20-02-2018 – 01-01-1970
A curated catalog of ancient and British coins
Davissons Ltd, Auction 37, closing February 21, 2018, reflects their effort to “curate” a catalog. Each of their annual sales is assembled over many months from consignments, purchases and their own holdings, emphasizing quality, variety and value – interesting coins, tokens and medals centered on the firm’s specializations in ancient and British coins.
Auction 37 Lot 15: Sicily. Syracuse. Time of Dionysios I. 405-367 B.C. AE tetras. 2.07 gm. 14 mm. Dies attributed to Exakestidas. Exquisite style. Estimate: $1,750.
The sale begins with the ancient section – some high grade late Byzantine gold, moves into choice Greek silver and bronze, coins that have been held for this sale because of their quality and appeal. Collectors will find a range of issues selected for artistic merit and condition, estimated in the three and low four figure range. The most notable element is the exceptional artistry of style in many of the coins. Many of the better pieces have historic pedigrees.
Auction 37 Lot 43: Roman Republic. Q. Servilius Caepio (M. Junius) Brutus. 54 B.C. AR denarius. Estimate: $1,500.
The Roman section reflects two major sources: a European collection from the mid-1950s with minty surfaces and iridescent toning and an American collection that includes choice denarii from the Knobloch Collection (Stacks, 1980). The section features many exceptional denarii. As the opening note to the catalog comments: “Denarii are plentiful: few are exceptional.” Beginning with Roman Republican silver, moving through portraits of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Claudius, Nero and continuing through Roman coinage ending with a few superb siliquae, the Roman section exemplifies the firm’s practice of seeking out exceptional material and holding for their annual sale.
All in all, the ancient section is a collector-oriented section with no coin estimated at higher than $2000.
A collection of medieval English and French coins from a scholarly and careful collector is part of this sale. Also featured is a select group of milled sixpences, shillings and Maundy sets from a lifetime collecting effort of high quality English milled pieces. Another collector who frequented Seaby’s well back into the last century has consigned a small group of high grade Tudor and Stuart coins.
Auction 37 Lot 143: Henry VIII. 1509-1547. AR groat (Unique pattern). Struck from a die originally prepared for Tournai groat. Ex Carlyon-Britten. Includes tag by C.B. describing issue. He considers this a unique pattern. This piece illustrated on plate XIII accompanying Whitton’s article in The British Numismatic Journal, 1950. Whitton notes “It may justly be called a trial piece.” Estimate: $9,000.
Some fascinating rarities can also be found in the sale. A Tournai groat is followed by two extremely rare pieces minted from the no-longer-needed Tournai obverse that went back to the mint after Henry VIII let Tournai go. One of the pieces is a unique pattern and a beautiful groat as well.
Auction 37 Lot 109: Anglo-Saxon. Eadgar. 959-975. AR penny. Ex SCBI 30. American Collections. No 396. John Dresser. Estimate: $10,000.
The Davissons approach buying material always with an eye to this sale. A superb Eadgar portrait penny has been in their holdings for several years. An exceptional Harthacnut, Southwark Mint, came from the recent small group of these that have been on the market. Harold I and II, William I and II, a large group of Tealby pennies – the hammered section is long on variety.
Auction 37 Lot 301: Ireland/Colonial America. Voce Populi coinage. AE halfpenny. Estimate: $750.
The Irish section is a highlight of this sale. A collection of Ormonde pieces including the rare twopence along with base metal Irish issues of Elizabeth I and a run of most of the VOCE POPULI types reflect one person’s collecting commitment. The highlight of the section is a Rebel Crown from the Civil War era. From unusual Hiberno Norse pennies to a superb George II halfpenny proof the Irish series is well sampled.
The 18th century token section offers a smattering of choice pieces. A highlight is two lots of eight tokens each, showing the progression of deterioration in a failing die. It took a substantial commitment to put these together, and both series offer opportunities to expand.
The sale ends with a group of “raw” US and Colonial America type coins. A Massachusetts pine tree shilling, a choice Virginia halfpenny, some early copper, a bit of early silver: it is not a large section but it does reflect the classic appeal of American issues.
The entire sale is available online.
The sale is also available in a high quality printed catalog, free on request.
There are NO buyer’s fees in Davissons auctions. Easy dollar to pound exchanges are available into a sterling account. Bids can be placed online, via email, or via regular mail: Davissons, PO Box 323, Cold Spring, MN 56320 USA.