Sale 129 Realises $4 Million

Thursday, 21 April 2022

This auction was very successful overall with some special sections realising remarkable results, in particular coins of China, Tibet, EIC mohurs of India, and the Warwick Cary Collection of military badges. Room bidding was down on average and online bidding at a high level partly due, no doubt to the inclement weather and COVID-19 concerns. The honour for the highest price lot in the auction went to the 1930 penny (lot 1059; est. $ 35,000) at $39,040.


In the first session a complete collection of Australian pre-decimal coins, missing only the 1930 penny (lot 42; est. $1,500) realised $4,636 to an online bidder after a series of bids from room bidders and other online bidders. A one cent 1968 mint roll (lot 74; est. $500) realised $2,074.


In Australian Historical Medals the E.C.Cracknell group (lots 446-454; total ests. $12,220), realised a total of $14,908. Eleven South Sydney Leagues Club Ltd foundation member badges (lot 586; est. $4,000) realised $3,782. Top price however went to the Bravery Awards group (lot 598; est. $20,000) at $18,300. In Australian tokens, top price went to a James Campbell silver threepence (lot 613; est. $6,000) at $8,540.


In the fourth session the important collection of New Zealand proof coins sold well. The best Waitangi crown (lot 643; est. $7,500) realised $9,760. The Centennial halfcrown (lot 647; est. $7,500), realised $7,320 and the 1949 crown (lot 648; est. $15,000) realised $19,520. The 1947 set (lot 652; est. $15,000) realised the highest price of $26,840 after a two-horse bidding war. The 1954 set (lot 656; est. $10,000) realised $11,590 and the 1964 set (lot 658; est. $8,000), realised $13,420 all to the same room bidder. In currency coins top price went to an uncirculated 1936 florin (lot 670; est. $2,750) at $4,392, followed by a 1935 threepence (lot 676; est. $1,500) at $2,196. A fifty cents (c2000) struck on the wrong blank (lot 752; est. $450) realised $1,708. Top price in the tokens went to the Archibald Clark Auckland penny 1857 (lot 774; est. $1,250) at $2,684. Highlight lot of the stamps that followed was the Marshall Islands part sheets with Japanese chops and original letter (lot 828; est. $500) that realised $11,590 after a bidding war between a phone bidder and a room bidder, with the latter prevailing.


The fifth or evening session featured Proclamation and Colonial coins at the start. A Brazil Johanna 1731M (lot 854; est. $6,000) realised $9,150 while a NSW fifteen pence or dump went to a floor bidder at a very reasonable $23,180 (lot 870; est. $30,000). The Adelaide pounds remained unsold when a phone bidder elected to not bid on further past a strong prebid by an online bidder on lot 873 est. $100,000. The Port Phillip one ounce restrike in copper (lot 875; est. $12,500) realised $12,810. An absentee bidder secured the 1855 and 1856 sovereigns (lots 876, 877; ests. $12,500, $11,000) at $18,910 and $14,640 respectively after strong bidding on the first. Top price in the Australian gold went deservedly so to the 1859 half sovereign in uncirculated condition (lot 894; est. $15,000) at $28,060. Next highest went to the extremely rare 1921 Melbourne sovereign (lot 935; est. $20,000) at $21,960.


The kookaburra pattern square penny, 1921 (lot 970; est. $25,000), went very reasonably at $21,960. The proof 1937 crown (lot 977; est. $20,000) realised the top price in the early proofs, at $23,180. Proof Perth Mint penny and halfpenny (lots 987, 988; est. $12,000 each) realised $11,590 and $12,200 respectively to the same floor bidder. The 1955 pair (lot 999, 1000; est. $3,500 and $3,000) realised a total of $12,200. In Commonwealth silver a 1912 shilling (lot 1028; est. $4,000) realised $6,344 after strong bids were received. Top price in this session went to the choice uncirculated sixpence, 1918M (lot 1043; est. $8,000) at $9,760. The second 1930 penny (lot 1060; est. $18,000) realised $20,130. An Indian die 1931 dropped 1 penny (lot 1062; est. $4,000) realised $6,710 as did a 1923 halfpenny (lot 1066; est. $5,000).


The second day witnessed the world silver and bronze being offered in three sessions. The China lots saw many spectacular realisations against estimate. The Taiwan Old Man dollar (lot 1128; est. $500) realised $11,590, the Tientsin dragon dollar (lot 1129; est. $500) realised $6,710, the An-Hwei Province dragon dollar (lot 1132; est. $200) realised $5,856, while a common Yuan Shi-Kai portrait dollar yr 10 (1921) (lot 1156; est. $200) realised $3,904 owing to its uncirculated condition.


A group of Assam rupees from the Dr. L. J. Sherwin Collection (lot 1266; est. $500) realised $4,148. The Jahangir zodiacal rupee (lot 1230; est. $6,000) realised $6,710. A small collection of 61 pieces of Myanmar (Burma) from the Mark E. Freehill Collection (lot 1433; est. $240) realised $3,416 and spectacularly a Nepal lot of 22 ex Mark E. Freehill (lot 1442; est. $150) realised $14,030. Two top pieces from an old Norway collection realised $10,980 each (lot 1449; est. $6,000; lot 1452; est. $2,000). A Russia, Kievan Rus, billon coin of Vladimir I (980-1015 A.D.) (lot 1474; est. $500) realised $7,930 to a collector from Sydney against overseas bidders, all online. In the eighth session commencing at 2:30pm came the series of Tibet nearly all from the Mark E. Freehill Collection (total estimate $16,750) realised a staggering $272,987 or more than sixteen times estimate. Highest price went to the one srang (lot 1541; est. $2,000) at $36,600, followed by (lot 1542; est. $2,000) at $32,940 to a room bidder.


A one sho (1910) (lot 1545; est. $500) realised a record $15,250. A trade coinage Szechuan Mint quarter rupee (lot 1554; est. $300) realised $7,320 and a half rupee (lot 1555; est. $500) realised $13,420, both at record prices. A rupee neglected in Dr. Shortland’s collection (lot 1559; est. $150) realised $7,320. Will we ever see such results and strong internet bidding again?


The British coins followed in the ninth or 4:30pm session. A George III proof Bank of England dollar 1804 (lot 1735; est. $1,500), realised $3,660 and an error edge variety of an 1818 crown (lot 1737; est. $1,500) realised $3,172. A proof Gothic florin 1879 (lot 1754; est. $8,000) realised the top price in the silver at $17,690. The highest price in the session went to the Charles II gold broad by Thomas Simon (lot 1830; est. $10,000) at $31,720 after strong bidding both locally and overseas with a UK phone bidder prevailing.


The tenth or evening session was devoted to world gold coins. Here the Roy Von Bock Collection of 1841 East India Company mohurs was the outstanding highlight. Top price went to the Bombay Mint issue (lot 1936; est. $6,000) at $25,620 to a bidder on the phone. The other continuous legend issue (lot 1937; est. $4,500) went to an absentee bidder at $17,080. Two of the best divided legend issues were (lot 1939; est. $4,000) at $14,640 to the same absentee bidder and (lot 1944; est. $4,500) to the bidder on the phone at $14,030. The most spectacular result went to the rusty obverse die (lot 1951; est. $500) at $12,810 after strong internet bidding. The total estimates for the 16 lots was $62,000 and they realised $181,536. The Tibet gold twenty srang (1919) ex Freehill Collection (lot 2026; est. $3,000) realised $9,150.


On Thursday 31 March the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth daytime sessions were held featuring Orders, Decorations and Medals as well as Militaria and the Warwick G. Cary Collection of Military Badges. In the eleventh session a New Zealand Medal 1869 (lot 2049; est. $500) realised $1,830 and a King’s South Africa Medal 1902 with two clasps (lot 2092; est.$750) realised $2,074. Then several lots featuring various medals and badges for Australian Senior Cadets Commonwealth Competitions from the Warwick G. Cary Collection surprised everyone selling far in excess of their estimates (lots 2118-2125; est. $2,860) realising $8,857. Then some important medal groups also exceeded expectations including a group of six to a killed-in-action at Gallipoli (lot 2131; est. $2,500) realised $5,368, a World War I Royal Red Cross First Class group of six to an Australian nurse (lot 2137; est. $5,000) realised $15,860 and a World War II Military Medal group of seven with MID (lot 2177; est. $5,000) realised $10,370.


In session twelve there were more excellent prices including for tribute medals (lots 2249 and 2250; est. $100 and $250) realising $671 each and an unusual ZAR sweetheart badge from the Boer War (lot 2264; est. $120) that realised $915. A few other scarce items also did well including a Naval Transport Coaling Battalion badge (lot 2272; est. $400) realised $2,074 and a Torpedo Survivor badge (lot 2289; est. $150) that realised $610. Then the Warwick G. Cary Collection of Badges began and continued on into the thirteenth session. This collection offered many badges rarely offered for sale and this was reflected in the outstanding prices realised. Just a few examples of these extraordinary prices include a NSW Infantry helmet plate 1871-72 (lot 2331; est. $1,000) realised $6,100, a 37th Infantry Battalion (The Henty Regiment) 1930-42 officer’s hat badge and pair of collar badges (lot 2537; est. $2,500) realised $10,980 and a 46th Infantry Battalion (The Brighton Rifles) 1930-42 officer’s hat badge and collar badge (lot 2557; est.350) also realising $10,980. Overall the prices realised for this collection were far, far in excess of estimates and demonstrates the actual rarity of many of these seldom seen items. The Cary Collection with estimates total of $96,700, realised $296,009 or three times estimate due to the recognized significance of the collection and to competition between strong room bidding and the internet.  


The fourteenth session commenced late, and was devoted to world banknotes. A Burma one hundred rupees (1939) (lot 2681; est. $700) realised $2,928. Two China Republic one yuan (1949) and (1953) (lot 2696; est. $60) realised $915. The early British Treasury notes generally sold at about fifty percent over estimate. The Iraq half dinar 1935 (lot 2772; est. $50) realised $1,037. Highest price went to the two Malaysian one thousand ringgit notes (1987) (lot 2799; est. $800) at $4,636. A Singapore one thousand dollars replacement note (1988) (lot 2837; est. $800) realised $2,318.


The fifteenth session commenced at 8:30pm one hour after schedule and without any room bidders for the unwanted first time. In pre-decimal some good results were (lot 2924: est. $6,500) at $8,540 as was the price for (lot 2933; est. $6,800). Top price went to the Collins/Allen one pound (1913) (lot 2954; est. $13,500) at $17,690. A Kell/Collins five pounds (1924) (lot 2978; est. $8,200) realised $10,980. The square ten pounds (1918) (lot 2996; est. $12,000) realised $15,250. A ten shillings star note (1954) (lot 3009; est. $4,000) realised $6,100. A specimen ten dollars 1988 (lot 3015; est. $4,000) realised $5,612.


The fourth day commenced with Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins in three sessions, starting with the gold issues. A Mysia, Kyzikos electrum stater (c.500BC) (lot 3096; est. $8,000) realised $8,540, however top price in the Greek went to the Egypt, Ptolemy II gold oktadrachm (lot 3099; est. $17,000) at $28,670 after spirited bidding. In the Roman gold the Trajan Decius aureus (lot 3110; est. $17,500) took top billing at $19,520. In Greek silver an archaic stater of Poseidonia (lot 3138; est. $9,000) realised $11,102. The Ainos tetradrachm (lot 3166; est. $12,000) was very reasonable at $12,200. The attractive Akanthos tetradrachm (lot 3179; est. $10,000) was also reasonable at $10,980, however the best result after strong bidding from several bidders went to the Larissa didrachm (illustrated on the front cover) (lot 3207; est. $5,000) at $14,030. A Knidos drachm in attractive condition (lot 3263; est. $4,000) realised $4,880.


In Roman a Caligula bronze as (lot 3397; est. $1,000) realised $1,708. A Vespasian denarius struck under Titus (lot 3415; est. $2,000) realised $3,660 after strong bidding. The Judaea Capta bronze sestertius (lot 3416; est. $5,000) realised $8,540 also after strong bidding. The final room bidding session commenced at 4:30pm. The extensive run of sovereigns generally realised ten percent over estimate. Highest price went to a ten ounce gold ingot (lot 3788; est. $22,000) at $29,280. Next highest price went to the Rolex watch (lot 3836; est. $9,500) at $15,250. The scrimshaw sperm whale tooth with `Moby Dick’ association (lot 3873A; est. $1,000) realised $2,684.   



The next sale takes place 26-29 July 2022 at the State Library of NSW. Already included is the outstanding collection of British proofs 1826-1970 in a separate catalogue and a choice German New Guinea gold twenty mark 1895A.

Auction news