Sunday, June 26, 2011

JR Newsletter: 26 June 2011 (42)

Sheridan Downey wrote:

Our little collecting community lost a great friend this past April with the passing of Roger Solomon. Roger succumbed to a rare form of skin cancer that was diagnosed just a few weeks earlier. He is survived by his lovely wife Jeri, an avid collector of U.S. Commemorative Half-Dollars. Roger was hoping to arrange and participate in the sale of his collection this August, during the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL, not far from his home. Sadly, he was not allowed enough time to share and enjoy the event.

Early this month Jeri Solomon asked me to showcase Roger’s collection during the upcoming ANA Convention. It is with bittersweet pleasure that I have the honor of overseeing the sale of Roger’s remarkable coins to a new generation of numismatic stewards.

You can read more about Roger and his collection here:
This link will take you to an inventory of Roger's collection:

Sheridan also added the following note: I am on my way to Africa as you read this but will be back to field questions the 3rd of July.  Maybe before - if I find a wi-fi hotspot in the Serengeti!


Alan V. Weinberg wrote:

A brief review of the Whitman Baltimore show  relating to John Reich coins and medals:
An unlisted 1824 bust quarter with a silversmith counterstamp on obverse of W. GIBNEY (raised letters)  in a thin recessed cartouche was discovered and changed hands to a serious Bust quarter collector on the bourse floor.
Joe Levine of Presidential Coins and Medals (PCAC) auctioned on Sat night at the Balto show an unlisted 1805 bust  quarter with prominent serrated border cartouche on obv bearing the raised letter silversmith counterstamp JUSTICE (Joseph J. Justice Phila 1844-48), ex Arlie Slabaugh 2001 PCAC sale in 2001 where it then  brought $391. June's hammer price was $1,100, even though it was estimated at $400-600.
Pook and Pook antique auction house in Downington Pa auctioned on June 16th Thursday a large group of US coins and a  U.S. Mint-struck medal Julian  CM 5,  Betts 617,  Baker 58 1783 Treaty of Peace Geo Wash / Benj Franklin conjoined busts / 1783 descending American Eagle over hemispheric globe medal, a silver proof in the original round engraved pillbox case engraved Medallic History of the American Revolution. Part of the Sansom series of medals struck in 1805 and engraved by John Reich. Estimated at $8,000- $10,000 so the auction house knew what they had. Several years previously Pook and Pook  auctioned a silver proof 1797 Geo Wash Presidency Relinquished Reich-engraved  silver original in an identical Amer Revol silver pill box, both lots consigned to P & P by the same old family.
The medal was auctioned precisely at 2:15 PM during opening day of  the Baltimore coin show and this writer bid on his cell phone from the Balto bourse floor , capturing it at an ultra-reasonable $18,000 plus buyer's fee of 18.5%. Ironically the 2 immediate underbidders, collector Syd Martin and dealer Ron Karp, were also Balto bourse floor cell phone bidders,  followed by dealer Joe Levine at mail bid of $13,000. So all the top action on the medal came from the Baltimore bourse floor. Had the medal been auctioned by a prominent coin auction house at a time not conflicting with Balto bourse opening day, it would likely have surpassed $30,000 hammer.
This writer also viewed briefly on the bourse floor  an old time Whitman blue folder album for bust dimes with approx a dozen well-worn unattributed and toned bust dimes inserted in the holes.

One more observation:
I tried to buy a copy of Rory Rea's  Early Quarter Dollars of the U.S. Mint book for a friend on Sat at noon at the Balto show and could not. Rich Uhrich, prominent dealer,  was apparently the only one who had any for sale there and had brought a full case (guessing, 25 books). He sold out by Sat noon but for one single remaining unwrapped, damaged edge copy which I rejected. All the others sold out. So, apparently, this book is moving rapidly (at a firm non-discounted $100)  even though this show was much smaller and moderately attended compared to the other two Whitman Balto shows.
Alan V. Weinberg

Robert Stark wrote:
Bob Hammond’s comments on attendance at last week’s Baltimore Show are about the same as mine for the first half of last Thursday afternoon. However, the auction viewing room was filled from the get go; hardly an empty seat. The table end where I was seated was pressed into service—and who should pop down but Brad Karoleff! I put that useful surprise to work as we had a good chat.
       My interest is the Early Dollars! The ’95 B-12, #4004, shows a clashed die much as my coin. The ’95 B-14 NGC 58, #4009, had less hair detail than I expected for a 58 coin.
The ’99 B-9 PCGS 53, #4037, showed a dark spot at Liberty’s throat. Next visit to the bank vault  I check my two B-9s, They seem to have a light spot in Liberty’s throat. So, perhaps the variety has a small pocket at Liberty’s throat.
       Lacking a ’00 B-10, the NGC 58, #4036, was of especial interest. Again, I thought that hair lines ought be bolder on a 58 coin. An ’01 B-3 PCGS 55, #4043, is a very nice coin—even a bit nicer, I thought, than the ’02 B-6 NGC 55 (#4046) with a CAC sticker.
       I returned to the bourse floor pondering a bid the ’00 B-3. It had a high reserve that also gave pause. At Harry Laibstain’s table I saw a lovely’03 B-4 PCGS 55 CAC. It became my acquisition of the afternoon. The next day I learned that the ’00 B-10 had  received no bids and, again, was offered for a bid over the reserve.  

Bob Stark