Medals sell for well over estimate in May auction

Historical artifacts hotly contested at latest Bell sale

By Mike Walsh

An 1875 Indian Treaty 5 medal sold for $74,400 at Geoffrey Bell Auctions’ May 2-3 sale, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate.

As expected, there was spirited bidding for the historically significant medal when Lot 500 opened Session 2 of the Bell sale. It was followed by another Treaty Medal (Lot 501), this one undated and unissued. It sold for $26,400.

All listed prices include the buyer’s premium.

The sale, held at the Toronto Reference Library, also featured a George III Indian Peace Medal (Lot 502). This medal, awarded to the Indigenous Peoples of North America by the British for services rendered during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and later periods, sold for $30,000.

GBA’s Brian Bell said the auction firm was very pleased with the auction results.

“The spring sale is our largest sale of the year,” said the auctioneer. “All areas outperformed, our consignors are very satisfied with the results as we are.”

The main two-session sale, preceded by its popular online “Warm Up Sale” on April 30, was a highlight for medal collectors. Session 1 began with the esteemed medal collection curated by Canadian authors Raymond and Carol Gregory. The collection included 131 lots of medals, which were featured in detail in the couple’s two-volume books, Numismatic History of Canada and the United States.

Standouts among the medals offered in the sale included a 1759 Quebec Taken bronze medal (Lot 15) in gem condition. It sold for $2,400.

Session 2 of the Bell sale featured a diverse array of medals, including Canadian governor general and lieutenant governor medals, Canadian royal medals, military medals, and Canadian historical medals. Notably, a circa 1860 Prince of Wales Royal Tour aluminum medallion (Lot 542) from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club generated heavy bidding. With a pre-sale estimate of $100, the winning bidder bought it for $720.

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