Auction preview: Toronto Coin Expo Spring Sale opens today

Today marks the opening of the Toronto Coin Expo Spring Sale 2017, which is being hosted by New Brunswick’s Geoffrey Bell Auctions, official Coin Expo auctioneer, in conjunction with the biannual show.

The first of two sessions will open tonight at 6 p.m. Lot viewing will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Expected to highlight the two-day, 2,494-lot sale are items—specifically rare banknotes—from the Covered Bridge Collection, which will be offered in the second session; however, the first session presents its own set of notable lots, including tokens, Victorian cents and encased postage stamps.

The token (Lot 411) was struck by Montreal private banking and specie broker Weir & Larminie.


Consisting of 662 lots, session one is highlighted by Lot 411, a one-cent token struck by Weir & Larminie Bankers and Specie Brokers (CH MT-10) featuring an encased stamp on one side. Engraved on the other side of the “extremely rare” token is “Weir & Larminie/Bankers and Specie Brokers/Montreal C.E./PAT AUG 12, 1862. J. GAULT.”

Weir & Larminie was a private banking and specie broker in Montreal operated by Scottish immigrant William Weir and his younger business partner G. H. Larminie.

The token has a starting price of $7,500 and a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$20,000.


Lot 464 is this Hudson’s Bay Company token (shown above) that’s expected to bring upwards of $10,000.

Other session one highlights include Lot 464, a Hudson’s Bay Company token struck for the post established around 1848 in Little Grand Rapids, Man. Engraved on the obverse is “H.B.C./LGR” and on the reverse is “50.” According to auctioneers, the 28-mm aluminum token was not listed by Gingras, although he was aware it existed (it would become Gingras 270c).

This example was previously sold as Lot 1037 of Moore’s Numismatic Auctions’ October 2013 sale, where it hammered down for $13,000. Previously owned by a former district manager for Little Grand Rapids, this lot is accompanied by certain documents relating to local activities. It’s the only example known to exist and is “of the highest rarity,” according to auctioneers, who note its Extremely Fine condition (with light hairline scratches).

Lot 202 (reverse shown above) is this 1909 25-cent coin with a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$10,000.


Coinage highlights include Lot 202, a 1909 25-cent coin in Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) MS-65. According to auctioneers, the coin features “bright blue/olive and blue-green patina with complimenting tones of orange-gold and mauve.” It has a start price of $4,000 and a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$10,000.

Rounding out the highlights of session one is Lot 181, an 1875H 25-cent coin in PCGS AU-53. The 1875H is the key date to the Victoria 25-cent series and is “seldom seen in better grades,” according to auctioneers. It has a start price of $2,000 and a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$10,000.


Lot 181 (obverse shown above) is this 1875H 25-cent coin that’s expected to bring between $8,000 and $10,000.

Session two, which will begin tomorrow at 6 p.m., will see the sale of some of the items from the Covered Bridge Collection.

“The Covered Bridge material is an impressive, carefully assembled collection from the 1960s to the mid 1980s,” reads the auction catalogue. “We are presenting the main core of the collection this spring and the balance in our fall Toronto Coin Expo September 28-29. We invite others to consign alongside this superb offering.”

Auctioneer Brian Bell, who also owns the Coin Cabinet in Moncton, N.B., said he’s happy to see the Covered Bridge material sold between two separate auctions.

“We’ve seen other Canadian auction firms try to pound out the product unsuccessfully so we encouraged the family to slow the pace and realize more. They listened and we anticipate superb results.”

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