Auction preview: June Torex sessions to feature two ‘substantial’ banknote collections, ‘extraordinary’ collection of tokens

Next month, The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC) will return to downtown Toronto to host its June 2017 Torex Auction Sale.

The three-session, 1,143-lot sale will be held June 23-26 and features three major collections as well as items from 40 other consignors across North America. Expected to highlight the sale are two “substantial” banknote collections—the Bennett Collection and the Greenbach Collection—as well as an “extraordinary” collection of tokens known as the Wellington Collection.

“Inadvertently both the Torex and RCNA Auctions (Boucherville in July) will be linked as to permit us to better promote and offer these exceptional collections and the vast amount of material that is being offered from them, as well as all the material from all the other consignors,” reads the auction catalogue. “This fantastic duo of Auctions should make some spectacular moments and active evenings of auctioning.”

Lot 714 is this set of three 1927 Specimen coins, including (from left to right) 25-, five- and one-cent coins. It’s expected to realize upwards of $85,000 altogether.

RARE ’21 FIVE CENTS, 1927 THREE-COIN SPECIMEN SET

Among the sale’s top highlights is an item in the second session, Lot 804, which is a rare 1921 five-cent coin graded Specimen-66+ by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). Described by auctioneers as having “great surfaces” with “superior” eye-appeal, this coin offers an important opportunity for registry set collectors. It has a starting price of $125,000 and an estimate of $130,000-$140,000.

Another top highlight is Lot 714, a rare 1927 three-coin Specimen set that includes one-, five- and 25-cent coins. According to auctioneers, these coins are rarely seen or offered as a set, adding the 25-cent piece is “the jewel of the trio.” Each of the coins was graded by PCGS: the one-cent piece was given a grade of Specimen-64 Red and the five- as well as the 25-cent pieces were given grades of Specimen-67+. Together, the lot has a starting price of $70,000 and an estimate of $75,000-$85,000.

Auctioneers also note Lot 714 will be sold as a set of three coins; however, if the lot does not sell or meet the reserve price, it will be offered as individual items in the following three lots (Lots 715-17). If the reserve is met, the lot will be considered sold and Lots 715-17 will be void. Separately, the coins are estimated at $12,000-$14,000 (one cent); $15,000-$17,000 (five cents); and $50,000-$60,000 (25 cents).

BENNETT COLLECTION Pt. 1

The first part of the Bennett Collection consists of an almost complete set of the Bank of Canada’s banknote issues—from the original 1935 Series to the present-day Frontier Series—in mainly Uncirculated to Gem Uncirculated condition but with a few issues between Very Fine (VF) and About Uncirculated (AU).

The collection features a 1935 $25 note (BC-12) in Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) AU-50 PPQ (premium paper quality); a $50 note (BC-14) in Canadian Coin Certification Service (CCCS) AU-55; a $100 note (BC-16) in PCGS AU-50; a $1,000 note (BC-19) in PMG AU-55; a 1937 $50 note (BC-26a) in PCGS Choice Uncirculated-64 PPQ; a series of 1954 Devil’s Face replacement issues ($1 through $20 denominations); and “excessively rare” 1973 replacement issues.

GREENBACH COLLECTION

According to auctioneers, the Greenbach Collection holds a “premium selection of carefully chosen Chartered and early Dominion issues flowing over into the early Bank of Canada notes.”

Auctioneers say the “jewel” of this collection is a rare $5 banknote issued by The Northern Crown Bank in 1914. Assigned a grade of VF-25 by PMG, it is the highest-graded example to date.

Other Greenbach highlights include a 1907 $5 issued by The Union Bank of Canada; a 1919 $20 note issued by the Standard Bank of Canada in VF-30 PPQ; and a 1917 $100 note issued by The Canadian Bank of Commerce.

WELLINGTON COLLECTION

Lastly, the Wellington Collection offers a “superb selection of tokens in surprisingly above average to just plain extraordinary and in some cases unique conditions,” according to auctioneers.

The collection is highlighted by an “extremely rare” pattern of a Cossack penny—listed only in Withers as #1506. In CCCS Proof-64, this museum piece is of the “highest rarity.” For more details about this token, see the highlights of session one below.

Lot 90 is this uniface Lower Canada penny token (Breton 974) with a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

SESSION ONE

Starting out the highlights of the first, 393-lot session is Lot 27, an 1812 “Trade & Navigation” halfpenny token (Breton 963) in CCCS Mint State (MS)-60. It has a starting price of $1,000 and an estimate of $5,000-$10,000.

Another token highlight is Lot 90, an 1815 Lower Canada penny token (Breton 974). This white metal specimen is uniface with only an obverse design present. Described by auctioneers as “possibly unique” and “the only example seen and ever offered at a public sale,” this lot is expected to draw strong bidding. It has a starting price of $5,000 and an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

COSSACK PENNY PATTERN

Lot 106 is this rare 1814 Cossack penny pattern token that’s expected to bring upwards of $45,000.

Rounding out the token highlights is Lot 106, an “extremely rare” pattern of an 1814 Cossack penny token—the aforementioned Withers #1506.

According to auctioneers, this pattern was unknown to Canadian collectors until it was described and illustrated in Paul Withers’ 1999 book, British Copper Tokens 1811-1820. Withers had full access to the tokens in stock at Baldwin’s, the iconic London numismatic auction house and retail store.

“It had sat in a collection that was formed by a serious collector of British tokens named Francis Cokayne,” reads the auction catalogue, which adds on July 17, 1946, this token belonged to esteemed numismatist Francis Cokayne.

The first sale of Cokayne’s silver tokens and copper tokens were purchased by Baldwin’s as “they were considered to not be worth auctioning except for in lots, which I suppose Cokayne didn’t care for,” suggests the auction catalogue.

“He was their biggest client for many years. He was active from the very late 19th century through to the 1930s. He also had enough money to be able to afford whatever came his way.”

This lot has a starting price of $10,000 and an estimate of $25,000-$45,000.

Lot 161 is this 1930 Bank of Nova Scotia £1 note with serial number “000001.” It’s expected to bring upwards of $50,000.

BANKNOTE HIGHLIGHTS

Moving on to banknote highlights is Lot 160, a 1914 $5 note issued by The Northern Crown Bank (CH-545-10-04) with a serial number reading “256948.” In PMG VF-25, this “extremely rare” example is one of only 13 known to exist, according to the Canadian Paper Money Society, with highest grade registered as VF. It has a starting price of $7,500 and an estimate of $15,000-$30,000.

The following item, Lot 161, is a 1930 £1 note issued by The Bank of Nova Scotia in Kingston, Jamaica (CH-550-38-04-02) with a serial number reading “000001.” In PMG AU-50, this example is “to be considered a true museum” piece, according to auctioneers.

Notes with serial number one are “considered rare and elusive to most collectors,” reads the auction catalogue, “and it’s a known fact that they can bring in substantial sales premiums.” For example, a previous sale of a Bank of Vancouver note with serial number “000001” in a Moore’s auction hammered down at $167,500.

According to auctioneers, the 1930 Nova Scotia £1 note should “by all accounts be considered in the same league as the Vancouver issue.” Previously sold by TCNC, this example brought more than $31,000. This time around, it has a starting price of $20,000 and an estimate of $40,000-$50,000.

BANK OF CANADA NOTES

Lot 291 is this 1937 Series $50 note (BC-26a) with a pre-sale estimate of $22,500-$25,000.

Among the Bank of Canada highlights is Lot 258, a 1935 Series $25 note (BC-12) with a serial number reading “F002756.” In PMG AU-50 PPQ, this French-language note has a starting price of $11,000 and an estimate of $19,000-$21,000.

Another highlight is Lot 263, a 1935 Series $50 note (BC-14) with a serial number reading “F04662.” In CCCS AU-55, this French-language note has a starting price of $11,000 and an estimate of $20,000-$21,000.

Lot 265 is another 1935 Series note, this with a denomination of $100 (BC-16) and a serial number reading “03319.” In PCGS AU-50, this French-language note is described by auctioneers as being “extremely scarce and rarely seen in this condition.” It has a starting price of $12,000 and an estimate of $18,000-$20,000.

Another Bank of Canada highlight is Lot 291, a 1937 Series $50 note (BC-26a) with a serial number reading “0032857.” In PCGS Choice Uncirculated-64 PPQ, this “very scarce example” has a starting price of $12,000 and an estimate of $22,500-$25,000.

Rounding out the banknote highlights is Lot 317, a 1954 Series $5 note (BC-31bA) with a serial number reading “*AC0005167.” In PCGS Uncirculated-62, this “very scarce replacement note” has a starting price of $9,000 and an estimate of $15,000-$16,000.

Lot 629 is this 1881-H 50-cent coin that’s expected to cross the block for between $30,000 and $60,000.

SESSION TWO

Moving on to the 459-lot second session, there is Lot 528, a 1916-C gold sovereign in International Coin Certification Service (ICCS) AU-55. Described by auctioneers as “the major Canadian gold issue,” this coin features “lots of lustre and great eye-appeal for grade.” It has a starting price of $15,000 and an estimate of $27,500-$32,500.

Another highlight is Lot 629, a 1881-H 50-cent piece in PCGS/ICCS MS-65. According to auctioneers, this “absolute gem with stunning gold and army green tints over ferocious lustre” has a starting price of $15,000 and an estimate of $30,000-$60,000.

Lot 652 offers another highlight in the form of a 1934 50-cent coin in Numismatic Guaranty Co. (NGC) MS-66+. Described by auctioneers as having “spectacular gem tones and lustre” as well as “great eye-appeal,” this lot has a starting price of $6,000 and an estimate of $15,000-$17,500.

Another coinage highlight is Lot 712, a 1921 25-cent piece in PCGS MS-66. According to auctioneers, this coin features “superb gem fields with lime green rim tones” and presents another important opportunity for registry set collectors. It has a starting price of $10,000 and an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

Rounding out the highlights is Lot 736, a 1993 25-cent mule error that features the obverse of a 1992 25-cent piece. This example—in PCGS Proof-like-68—is described as an “exquisite and appealing rare coin.” The single finest-graded example and only the second example known and handled by TCNC, this lot has a starting price of $15,000 and an estimate of $35,000-$40,000.

For more information about the June 23-26 Torex Auction, or to place a bid, click here.

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