Sale 128 Realises $2.5 Million

Sunday, 12 December 2021

This auction was conducted live as an in-room auction in the Dixson Room, State Library of NSW, as well as live online. The clearance was over ninety percent at 135 percent of estimate for lots sold. The total hammer price plus buyer’s premium was $2.5 million. Highlights were the NSW fifteen pence dump 1813 (lot 959; est. $27,000) at $42,700, the pattern kookaburra square halfpenny, 1921 (lot 1054; est. $90,000) at $109,800 and the series of nine lots of ancient Greek, Euboia silver coins from the BCD Collection (lots 2527-31, 3-6; total est. $66,000) at $99,186.

In the Australian and New Zealand tokens at the end of the second session a W.J. Taylor Melbourne/United States mule halfpenny (lot 412; est. $2,000), realised $4,392. In the third session, Australian Historical Medals, a Judge’s medal for the International Exhibition Sydney 1879 in silver (lot 461; est. $2,500), realised $3,172 while Committee member’s S.I.E. gold admission badge 1879 (lot 464; est. $3,000), realised $3,660. A Towers Pastoral Agricultural Mining Association small size silver medal for a “Greyhound Dog” (lot 480; est. $100), surprised the room by realizing $1,586. In the stamps section to conclude this session, an album of China (lot 668; est. $500) realised $6,100.

The fourth session comprised British gold, silver and bronze, a George II guinea (lot 683; est. $3,000), realised $8,540. A Queen Victoria Jubilee five pounds, 1887 (lot 694; est. $4,000), realised $7,442. A George II proof silver crown, 1746 (lot 804; est. $12,500) realised $14,640 and a Gothic crown, 1847 (lot 843; est. $3,500) realised $8,784 to a collector bidding in the room.

In the fifth session devoted to Australian gold, silver and bronze coins, an 1855 Sydney Mint sovereign (lot 960; est. $8,000) realised $11,590. An 1881 Sydney mint half sovereign (lot 1012; est. $800), realised $3,904 after a bidding war. Proof restrike Bombay Mint penny and halfpenny 1942 pair (lots 1065, 6; est. $5,500), realised $12,200 to a buyer in the room. A 1937 crown (lot 1083; est. $150), realised a record $1,220. The Benchmark Collection 1916M threepence (lot 1147; est. $3,000), realised $5,124. The above average 1930 penny (lot 1185; est. $35,000), realised $37,820 and an Indian die dropped 1 penny 1931 (lot 1186; est. $1,250), realised $3,416.

In the miscellaneous section at the start of the sixth session the next day a painting by Arthur Boyd (lot 1267; est. $15,000) realised $31,720. The Islamic coins that followed (lots 1384 to 1495) generally doubled estimate, nearly all were from the Sherwin Collection, two glass weight lots (lot 1491, 7; est. total of $350) from the M.J. Syddell Collection realised $6,588 or fifteen times estimate! The seventh and eighth sessions were devoted to world gold, silver and bronze. A Kushan stater (lot 1538; est. $400), realised $2,196. A very fine China, Chihli Province silver dollar (1908) (lot 1621; est. $200), raced away to realised $5,856, ten times what similar examples realised (lots 1620, 1622-4). A very fine 1867 Hong Kong silver dollar (lot 1747; est. $750), realised $3,477. A Jahangir zodiacal rupee (lot 1774; est. $5,000), realised $5,856. The series of Nepal from the Flynn Collection (lots 1864 to 1886; est. total $7,000), realised $50,000 all to the same online bidder.

World banknotes took up the ninth session with the India, George VI, one thousand rupees (1937) (lot 2140; est. $4,500) being the highlight realising $6,710. A Commercial Bank of China, Shanghai (1929) realised ten times estimate (lot 2069; est. $200) at $2,440. A specimen set of JIM for Oceania (lot 2178; est. $600) sold strongly to a room buyer for $3,416.

The Australian notes took up the tenth session and the results were mixed. A five pounds Riddle/Sheehan (1932) (lot 2737; est. $15,000), realised $15,250 as did a Riddle/Heathershaw ten pounds (1927) to the same buyer in the room (lot 2353; est. $15,000). A possible error five pounds (lot 2338; est. $1,000) sold to a room bidder for $3,660.

On the third day, the first three sessions were dedicated to ancient coins in gold, silver and bronze. Highlights were a Thrace, Ainos tetradrachm (lot 2482; est. $8,000) at $15,860, a Macedon, Akanthos tetradrachm (lot 2509; $6,000) at $12,200). Three lots of Euboia with obverse cow, reverse octopus did well, going to two online bidders (lots 2528-30; est. $7,500, $7,500, and $5,000) realised respectively $13,420, $15,250 and $12,810. A Syria, Antiochos XIII tetradrachm (lot 2613; est. $500) from the Sherwin Collection realised $3,904 after a bidding war. A gold distater of Alexander the Great (lot 2673; est. 10,000) doubled estimate at $23,790 as did the stater (lot 2674; est. $4,000) at $9,760. Highest price went to the Egypt, Ptolemy III gold octodrachm (lot 2683; est. $16,000) at $32,940. In Roman, top price went to a gold aureus of Septimius Severus (lot 2691; est. $17,000) at $20,130. A choice Byzantine gold histamenon nomisma of Isaac I (lot 2710; est. $1,000) from the Sherwin Collection sold to an online bidder after a bidding war at five times estimate realising $6,100. A late Roman bronze lot of three coins (lot 2940; est. $150) from the M.J. Syddell Collection surprised most observers realising $4,636 after a long bidding war over the MSN mintmark.

The John F. Yarwood Collection occupied the whole of the fourteenth session, highlights were Great Britain BAF vouchers (lot 3232; est. $120) at $732 and (lot 3233; est. $350) at $1,586. The fifteenth and final session of the open auction featured Orders, Decorations and Medals as well as Militaria. It started well with the first lot, a Military General Service Medal 1793-1814 with eleven clasps (lot 3291; est. $8,500), realising $14,640. Although some lots did not sell, in particular the Distinguished Conduct Medal group for the Gallipoli landing (lot 3337; est. $50,000), other lots generally sold well. Some lots far exceeded their estimate such as a China and WWI group of five (lot 3336; est. $2,500) that realised $6,100, a Military Cross group of six for El Alamein (lot 3370; est. $6,000) realised $9,760, a WWII group of seven to a POW (lot 3371; est. $750) realised $1,464 and another WWII group of four to an officer with Kanga Force in New Guinea (lot 3379; est. $750) that realised $1,952.

The Militaria section exceeded expectations with many lots selling far in excess of their estimates. The first lot 3387, an Australian issued South Africa Soldiers’ Association Life Member badge (lot 3387; est. $200) realised $1,342, a Returned Soldiers Assn Q(ueensland) badge (lot 3406; est. $450) realised $671, a Western Australia Returned Maimed & Limbless Mens Assn badge (lot 3407; est. $80) realised $439, a group of five Queensland Civil Defence and other badges (lot 3423; est. $250) realised $732 and a NSW Military Forces helmet plate c1885 (lot 3426; est. $100) realised $1,037. The most surprising item of all was the New South Wales Mounted Rifles brass shoulder title (lot 3429; est. $60) that realised a massive $1,952. This is one reason why selling at auction is a good idea with so many collectors, dealers, institutions and other individuals worldwide having access to bidding for an item. Most other lots sold at or above estimate so overall it was a very successful session.


Jim Noble

December 2021



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

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