lot 1237; est. $9,000) when it sold for $9,760 and the next example (lot 1238; est. $4,000) sold for $5,124. A choice 1928 shilling (lot 1291; est. $1,500) brought a new record at $3,904. The highlight of the Commonwealth was the 1922/1 overdate threepence ex Dr George Fenton Collection (lot 1347; est. $35,000) that realised $52,460. The 1930 pennies (lots 1383, 1384; est. $20,000 and $15,000) realised $23,180 and $19,520 respectively. Finally, the finest known 1931 halfpenny, ex Benchmark and Fenton collections (lot 1408; est. $9,000) realised a record $17,080.

The second day of the auction began at 9:30am with the sixth session featuring Orders, Decorations and Medals. Overall, the results were outstanding with many lots selling for far more than estimates. For example, the group to the Commandant of Pietersburg who issued the summons for ‘Breaker’ Morant during the Boer War realised $9,150 (lot 1428; est. $3,500). Another outstanding result was for the Air Force Cross pair to a RAF helicopter pilot in the daring rescue of 17 oil rig workers from a collapsing oil rig during a wild storm off Guernsey, later served in the Falklands War and then joined the RAAF (lot 1433; est. $5,000), realised an amazing $13,420. There were many other high prices achieved for various lots, particularly Boer War issues, a few of which include (lot 1437) estimate $800, realised $1,220, (lot 1441) estimate $1,000, realised $1,830, and (lot 1478) estimate $600, realised $2,928. Another high price was for a World War II DSC group to an officer on HMAS Sydney during the Bartolomeo Colleoni engagement (lot 1541; est. $10,000), realised $18,910. Following the medals was the militaria which ran through to the end of the session and continued into the seventh session. It included many badges issued for services to the war effort and some results were far in excess of expectations. For example, a Department of Navy Home Service badge (lot 1583; est. $750), realised $2,684 and a WWI Volunteered for Active Service, Retained for Home Service badge issued by the Department of Navy (lot 1586; est. $100), realised $2,928. A final highlight was a World War II Instrument of Surrender document between Japan and Australia (lot 1732; est. $200), realised a staggering $8,540.        

In the eighth session, miscellaneous Perth Mint Pink Panther one ounce ingots with pink diamonds, gold (lot 1849; est. $4,500) and platinum (lot 1850; est. $4,000), realised $9,150 and $12,200 respectively. A Russian silver gilt enamel case (lot 1856, est. $100) realised $2,318. In documents the Visitors Book (lot 1940; est. $150) realised $4,880. A Pro Hart oil painting (lot 1993; est. $500) realised $3,416 after spirited bidding. In the world banknotes that followed a China, International Banking Corporation, Shanghai Branch, five dollars, 1905 (lot 2033; $150) realised $4,636. Two People’s Republic notes 1948, 1949 (lot 2038; est. $80) realised $2,440. A French Indo-China 100 piastres (1954) (lot 2081; est. $60) realised $1,342. A contemporary forgery of a Dardanelles (Gallipoli) 120 piastres (1915) (lot 2098; est. 250) realised $1,952. A Hong Kong group of three (lot 2102; est. $80) realised $2,440, a pack of 100 five dollars 1969 (lot 2104; est. $500) realised $4,880. Top price went to the Malaysia 1000 ringgit (1976-81) (lot 2166; est. $1,000) at $17,080. An accumulation of Russian notes (lot 2225; est. $400) realised $4,392, while a small group of 31 State Currency notes (lot 2226; est. $200) realised $2,440. A Straits Settlements one dollar (1915) (lot 2266; est. $50) realised $2,074.

The tenth or evening session again started at 8:30pm and got off to a good start when the Treasury Bill signed by Macquarie, 1817 (lot 2500; est. $5,000) realised $14,030. A rainbow pound given for baby sitting in 1960s (lot 2569; est. $5,000) realised $12,810, however top price for the Australian notes went to the red serial one pound (lot 2564; est. $15,000) at $17,080.

World gold coins opened the third day’s auction at 9:30am. Best results went to an India, EIC, mohur, 1841 (lot 2792; est. $4,700) at $6,344, a South Africa, ZAR pond 1895 (lot 2830; est. $800) at a record $9,150 and a Transylvania, Gabriel, ducat, 1621 (lot 2853; est. $4,000) at $6,710. Also of note was a USA St. Gaudens twenty dollars 1907 in a PCGS slab as MS65 (lot 2873; est. $3,000) which realised $6,100. In world silver which followed a British West Indies heart shape cut countermarked eight reales 1756 (lot 2926; est. $800) realised $2,440. The Chinese lots often went well over estimate, some examples are a silver drum shaped sycee (lot 2964; est. $500) at $6,100, a Central Mint of Tientsin silver dollar (1908) (lot 2968; est. $350) at $4,392, another (1911) (lot 2969; est $300) at $5,246, a Chihli Province dollar (1908) (lot 2974; est. $200) at $3,660, a Szechuan dollar (1901-8) (lot 2978; est. $250) at $5,612 and a Republic Li Yuan-hung dollar (1912) (lot 2980; est. $400) at $5,856. The most amazing result went to the seven coin mint set of 1980 from Dr. W.J.D. Mira’s Collection (lot 2986; est. $200) at a new record of $7,930. Soon after a Cyprus quarter piastre, 1901 (lot 2992 est. $150), realised $2,440. A Greece silver phoenix, 1828 (lot 3037; est. $3,000) realised $6,100 as did the five drachma 1833 (lot 3040; est. $5,000) and the India zodiacal rupee (lot 3072; est. $5,000). The John Cresswell Collection of Indian Native States (179 coins, lot 3107; est. $300) realised ten times estimate at $3,172. British India results were high e.g. three Queen Victoria rupees (lot 3118; est. $200) realised $1,586 and a 1862 penny countermarked one rupee WIIII within a wreath on both sides, ex Brushfield and Mark E. Freehill collections (lot 3121; est. $100) realised $1,830. A Republic proof set of five coins dated 1957 (lot 3126; est. $500) realised $8,540. The Freehill British India tokens all sold well, standouts were the Famine Relief token (lot 3136; est. $100) at $1,220; the Assam Tea Gardens issues estimated at $50 each (lots 3138, 3140) realised $854 and $915 respectively. Highest price went to the mule of 10 and 9 pice (1897) (lot 3142; est. $100) at $1,830. The John Cresswell Collection of Malaya (185 coins) (lot 3211; est. $300) realised more than ten times estimate at $3,904. A Nepal group of five silver mohars of 1641-1722 period from the Dr. V.J.A. Flynn Collection (lot 3226; est. $200) realised $1,952. A group of five Far East Chinese chopmarked dollars (lot 3261; est. $200) realised $3,416. A mixed lot of eight coins from Tibet, Nepal and India (lot 3339, est. $150) realised more than twenty times estimate at $3,660 and a lot of 39 coins of Tibet 1936 period ex Flynn Collection (lot 3341; est. $200) realised $2,196. A world coin lot of 131 coins of Bulgaria and France (lot 3432; est. $120) raced away to realise $1,830. An old estate lot (lot 3459; est. $500) realised $3,172 and a small group of Hong Kong and Straits Settlements fifty cents (lot 3463; est. $200) realised more than twenty times estimate at $5,368.

The autographs generally sold well and were featured on Nine News on the Saturday evening preceding the sale, highlights were the Napoleon (lot 3552; est. $450) at $2,440 and the Queen Victoria (lot 3555; est. $400) realised the top price at $2,684. Then followed the British silver and bronze coins with a good series of Anglo Saxon and Norman pennies, mostly from the Dr. L.J. Sherwin Collection. The first three Anglo Saxon pennies (lots 3660-2; est. $2,000, $900, $1,000) each realised $3,416, the second the Burgred is a record, as is the third - a Viking York Cunnetti issue. The highest price went to the Alfred the Great London monogram penny (lot 3667; est. $3,000) at $18,300. A portrait Edgar penny (lot 3675; est. $850) realised $6,710, while a Harthacnut penny conservatively estimated at $1,000 (lot 3691) realised ten times estimate at $11,590. An Edward the Confessor expanding cross York penny (lot 3693; est. $1,200) realised a record $6,588. The Harold II pax no sceptre penny (lot 3697; est. $10,000) ex Montagu Collection realised $17,690. The William I Bonnet type penny of York (lot 3698; est.$3,000) realised a record $13,420. A William II penny of Winchester (lot 3708; est. $6,000) realised $10,370. A Richard III groat ex Frank Brady Collection (lot 3740; est. $4,000) realised $6,100. A Newark besieged shilling 1645 ex B. R. Noble Collection (lot 3774; est. $4,000) doubled estimate realising $9,760. A Cromwell crown 1658 (lot 3786; est. $2,000) realised $6,100 and a halfcrown 1658 (lot 3787; est. 3,000) realised $6,710, both ex P. F. Tripovich Collection. In the fifteenth session commencing at 8:30pm, the top priced crown went to the George IV proof 1826 (lot 3867; est. $12,500) at $26,840 and the plain edge proof Gothic 1847 (lot 3880; est. $5,000) ex F. S. Dobbin Collection at $40,260. In British gold coins an Edward III noble ex Dr L. J. Sherwin Collection (lot 3986; est. $2,000) realised $9,028. A gold pound of Elizabeth I (lot 4000; est. $10,000) realised $23,790. A choice jubilee five pounds (lot 4039; est. $3,500) more than doubled estimate at $8,540, while a proof five pounds 1937 (lot 4063; est. $5,000) tripled estimate at $18,300.

The fourth and final day commenced at 9:30am with Greek silver and bronze coins. One outstanding result was the Macedon, Perseus tetradrachm (lot 4169; est. $2,000) ex Sherwin Collection, realising an Australian record of $9,150. A new style Athens tetradrachm from our Sale 50 and W. H. Nicholas Collection (lot 4199; est. $600) realised $2,440 and an Ionia, Ephesus tetradrachm from the same collection (lot 4222; est. $600) realised $2,684.

A Syria cojoined heads tetradrachm (lot 4285; est. $1,500) ex Sherwin Collection, realised $4,148. The Mark Antony and Cleopatra tetradrachm (lot 4294; est. $4,000) realised $5,612. Outstanding results in Roman coins went to a Julius Caesar elephant denarius (lot 4416; est. $600) at $2,684. Two Faustina Junior bronzes sold well, a sestertius (lot 4531; est. $3,500) from the Brian Bolton Collection realised $5,368, and an as (described as a sestertius in error) (lot 4532; est. $1,000) realised $6,100.

The eighteenth session contained 76 lots of ancient gold coins. A posthumous stater of Lysimachos of Thrace (lot 4696; est. $2,000) realised $3,660, an Alexander the Great stater of Macedon (lot 4698; est. $3,000) realised $5,734, a Lydia gold daric (lot 4701; est. $2,500) realised $3,660, a Bactria Diodotos II stater (lot 4702; est. $4,000) realised $5,124 and a Ptolemy II of Egypt gold tetradrachm (4703; est. $3,000) more than doubled estimate at $8,784, these were all ex Sherwin Collection.

A Faustina Senior aureus (lot 4706; est. $5,000) realised $8,540, an Anthemius solidus (lot 4719; est. $1,500) realised $4,148. A Philippicus solidus (lot 4751; est. $1,500) realised $3,050 and a solidus of Anastasius II (lot 4752; est. $1,500) went for $2,440. A Eudocia histamenon nomisma (lot 4764; est. $1,500) realised $2,318. These last four all from the Dr. L. J. Sherwin Collection.

The next sale closes for entries on Friday 1st October at the latest. The sale will be held over three days, at the Dixson Room, State Library of NSW, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.

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