20-01-2015 – 01-01-1970
Choice Ancients, Rare British coins and unusual Americana in Davissons auction
The ancient world is well represented by a selection of choice Greek coins and some Roman rarities in Davissons Ltd. Auction 34, a no-buyers’-fee mail bid and live internet auction closing January 21, 2015. Unusual Americana pieces are an interesting and seldom offered part. Davissons main focus, British coins, is well covered by a hammered collection including many rare and seldom seen pieces formed over three decades by Dr. Cedric Raine, a prominent researcher into the causes and new treatments for multiple sclerosis. The trade token section includes many exceptional rarities. And the sale ends with a token collector’s library.
Lot 39. SICILY. Syracuse. 480-475 B.C. Tetradrachm. Randazzo 330 (this coin) (ANSNS 18. 1990). Extremely Fine; Ex The Manhattan Sale I, 5 Jan 2010: 25. W.B. & R.E. Montgomery Collection. Estimate: $4000.
The strong ancient section includes a choice gold stater of Philip II and many notable, rare and high grade Greek silver issues, including incuse staters of Sybaris and Metapontum, a rare drachm of Himera, and issues from Syracuse, Olynthos, Thasos, Thrace, Thessaly, Lokris, Thebes, Athens, the Cyclades, and many eastward.
Lot 66. ROMAN REPUBLICAN. The Social War. Marsic Confederation. 90-89 B.C. Denarius. Corfinium mint. Sydenham 621. HN Italy 408. Good Very Fine. Estimate: $3500.
The Roman section includes an exceptional aes grave (ex NAC, 1996), and a rare and attractive denarius of the Social War.
Coins from the Republic and the Imperatorial and Imperial eras, including issues of Julius Caesar, Sextus Pompey, Mark Antony (and Cleopatra), Tiberius, Augustus, and Nero are followed by a few appealing issues of Celtic Britain.
A section of Americana features some unusual American issues, an 1831 slavery badge from Charleston, a small group of mint state Alaskan gold from the early 20th century gold rush, a Panama Canal construction award, and an array of Confederate penny restrikes.
This eclectic mix is dominated by Dr. Raine’s thoughtful and wide-ranging collection. The hammered and milled gold lots opening the sale feature desirable examples that are generally Very Fine, free of overt damage, and estimated at conservative levels.
Lot 114. Edward the Martyr. 975-978. Penny. BMC i. S. 1142. N. 763. Near Extremely Fine. The Dr. Cedric S. Raine Collection. Estimate: $7000.
The collection is particularly strong in the exciting Anglo-Saxon period. A penny of Edward the Martyr serves as the cover coin for the sale. This part of the catalog also includes pennies of Offa, Coenwulf, Edmund, Aethelwulf, Alfred, Aethelstan, Eadwig, Eadgar, and others including both Harold I and II. Five pennies of William I and one of William II begin the post-Conquest section of the sale.
A new and unpublished reverse type for this entire era – a star with eight curved rays ending in a pellet – is the dramatic reverse design of a penny of Coenwulf from another consignor. The obverse has a realistic and well designed portrait. This was part of a recent ground find near Abingdon.
Coins from the Plantagenets through the Stuarts are well represented with appealing examples from most of the reigns in this period. Richard III is represented by two different examples of his groat issue. The collection concludes with three Newark Siege denominations, a Pontefract shilling and a few lots of Commonwealth and Charles II issues.
The rest of the British section includes several milled lots from another American collector who sought Extremely Fine or better pieces and several Scottish and Irish hammered pieces.
The token section offers several Thomas Paine “hangman” pieces with a tie to the American colonial series, referenced in David Bowers’ book, “Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins”.
Lot 259. Warwickshire 32 (scarce). Birmingham. Proof silver penny. FDC. Ex Murdoch, 12 Dec 1904, purchased by Cokayne (tag included). Estimate: $2000.
An extremely rare penny of Lord Nelson (Hampshire 8a) with a pedigree that goes back to Cokayne and Lincoln is one of the features of this token section that includes exceptional rarities along with an interesting run of tokens from such issuers as Pidcock and Spence. An FDC silver Spence piece with three men hanging (Middlesex 837) is a highlight of this section. An unlisted die combination of Bermondsey with a note by Cokayne (who bought it from Atkins in 1905) speculates that there may be “only one other known.”
The bust of Joseph Priestley appears on a silver penny, Warwickshire 32, that is pedigreed back to the Murdoch collection. The token section ends with two extremely rare John Bell pattern farthings of Newcastle-on-Tyne.
The medal section is small, a coronation badge and a death medal of Charles I.
A printed catalog is available on request from Davissons Ltd., PO Box 323, Cold Spring MN 56320 USA, or via email.
The sale is also on display and available for bids on their website.