Sale 99 Realises $3.4 Million

Monday, 21 May 2012

This sale was successful with over eighty percent of the lots sold by volume and nearly that percentage by value. The Tom May Collection of Greek, Roman, British, Australian coins, medals and tokens realised well above estimate. The most expensive lots were the presentation ten shilling notes lots 4502 and 4503 (est at $100,000 and $120,000 respectively) realising hammer prices of $103,000 and $110,000 or a total of $248,145 for the pair with the 16.5% buyer’s premium (GST included). The pair was bought by the same collector for his important collection.

In the first session among the Australian mis-strikes and varieties a 1943 Bombay Mint penny with long denticles realised $1,748 (lot 65, est $1,500) and a long 5 1953 penny with mostly mint red realised a record $1,049 (lot 69, est $950). A 1968 two cents missing the designer’s initials, S.D. (lot 74, est $700) realised $816. An original roll of 1953 halfpennies (lot 79, est $200) realised way over estimate fetching $932.

The third session was devoted to the Alexander Collection of Australian and New Zealand tokens and for this offering there was a wide spread of buyers with more than ninety two percent of the lots sold. Top price went to the James Campbell of Morpeth silver threepence by J.C. Thornthwaite, which realised $10,485 (lot 1020, est $9,000) to a collector in the room. The Bell and Gardner Rockhampton penny, a token also by J.C. Thornthwaite, realised $3,786 (lot 745, est $3,000). The New Zealand pattern penny of 1879 (lot 917, est $4,000) went to a Japanese dealer for $4,194.

In the fourth session the Tom May Collection also did well with the William Allen Jamberoo penny, 1855, by J.C. Thornthwaite realising the highest price at $5,359 (lot 1033, est $3,500). In the miscellaneous tokens, the POW camp Liverpool, NSW, square aluminum threepence (lot 1183, est $1,800) realised more than double estimate at $4,660, a new record price for the grade, nearly extremely fine. In the Historical medals section the highest price achieved in the Melvin C. Williams Collection went to (lot 1252, est $500) a Rockhampton Show 1878 medal which realised $1,049. The highest price achieved was for the Centennial International Exhibition Melbourne 1888 in gold (lot 1276, est $2,200) realising $2,563.

In the fifth or evening session, the best of the holey dollars was fought over by two room bidders from $70,000 finally being knocked down for $95,530 (lot 1379, est $80,000). The third holey dollar, countermarked T. Knight, was well worn, however realized over estimate (lot 1381, est $25,000) selling to a room bidder after a short bidding duel for $32,038. The gold Adelaide pound, 1852, ex Tom May Collection (lot 1389, est $10,000) realized $10,485. The Sydney Mint sovereigns that sold generally were slightly under estimate, the highest being the 1861 (lot 1399, est $4,000) that realised $3,495, followed by two 1865 sovereigns (lots 1407, 1408, est $3,000, $2,500) which realised $2,796 and $3,029 respectively. The inverted A for V in Victoria shield sovereign (lot 1435, est $5,000) sold for $5,534. However top price in the Australian Imperial gold went to a half sovereign, 1918 Perth (lot 1484, est $5,000) which realised $9,320.

In patterns and proofs, the three square cupro-nickel kookaburra pennies all sold, albeit at lower prices than the high prices of three or four years ago. The D. Richardson type for 1921 (lot 1485, est $35,000) ex Vincent Read and Frank McCarthy Collections realised the top price to a room buyer at $39,610, another buyer won the ex McCarthyMackennal type 1921 (lot 1486, est $30,000) for $29,125 while the other, ex Tom May Collection (lot 1487, est $25,000) realised $24,485. A proof 1938 threepence valued by Spink Australia in February 1980 at $75 (lot 1488, est $5,000) realized $5,825. The best result in Australian Commonwealth was for the choice uncirculated 1933 shilling (lot 1573, est $12,500) which sold on the floor for $12,815. Next best was a good extremely fine 1923 halfpenny (lot 1680, est $12,000) that sold for $11,650.

The following morning German New Guinea was virtually sold out at around estimate. The Tom May Collection five mark (lot 1774, est $800) realised top price at $1,689. The New Zealand proof Waitangi crown 1935 (lot 1807, est $5,000) realised $6,990.

The Tom May Collection of orders, decorations and medals mostly sold over estimate, some important results were Naval General Service Medals, clasp Nile (lot 2004, est $3,000) realised $7,223 to an Australian phone bidder, clasp Copenhagen 1801 (lot 2005, est $3,000) realized $7,806 to a London phone bidder, clasp Trafalgar (lot 2006, est $6,000) realised $10,485 to a Sydney collector in the room, and a Military General Service medal clasp Corunna (lot 2008, est $1,000) realised $4,777 to a London buyer. The last Waterloo Medal (lot 2012, est $2,000) sold for $3,961 to a New South Wales collector in the room. The highest price in the collection was for the Zulu War K.I.A medal (lot 2031, est $7,000) which realised $11,650 to a UK e-mail bidder. A Military Cross group of six to a Royal Flying Corps Flight Commander (lot 2064, est $1,000) sold for $4,078 to a U.K e-mail bidder while a Military Cross and AFC group of four to a Test Pilot (lot 2065, est $2,500) realised $7,573 to a UK e-mail bidder. A Distinguished Service Medal group of seven (lot 2066, est $1,000) went to a NSW collector in the room at $3,379. However the most spectacular result came in the other properties military medal section when an AFC Pilot Ace K.I.A trio and death plaque (lot 2195, est $2,000) sold for a staggering $27,960 to a phone bidder. In militaria an Australian Commonwealth Horse, 1902, second pattern rising sun hat badge realised $2,330 (lot 2250, est $500) to a Victorian collector on the phone.

The eighth session was devoted to the Tom May Collection of British silver and bronze coins. The Offa silver penny (lot 2314, est $2,000) sold to a Sydney collector for $2,913, the Alfred the Great monogram penny as a Viking imitation (lot 2317, est $6,000) sold on the floor for $7,340, while the halfpenny (lot 2319, est $1,500) went to a collector in the room for $2,796. The choice Harold II penny of Steyning Mint (lot 2326, est $3,500) went to a Sydney collector in the room for $5,592. A Richard III groat, mint mark boar’s head (lot 2351, est $1,500) sold on the floor to a NSW collector for $3,961. A milled shilling of Elizabeth I (lot 2374, est $2,000) sold in the room to a Sydney collector for $4,194 and the portcullis four testerns (lot 2380, est $ 5,000) sold to an Australian phone bidder for $9,903. An attractive nearly extremely fine Charles I Newark besieged sixpence 1646 (lot 2402, est $1,500) sold for $3,146. The top price went to the attractive Pontefract besieged shilling 1648 (lot 2403, est $3,500) at $6,990 to a Queensland floor bidder. A Sydney floor bidder was successful in buying the two Blondeau patterns, the halfcrown 1651 (lot 2407, est $2,500) for $6,990 and the shilling, 1651 (lot 2408, est $1,000) for $3,961. The proof-like Cromwell shilling (lot 2412, est $3,000) sold to a UK e-mail bidder at $7,864.

In other properties of British, a proof George III halfcrown 1816 (lot 2573, est $3,000) sold to a Sydney collector in the room for $4,078. A 17th century token lot of thirty pieces (lot 2627, est $750) realised $2,680 to a floor bidder against strong bidding in the room.

In the ninth session in world silver coins the Russian coins showed up dramatically, a Peter I twelve kopecks 1708/7 for Lithuania (lot 2772, est $400) realised $7,747 to a floor bidder after strong e-mail bids were received from overseas. A choice Peter II rouble 1729 (lot 2778, est $900) realised $9,320 while a half rouble 1735 of Anna (lot 2785, est $1,500) realised $12,349 to the same floor bidder after many strong e-mail bids were received.

The tenth, or second evening session saw the offering of the British gold from the Tom May Collection. The best results were for the Elizabeth I milled half pound (lot 2918, est $9,000) at $19,223 to a room buyer and the highest the Charles I Oxford Mint triple unite 1643 (lot 2924, est $35,000) that sold to a London bidder on the phone at $66,405. The same buyer bought the Commonwealth double crown 1651 (lot 2925, est $2,500) for $6,757. The Tom May historical medals were highlighted by the Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588 in silver (lot 2992, est $2,500) that realised $4,427. The next highest price went to a George IV coronation medal in gold (lot 3089, est $2,000) that realised $4,078. A Charles II Naval Victory against Holland caught the attention of an enthusiastic yachtsman in the room who secured it for $1,864 (lot 3023, est $1,250). The world gold finished off the session, highlights were a China dollar struck in gold (lot 3182, est $18,000) at $23,300, a China proof two hundred yuan, 1981 (Bronze Age finds) (lot 3183, est $500) at $3,961 and a Russia Elizabeth ten roubles 1756 (lot 3238, est $6,500) at $46,600.

The third day commenced with the Tom May Collection of Ancient coins which mostly exceeded estimate. The highest price went to the Siculo Punic tetradrachm of good Sicilian style (lot 3320, est $3,000) at $ 6,291. A Sextus Pompey denarius (lot 3513, est $1,000) went to a Sydney collector in the room at $3,379 while a new collector secured an impressive portrait Caesar denarius (lot 3514, est $3,000) at $3,029. In other properties, a series of gold aureii went to a London phone bidder at estimate except for the Caracalla which was the subject of a bidding duel with a room bidder (lot 3598, est $16,000) eventually realising $34,950. In the Roman, a bronze sestertius of Faustina Junior with a nice brown patina (lot 3833, est $4,000) sold to a room bidder for $4,893.

The fourteenth session saw the start of banknotes, with New Zealand issues first. Top price here went to the consecutive pair of Wilson fifty pounds (1955-6) (lot 4198, est $8,000) at $8,155 to a bidder in the room. In world notes that followed on, the highlight turned out to be an Iraq 1942 set of four notes (lot 4346, est $400) that went to a floor bidder from Sydney at $5,359 after a large number of e-mail bids had been received.

In the evening the fifteenth and final session was devoted to Australian banknotes. The success in the private issues went to the Tasmanian notes, (lot 4489, est $12,500) the Ringarooma one pound realized $19,805 as did the Zeehan ten pounds (lot 4491, est $12,500) to the same buyer, another buyer secured the Launceston five pounds (lot 4490, est $8,000) for $11,650. After the success with the presentation ten shilling notes mentioned at the start, a red serial Collins/Allen ten shillings sold for $15,728 (lot 4504, est $1,600). Other highlights were a run of four consecutive ten pounds (1943) (lot 4615, est $6,000) that realised $8,388; a specimen ten shillings (1954) (lot 4644, est $30,000) that sold for $53,590 after a long bidding duel in the room. The same buyer took the other specimens at or near estimate. Finally a nearly uncirculated five pound star note (lot 4734, est $15,000) sold for $27,960 after several strong e-mail bids were exhausted.

Our next sale, our one hundredth, takes place in Sydney on 24th-26th July to commemorate one hundred sales, the first being in Sydney in October 1977. We look forward to seeing you then.

Jim Noble May 2012


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